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Table of Contents / Chapter 1

Wyoming Water Development Commissioners, Staff, Advisors

Select Water Oversight Committee

General Comments/Overview/Executive Summary

Specific Requirements of Statutes

Wyoming Water Development Commissioners, Staff, Advisors


Don W. Riske, ChairmanMember-at-Large
Charles Murray, Vice-ChairmanJoint Tribal Council Representative
Floyd Field, SecretaryWater Division I
Bill BenselWater Division II
Dan BuddWater Division IV
Dick GevingWater Division III
George JostWater Division IV
Anne MacKinnonWater Division I
Wayne VossWater Division III
Robert YemingtonWater Division II


Lawrence M. BessonDirector
John W. JacksonAdministrator - Planning
David ZelenkaAdministrator - Construction
Jon WadeAdministrator - River Basin Planning
Susan D. GoodAdministration/Fiscal Manager
Chris AbernathyWater Development Project Representative
Dale AndersonWater Resource Development Engineer
Vicki S. BeckmanOutreach Coordinator
Janet BelmonteAdministrative Specialist
Kevin BoyceWater Development Project Representative
Bruce BrinkmanWater Development Project Representative
Norma CoulsonFiscal Specialist
Theodore D. CoyerWater Resource Development Engineer
Michael F. HackettWater Resource Development Engineer
Michael T. HandWater Resource Development Engineer
Barry LawrenceRiver Basin Planner
Philip OgleWater Development Project Representative
Jodie PavlicaRiver Basin Planner
Chace TavelliHydrologist/Project Representative
Ron VoreWater Conservationist
Janie WhiteFiscal Technician


S. Jane CatonAttorney General's Office
Pat TyrrellState Engineer
Larry Pochop/Greg WilkersonUniversity of Wyoming

Select Water Oversight Committee

Senator Gerald Geis
S. Big Horn-Hot Springs-Washakie Counties

Representative Rodney "Pete" Anderson
Laramie County

Representative Kurt Bucholz
Carbon County

Senator Rich Cathcart
Laramie County

Representative Ross Diercks
Niobrara/Converse Counties

Senator Rae Lynn Job
Sweetwater/Carbon/Fremont Counties

Representative Layton Morgan
Laramie County

Senator Laness Northrup
Park/Big Horn Counties

Senator Bob Peck
Fremont County

Representative Owen Peterson
Uinta County

Representative Frank Philp
Fremont County

Senator Bill Vasey
Albany/Carbon County

December 31, 2003

I. Statewide Vision, Philosophy and Functional Goals

A. Vision

We envision a Wyoming where people can develop the skills needed to seize the opportunities to live their individual dreams; a Wyoming where people enjoy an environment free from contaminants and secure from harm; a Wyoming where people can attain a quality standard of living; and a Wyoming where people can enjoy the benefits of our bountiful resources and natural beauty,

B. Philosophy

Public service is a public trust. As public servants, we take pride in the service we perform for our fellow citizens. We will be open, ethical, responsive, accountable, and dedicated to the public we serve. In the current context of the public's view of government, we must respond to citizen's needs in a manner that is more positive, more accommodating, and more attentive than ever before. Within our limited resources, we believe that innovation and creativity are keys to our long-term success. Through management support, training and development, and a respect for the views of our citizens, our employees will be empowered to deliver quality services.

C. Functional Goals

Functional Goals include establishing a program: which will ensure the wise, productive, and economically sound use of the state's natural resources while protecting and preserving our environment; which will manage the state's water resources within the context of state priorities; and which will minimize the impact of federal pre-emption of priorities and procedures.

