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Wyoming Water Development Commission 
Harry C. LaBonde, Jr., PE, Director 
6920 Yellowtail Rd, Cheyenne, WY 82002 
Phone: 307-777-7626 

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Project Reports

A typical water development project proceeds through the following levels, however, some levels may be bypassed if there is pertinent existing information available on the project.
  1. Level I, Reconnaissance Studies

    These studies are preliminary analyses and include a comparison of alternatives.

    The typical Level I study should identify or provide the following:

    a. Identify development options.

    b. Identify potential beneficiaries and benefits of each option.

    c. Describe factors that could impair or prohibit the development of any option, including legal and environmental constraints.

    d. Analyze water rights, including identification of conflicting prior rights.

    e. Compare options based on physical and legal water availability, technical, economic, legal, and environmental considerations.

  2. Level II, Feasibility Studies

    The typical Level II study consists of two phases. During Phase 1 project feasibility is addressed. If the project is determined feasible the proposal is advanced to Phase 2, where it is refined to the status necessary for a Level III funding request.

    The typical Level II, Phase I investigations should include the following activities:

    a. A qualification of the amount of water that can physically and legally be developed.

    b. A determination of the water needs that could be served by the project.

    c. A determination of the technical feasibility including a safety analysis.

    d. The development of a general configuration depicting preliminary physical characteristics of the project.

    e. The development of a preliminary project operation plan.

    f. An estimation of costs for construction, consultant services, and operation and maintenance.

    g. An identification of direct benefits that could result from project implementation.

    h. An identification of costs and benefits that would result by incorporating recreation, fish and wildlife, hydropower, and flood control functions into the project.

    i. A definition of economic, legal, environmental, and administrative problems and the identification of alternate solutions to those problems.

    j. The development of an ownership map of lands that may be affected by the project.

    k. The collection of data to identify environmental impacts and potential mitigation and enhancement opportunities.

    l. The inclusion an analysis of the project sponsors ability to pay.

    After the above information has been provided and reviewed, the technical, economic, and legal feasibility will be considered by the Commission.

    This consideration, coupled with the sponsors need for the project, interest in the project, and willingness and ability to financially participate, will be the factor used to determine if the project should proceed to Level II, Phase II.

    The typical Level II, Phase II investigations should include the following activities:

    a. Technical design which includes:

    i. Hydrologic investigations,
    ii. An operating plan which addresses water management during and after construction, and
    iii. A conceptual design of the general project configuration.

    b. The identification of state and federal permits and clearances necessary to construct the project.

    c. Performance of an environmental analysis of the proposed operation and configuration. On the more complex projects the Wyoming Game and Fish Department assists the WWDC in these analyses. The WWDC contracts with the Game and Fish Department on an as needed basis to provide environmental baseline data, evaluate project impacts, and recommend mitigation measures.

    d. Performance of a cultural resource survey of the general project area, as applicable.

    e. Determination of lands that must be acquired to implement the project. Including applications to purchase or obtain easements on public lands, and appraisals of lands that must be acquired.

    f. The development of a detailed schedule of the activities necessary to complete the project.

    g. Preparation of an itemized project budget, including costs for design engineering, permitting, land acquisition, environmental mitigation, construction, construction engineering, operation, maintenance and replacement.

    h. Performance of an economic analysis comparing the allocated costs with project primary and secondary benefits. For the more complex projects an analysis of indirect benefits may be appropriate.

  3. Level III, Final Design and Construction

    The typical Level III project includes the following:

    a. Preparation of the project agreement, note and mortgage that formalizes sponsor and WWDC project responsibilities and which defines the financing plan/procedures. Funds are not available for expenditure until these documents are executed.

    b. Securing consultant services required for final design, permitting, and construction inspection.

    c. The preparation of permit applications.

    d. The preparation of Environmental Impact Statements or Assessments. Typically, the 404 permit application will trigger this activity.

    e. Preparation of the construction documents including technical specifications, contract documents and bidding plans. This work may be performed concurrently with the permitting process if it is determined that the project feasibility will not be impacted by permit conditions. If there are particularly sensitive permitting issues, this task should be postponed until those issues are successfully resolved.

    f. The acquisition of options on or title to the necessary project lands and easements. The scheduling of this task should be sequenced to minimize impacts to property owners and as dictated by the permitting process.

    g. The compilation of mitigation measures to address impacts on environmental and cultural resources.

    h. Preparation of the advertisement for bids.

    i. Construction review and monitoring services.

    j. The determination of the date the sponsor accrues project benefits in order to establish loan repayment schedules.

    k. The initiation of project acceptance and completion procedures.

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