II. Agency Mission Statement

The 1975 Legislature passed W.S. 41-2-112(a) which provided the following definition for the Wyoming Water Development Program:

"The Wyoming water development program is established to foster, promote and encourage the optimal development of the state's human, industrial, mineral, agricultural, water and recreational resources. The program shall provide, through the commission, procedures and policies for the planning, selection, financing, construction, acquisition and operation of projects and facilities for the conservation, storage, distribution and use of water, necessary in the public interest to develop and preserve Wyoming's water and related land resources. The program shall encourage development of water facilities for irrigation, for reduction of flood damage, for abatement of pollution, for preservation and development of fish and wildlife resources [and] for protection and improvement of public lands and shall help make available the waters of this state for all beneficial uses, including but not limited to municipal, domestic, agricultural, industrial, instream flows, hydroelectric power and recreational purposes, conservation of land resources and protection of the health, safety and general welfare of the people of the state of Wyoming."
III. Agency Philosophy Statement

The Wyoming Water development Program was founded on the sound philosophy of utilizing a portion of the income the state receives from the development and use of its non-renewable resources, such as coal, oil and gas, and trona, to manage a renewable resource, water. One way in which water resource management is achieved is by evaluating development and rehabilitation strategies, and selecting the best alternative for constructing new or rehabilitating existing infrastructure. In this manner the Wyoming Water Development Program will ensure the delivery of water to Wyoming citizens in an economical and environmentally responsible manner. Sound water planning will preserve Wyoming's water entitlements and will promote the effective and efficient use of the state's water resources.

IV. Situation Analysis

Each year precipitation events and runoff generate an average of 16 million acre-feet of surface water within the State of Wyoming. An additional 2 million acre-feet of stream flow originates from other states. Of this 18 million acre feet of surface water, Wyoming is entitled under the various interstate river compacts and court decrees to use or consume approximately 4 million acre feet per year. Presently, the state uses 2.8 million acre-feet of surface water. Therefore, approximately 1.2 million acre-feet of surface water remain available for Wyoming's future use.

The water demands of downstream states are increasing as these states approach or exceed the limits of their water entitlements. Consequently, Wyoming may expect requests for variances or challenges to the historic interpretations of the compacts and decrees that guarantee Wyoming a share of water originating in the state. Further, the federal government is seeking water to resolve endangered species and environmental issues that are occurring downstream.

Court decisions have validated the position that water entitlements are best protected by beneficial use. Unfortunately, Wyoming's water resources are not always located where they are needed. The Wyoming Water Development Program serves to provide and rehabilitate the infrastructure to deliver water to the people with water supply problems, and to promote the effective and efficient management of the state's water, thus maintaining Wyoming's entitlements.

The Wyoming Water Development Program provides long-term economic benefits to the State of Wyoming by managing our water supplies for the existing and future needs of Wyoming's citizens. Water availability is a key ingredient for development of a stable Wyoming economy. Implementation of water management opportunities provides short-term economic benefits to the state in the form of jobs, increased material and equipment sales, improved recreational and hunting and fishing opportunities, and other indirect benefits to local and state economies.

The Wyoming Water Development Program has served to maintain Wyoming's water entitlements and has assisted Wyoming citizens in meeting water management needs through planning and project development. The program's sponsor list includes eight (8) counties, eighty-six (86) municipalities, sixty-two (62) water districts, fifty-five (55) irrigation districts, twelve (12) joint power boards and thirty-one (31) water user groups.

A. Program Status - Water Resource Development In 1977, the revenue source that funds the New Development Program was established. In 1982, the Governor proposed and the legislature implemented the framework for the present Water Development Program. In 1983, the revenue stream that funds the Rehabilitation Program was established. Since 1983 the program's water resource management activities have evolved to the following:

1. New Development Program

The New Development Program provides planning services and construction funds for the infrastructure necessary to supply unused and/or unappropriated water to meet the present and future needs of Wyoming and its citizens. Water supply and storage facilities such as dams, diversion structures, groundwater wells and transmission pipelines are eligible for consideration under the New Development Program. The New Development Program is dedicated to the efficient and timely management of water resources, consistent with state policy, Wyoming water laws, and the desires of the citizens of the state. The criteria for scheduling new development projects is based on the general philosophy that effective beneficial use of Wyoming's water will insure its preservation for use by Wyoming residents. New development projects can proceed as sponsored projects or state projects.

a. Sponsored Projects

The project sponsor may be a municipality, irrigation district, or other approved assessment district that is a major beneficiary of the project. The project sponsor must be willing and capable of financially supporting at least 25% of the project development costs plus all operation and maintenance costs. Typically, sponsors request project specific technical and financial assistance from the Wyoming Water Development Commission through the application process. If the Commission approves the application, the project is assigned a study level. If the project is determined to be technically and economically feasible and serves to meet a water management need, the Commission may recommend that construction funding be appropriated by the legislature.

The New Development Program provides the opportunity for sponsors to manage their water resources to meet current and future needs, which will promote their economic growth and stability. The program has a philosophy that water resource management should be achieved through state and local partnerships. The sponsor can complete a water management project with state funding assistance. The actual loan/grant mix is based on WWDC funding criteria and the sponsor's ability to pay. If the sponsor uses the water, the project basically belongs to the sponsor. However, if there is the opportunity to sell water for other purposes, the sponsor and state share in the revenues.

b. State Projects

A state project typically benefits more than one entity and is multipurpose in nature. State projects often have difficult permitting or political issues that must be addressed, such as endangered species issues, water quality impacts and/or resistance from downstream states. The following is a listing and brief status of the state projects:

  • Buffalo Bill Enlargement. The project has been completed and stands ready to meet future growth and development. The Buffalo Bill Enlargement has a firm yield of 74,000 acre-feet at the mouth of the Shoshone River.
  • Deer Creek Dam and Reservoir. The recent settlement of the Nebraska v Wyoming lawsuit contains provisions that encourage the construction of the Pathfinder Modification Project in lieu of the Deer Creek Dam and Reservoir Project. If Pathfinder is modified as planned, it will provide North Platte municipalities similar benefits as would have been provided by the Deer Creek Project. Once the Pathfinder Modification Project is constructed, Wyoming will release the Clean Water Act Section 404 permit for the Deer Creek Project.
  • Little Snake River Valley Dam and Reservoir. This project was formerly referred to as the "Sandstone Project." After years of study and permitting work the project is under construction and will be completed in 2004.

2. Rehabilitation Program

The Rehabilitation Program provides funding assistance for the improvement of water projects completed and in use for at least fifteen (15) years. Improvements to insure dam safety, decrease operation and maintenance costs, and provide a more efficient means of using existing water supplies may be funded by the Rehabilitation Program. The program insures that existing water supplies and supply systems remain effective and viable.

Rehabilitation projects are typically initiated by an application from a project sponsor. If the application is deemed feasible and approved, the project is assigned a study level and can proceed through construction. The project sponsor must be willing and capable of financially supporting all operation and maintenance costs and at least 25% of the project development costs. The actual loan/grant mix is based on WWDC funding criteria and the sponsor's ability to pay.

B. Program Status - Water Resource Planning

1. Water Investment Management

During the development of the Department of Commerce, the Wyoming Water Development Commission (WWDC) was named as the successor agency to the Economic Development and Stabilization Board for the administration of the state's investment in Buffalo Bill and Fontenelle Reservoirs (Chapter 44 of the 1990 Session Laws). Subsequently, the state acquired storage in Palisades Reservoir (Chapter 18 of the 1991 Session Laws).

As part of this administration the WWDC is responsible for insuring that the state's annual loan payments and operation and maintenance obligations are met on these facilities.

In addition, the WWDC collects payments against outstanding project loans. Presently, all project loan payments have been made. The WWDC also monitors potential water sales from those completed projects in which the state retained limited partnerships.

2. Instream Flow The Water Development Commission has two roles relative to the instream flow law. One is assigned by statute, and serving as the water planning and development agency for the state implies the other.

a. W.S. 41-3-1004 assigns the Commission the responsibility to prepare feasibility reports for all instream flow permit applications. The reports are hydrological analyses of the water availability in the reach of the stream to which the applications apply. The analyses also quantify existing water rights above and within these stream segments.

b. As the water planning and development agency, the Commission will also review the instream flow requests to insure that they do not conflict with future potential water development opportunities.

To date, eighty-nine (89) applications for instream flow water rights have been prepared by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. As of December 31, 2003, the WWDC has published seventy-nine (79) feasibility studies. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has indicated that it will be preparing four applications per year for instream flow water rights.

3. Water Related Research

The Commission participates in research projects relative to water resource issues that are not necessarily project specific but that may influence water resource management in Wyoming. Many research projects gather information that is useful in addressing permitting issues, environmental problems, etc.

The Commission has developed working relationships with the State Engineer's Office, the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wyoming to conduct research on such water related issues as hydrologic modeling, flushing flows, irrigation consumptive use requirements, conveyance loss, and riparian zone management.

4. Basin Wide Planning As the state's water resource planning agency the WWDC identifies water related issues and establishes the framework to resolve them and promote water resources management. As an example, the WWDC develops basin-wide plans that identify water supply problems and water development opportunities. Planning studies have been completed for Northeastern Wyoming and the Big Horn River, Powder River, Tongue River, Upper Bear River, Upper Green River, Upper Laramie River and Wind River Basins.

These basin wide plans, as well as the project specific evaluations, can be used to inventory water supplies, estimate existing uses, and outline basin-wide water management strategies. Chapter 81, 1999 Session Laws, authorized the Commission to implement and administer the statewide water planning process. River Basin Plans for the Bear, Green/Little Snake, Powder/Tongue, Northeast Wyoming (Little Missouri, Belle Fourche, Cheyenne, Niobrara), Wind/Bighorn, and Snake/Salt River Basins have been completed. The final river basin to be studied, the Platte, will be initiated in 2003, and completed in late 2004. At that time a framework report will be prepared summarizing the State's water resources, and the planning staff will begin the process of updating each basin plan on five-year intervals with the ongoing assistance of the Basin Advisory Groups. The Statewide Water Planning Process will produce seven river basin plans, a summary framework report, and a current statewide water resources database.

The WWDC will request an appropriation for consultant services for the Platte River Basin Plan from the 2003 Legislature. Following completion of all seven river basin plans and the framework plan it is anticipated that the update process will begin, and less expensive funding requests will be submitted to the legislature in subsequent sessions.

5. Groundwater Grant Program The 1981 Session of the Wyoming Legislature enacted W.S. 41-2-119 which authorized the Water Development Commission to grant up to three million dollars to incorporated cities and towns. These funds were to be utilized for feasibility studies and exploration programs to evaluate the potential use of underground water for municipal purposes. Municipalities were eligible to receive up to $200,000 in state funds, and were required to provide 10% of total project costs in local matching funds. In 1984, the legislature amended W.S. 41-2-119 to add an additional one million dollars to the account and to increase the required local match from 10% to 25%.

Municipalities are required to submit an application containing a detailed feasibility study of the area where exploration is anticipated. If the data is sufficient to indicate a high probability of locating water, the Commission can award funds for exploratory drilling. If no feasibility study exists, or if existing data is judged inadequate, municipalities can apply for funds to complete such a study. Approval of feasibility study funding also reserves a specified amount to be used for exploratory drilling. If the funded study indicates a high probability of locating groundwater, the Commission can authorize release of exploratory drilling funds. If not, the Commission will terminate the project at that point and return the earmarked exploratory drilling funds to the groundwater account for distribution to other communities.

As of July 1, 2002, 37 municipalities had received assistance from the program. During the 2002 Session the Wyoming Water Development Commission recommended and the legislature provided an additional $1,500,000 for the groundwater grant program, which authorized the inclusion of water and sewer districts and service and improvement districts as eligible program participants.

6. Small Water Project Program

In 2002 the legislature appropriated a total of one million dollars ($1,000,000), five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) from Water Development Account I and five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) from Water Development Account II, to initiate pilot projects in the Green River and in the Yellowstone River basins. The pilot projects were intended: 1.) To develop a process to leverage non-Water Development Program funding, and 2.) Be used, along with non-program funding sources, for construction of small, inexpensive projects such as small dams, windmills, spring development, and pipeline networks for livestock, wildlife, environmental and recreational purposes.

During the 2003 session, the legislature removed the pilot status from the statute and allowed for construction of these "small projects" throughout the state. Water Development Program funding is limited to fifty percent (50%) of the actual construction cost; or a maximum grant of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for construction of the project; whichever is less. The Water Development Commission was given the responsibility for developing program criteria and the authority to fund these "small projects" anytime during the calendar year.

Due to interest in the program, the Wyoming Water Development Commission will occasionally recommend amendments to the statute to reflect changes in the program and to recommend to the legislature that additional funds be appropriated to finance the construction of the "small projects."

C. Program Funding

1. Water Resource Development

The administrative costs of the Water Development Commission are approximately $3,600,000 per biennium. These costs are included in the agency budget, which is appropriated from Water Development Account No. 1. This amount does not include project specific budgets, which are appropriated by the legislature as described in the following paragraphs:

a. Water Development Account No. 1

The New Development Program is funded by Water Development Account No. 1 [W.S. 41-2-124(a)(I)] which has received general fund appropriations of $117,600,000, receives revenues from the severance tax distribution account, and receives the accrued interest on the account's unspent balance. Legislative approval must be granted prior to allocating water development account funds to a particular project. Income from the tax and interest and payments for outstanding loans ranges from $26,000,000 to $29,000,000 per year. The WWDC is committed to phase or delay projects to insure its recommendations do not result in overruns of the account.

By enacting W.S. 16-1-301 the Legislature authorized the use of water development account I and II funds to meet federal matching grant requirements through the year 2003. The federal capitalization grant and the state's matching share will be used to finance a "drinking water state revolving loan fund" (DWSRF) program. The DWSRF program may be used to fund improvements to water treatment systems and other Safe Drinking Water Act compliance issues. This program is not included in the annual omnibus water bill. Water Development program funds are appropriated automatically by statute to match 10% of the federal capitalization grant.

b. Water Development Account No. 2

The Rehabilitation Program is funded by Water Development Account No. 2 [W.S. 41-2-124(a)(ii)] which receives revenues from the severance tax distribution account and the interest accrued on the account's unspent balance. Legislative approval must be granted prior to allocating water development account funds to a particular project. Income from the tax and interest and payments for outstanding loans is approximately $6,000,000 per year. In 1995 and 1999 requests for project funding exceeded the funds available. The WWDC is committed to phase or delay projects to insure its recommendations do not result in overruns of the account.

By enacting W.S. 16-1-301 the legislature authorized the use of water development account I and II funds to meet federal matching grant requirements through the year 2003. The federal capitalization grant and the state's matching share will be used to finance a "drinking water state revolving loan fund" (DWSRF) program. The DWSRF program may be used to fund improvements to water treatment systems and other Safe Drinking Water Act compliance issues. This program is not included in the annual omnibus water bill. Water Development Program funds are appropriated automatically by statute to match 10% of the capitalization grant.

2. Water Resource Planning

a. Water Investment Management

These activities are funded by the agency budget, which has historically been appropriated from Water Development Account No. 1. However, as project financial commitments on Fontenelle Reservoir cannot be met with existing revenues from water sales, appropriations of $540,000 per biennium are needed to meet loan payment and operation/maintenance obligations to the Bureau of Reclamation.

b. Instream Flow

The WWDC requests $100,000 per biennium for consultant services for completion of instream flow feasibility studies.

c. Water Related Research

Over the past ten years the budget for contract services for this work has been reduced by the WWDC from $250,000 to $25,000 per biennium. In addition, the state's involvement in recovery efforts for endangered species in the upper Colorado River Basin is funded from this budget category, which costs approximately $69,000 per biennium. Research related expenditures authorized in the recent Omnibus Water Bill - Planning have been $200,000 annually. The Wyoming Water Development Commission is recommending that the legislature appropriate an additional $200,000 this session to match available United States Geological Survey research funds.

d. Basin Wide Planning

Depending on the complexity, basin wide planning studies cost between $200,000 and $1,500,000. Until recently much of Wyoming's water planning information was seriously out of date. To resolve this shortcoming, studies on the Bear, Green/Little Snake, Northeast Wyoming, Powder/Tongue, Wind/Bighorn, and Snake/Salt River Basins have been completed. The final River basin plan, on the Platte basin, will be initiated in 2003. The operation of the Water Resources Data System and other necessary contract services costs approximately $750,000 per biennium.

e. Groundwater Grant Program

The Legislature appropriated $1,500,000 of additional funds during the 2002 Session to the Wyoming Water Development Commission to finance groundwater exploration studies for cities, towns, improvement and service districts and water and sewer districts. Due to the ongoing drought, the appropriation has proven to be timely and effective. Several public water purveyors have utilized the program to augment their water supplies.

3. Other

The Wyoming legislature has periodically appropriated funds from the water development accounts to fund the operation of state government, special projects, and litigation. As of July 1, 2003, $149,495,527 has been expended from Water Development Accounts I and II for these non-project purposes. In addition, through an executive order by the Governor the interest income to be received by the accounts was diverted to the general fund for three years, which impacted the accounts by approximately $41,284,873.

D. Program Evolution

In order to develop a strategic plan for the program, the history and future of the Wyoming Water Development Program must first be considered. During the 1982 legislative session, funding was requested for 28 projects. Over half of the projects included new dams or rehabilitation of existing dams. By contrast, during the 1995 legislative session, construction funding was requested for 18 different projects. None of those projects included a dam.

While dam construction and rehabilitation remains an important element of the Water Development Program, the number of storage projects will not be as great as other water development projects. To date, seven new development storage projects and fourteen dam rehabilitation projects have been completed. The Buffalo Municipal project (Tie Hack Dam and Reservoir), Sheridan's Twin Lakes Dam and Reservoir, and the Greybull Valley Irrigation District's Roach Gulch project are the most recent projects. The Water Development Office recently received the Clean Water Act, Section 404 Permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer for the Little Snake River Valley Dam and Reservoir project (High Savery), and construction is underway. The project is to be completed in 2004. Due to provisions outlined in the settlement of the Nebraska v Wyoming lawsuit, the Pathfinder Modification Project is expected to replace the Deer Creek Project. Other dams in the planning process are the enlargement of Ray Lake Dam on the Little Wind River, storage on the Wind River upstream of Riverton in Fremont County, the enlargement of Viva Naughton Reservoir, which is located in the Ham's Fork drainage, and Church Reservoir within the East Fork of the New Fork River drainage.

There are reasons the number of storage projects in the Water Development Program are less than originally anticipated. The first and foremost reason is cost. It is very difficult for a project sponsor to afford a storage facility even with the most favorable financing terms available. Second, the federal permitting processing is more costly, time consuming, and restrictive than it was in 1982. For example, in 1985 the federal 404 permit for the Sulphur Creek Dam was obtained in nine months, at a cost of approximately $50,000. In 1996, after three and one-half years, we received the 404 Permit for the Buffalo Municipal Dam, a smaller and less complex project than the Sulphur Creek Dam. The actual costs related to permit acquisition were approximately $650,000. New federal requirements for wetlands mitigation, criteria involving purpose and need, and alternative analyses are the major reasons for the increased costs.

The impact of federal requirements on the program can best be demonstrated by the history of the Little Snake River Valley Dam and Reservoir Project (Sandstone Project). Originally, the WWDC sought a 404 permit for a 52,000 acre foot reservoir that would yield 12,000 acre feet per year for irrigation purposes and 20,000 acre feet per year for future industrial use. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied the permit using the argument that there was no specific defined use for 20,000 acre-feet of the water. The project did not meet the federal requirements for "purpose and need." Therefore, according to personnel from the Army Corps of Engineers, the impacts to wetlands and aquatic habitat resulting from the project were not warranted, no matter how well those impacts were to be mitigated. This decision severely impacted the ability of the program to construct storage projects and market water for future uses. More recently the federal agencies have determined, based on their rules and regulations, that they can only issue permits for the "least environmentally damaging alternative." Unfortunately, the federal interpretation of "purpose and need" tends to ignore state goals and objectives such as increased recreation, hydropower production, instream flow releases, and economic development. The result of this federal position is a predisposition toward the construction of small, single purpose projects. If this position prevails, dam construction will be limited to small, off-channel reservoirs supplied by canals diverting water from streams and rivers. For example, the Greybull Valley Project, intended as a supplemental agricultural water supply, consists of a 30,000 acre foot off-channel reservoir supplied by a canal and diversion structure on the Greybull River.

Another descriptor of the program's history is an analysis of how water development funds have been spent over the past twenty-one years. The following is a breakdown of total program expenditures from 1980 to June 30, 2003:

Based on the program's history and projections into the future, the following conclusions can be made relative to the next five years:

1. While the Water Development Program has provided assistance to a number of agricultural projects, those projects have been relatively small in scope. The agricultural industry is presently concentrating on preserving what they have, rather than developing new supplies. With one exception, the Wyoming Water Development Program has not been requested to assist in a water project that would place new lands under production. The agricultural projects that rely on federal storage projects can expect financial impacts caused by unfunded federal mandates relating to dam safety, water conservation, endangered species, and environmental protection.

2. The major expenditures in the state project category have been for the state's share of the construction of the Buffalo Bill Dam Enlargement and the repair and maintenance of Fontenelle Dam. It is difficult to acquire the necessary federal permits and clearances for construction of large mainstream dams and reservoirs. In addition, the costs associated with construction of large mainstream dams are extremely high. For the short term, it is anticipated that multi-purpose state project expenditures will be limited to enlargements of existing facilities to replace storage lost due to silt accumulation, to construction of small off channel reservoirs, and to the construction of other miscellaneous projects which serve more than one type of use, e.g. diversion structures that provide water for irrigation while simultaneously accommodating fishery needs.

3. The domestic category includes municipal and special district projects. Municipalities and other public water systems have been the major beneficiaries of the Wyoming Water Development Program. Communities must not only be concerned with the quantity of water they can supply for culinary, irrigation, and fire flow purposes, but must ensure that their water quality meets ever-changing EPA requirements. Further, as urban populations increase, the amount of water communities must supply for public health and welfare purposes must also increase. Municipalities need enough good quality water to meet their existing demands and the demands of the increasing number of subdivisions presently outside their corporate limits, as well as enough water to ensure future economic growth. The Wyoming Water Development Program has been responsive to the needs of Wyoming communities for the past 20 years, and while major municipal water supply projects have been funded, demands on the program for municipal purposes will continue for the next five years and beyond. Special districts that provide domestic water are faced with the same EPA requirements as municipalities. As a result the Water Development Program is receiving an increasing number of requests for funding assistance from special districts. Wyoming's previously weak subdivision laws are partially to blame for this problem. Subdivisions served by shallow wells sometimes experience water quality problems caused by septic and leach field systems. The long-term solution is to improve the municipal water supply systems so they can be supportive in solving the problems of the surrounding subdivisions. In the short term it is apparent that the Wyoming Water Development Program will be receiving additional requests for funding assistance from special districts. However, the legislature enacted measures during the 2000 budget session that amended existing subdivision regulations to more thoroughly address water and sewer health and safety needs. This action, coupled with improvement and expansion of municipal systems so they can be more supportive in solving water supply problems of the surrounding subdivisions, may provide the necessary long-term solutions for special districts.

4. Non-project expenditures relate to appropriations made from the water development accounts to augment the general fund. For example, the agency budgets for the Water Development Office, State Engineer's Office, and Water Resource Data System have been appropriated from the water accounts. An appropriation was also made to supplement funding for education. In addition, the state's costs for water related litigation is funded from the water development accounts.

In summary, the scope of the Wyoming Water Development Program has changed over the past 20 years. However, the program continues to serve the principle that initiated the program; the effective and efficient use of water entitlements is necessary to preserve Wyoming's water for Wyoming's future.

E. Program Operation The State Engineer's Office of Water Planning Program originally staffed the Interdepartmental Water Conference, which was the predecessor to the Wyoming Water Development Commission. In 1979, the Wyoming Water Development Commission was formed and an independent staff was developed. The Commission was created to streamline the administration of the program and make it more effective.

The statutory authority for the Wyoming Water Development Program is vested with the ten- member Wyoming Water Development Commission (WWDC), which meets 8 to 12 times per year. The program is administered through the Wyoming Water Development Office (WWDO), which includes a director, 18 staff members, and one contract employee. Over the past five years, the commission and staff have overseen and administered project expenditures averaging approximately $30 million dollars per year.

The Wyoming legislature has periodically increased the responsibilities of the WWDC and WWDO. In 1986 the administration of the construction of water development projects was transferred from the Department of Economic Planning and Development (DEPAD) to the WWDC. Also in 1986, the legislature assigned the WWDC responsibilities with respect to the instream flow law. In 1991 the management of the state's water investments was transferred from the Economic Development and Stabilization Board to the WWDC. In 1999 the legislature authorized 3 additional staff to conduct river basin planning.

The Wyoming Water Development Office includes a Project Planning Division, a Basin Planning Division, and a Construction Division. An administrator, who also assists with project management, oversees each division. The Project Planning, Basin Planning, and Construction divisions each have four project managers who are responsible for day-to-day project administration and special projects. The Planning Division serves to administer project studies (Level I Reconnaissance Studies and Level II Feasibility Studies), assists the Director and WWDC in making funding recommendations, and performs the planning functions of the agency. The operation of the Planning Division is guided by the "Operating Criteria of the Wyoming Water Development Program". The Basin Planning Division administers basin planning studies, assists the Director and the WWDC in making funding recommendations, and performs the basin planning functions of the agency. The Construction Division serves to administer Level III construction projects. The operation of the Construction Division is guided by the "Operating Criteria of the Construction Division, Wyoming Water Development Office". The Director is responsible for the operation of the entire program, serves as the contact with the WWDC, Governor, and legislature, and performs special assignments for the Governor. A small fiscal control and secretarial staff support the Director, administrators, and project managers.

Individual project administration has historically been the priority of the WWDO. However, because of renewed interest in the statewide water planning process, additional staff has been authorized for basin planning purposes. It is interesting to note that the number of projects within the program determines the staff workload, as opposed to the level of the appropriations. Administering a small project can be more time consuming than working on a larger project. The WWDC will continue to use up-to-date technology to reduce administrative costs and to produce state-of-the-art plans and projects.

The WWDC contracts with private sector consultants for the preparation of river basin plans and project technical studies, such as Level I Reconnaissance Studies and Level II Feasibility Studies. Further, the WWDC contracts with the project sponsors who serve as the lead agency during the Level III Construction process. The project sponsors use private sector consultants for preparation of project plans and specifications. They are also required to solicit bids from private contractors for project construction.

While the statutes pertaining to the Wyoming Water Development Program provide guidance and the framework for the program, they were intentionally meant to be very broad. The Wyoming Water Development Commission is responsible for developing the priorities, guidelines, and criteria for the program. The "Operating Criteria of the Wyoming Water Development Program", has been developed by the WWDC in consultation with the legislative Select Water Committee.

The criteria is reviewed on an annual basis to ensure it directs the program in an efficient and effective manner, and continues to address the needs of Wyoming in a manner consistent with available program resources.

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