Consultant Selection Begins in the Northeast and Powder/Tongue Basins
The Wyoming Water Development Commission and the Select Water Committee of the Legislature jointly
recommended that the Commission receive authorization and funding to pursue river basin planning in
the Northeast Wyoming Planning Basin and the Powder/Tongue Planning Basin. This authorization and
funding was granted by the 2000 legislative session.
The first step in the basin planning process is to procure consulting services. The initial action is to
advertise that consulting services are going to be needed. Interested consultants submit statements of
qualification and statements of interest in providing the desired services. Six consulting teams showed
interest in the Northeast Wyoming Planning Basin and three consulting teams were interested in the
Powder/Tongue Planning Basin. The standard WWDC procedure is to reduce the number of firms that
are requested to submit detailed written proposals to no more than five in most cases. The Northeast
Wyoming Planning Basin was reduced to five consultant teams while the Powder/Tongue Planning Basin
remained at three teams.
The selected consulting teams that were asked to prepare detailed proposals have until April 10, 2000, to
submit their proposals to the WWDC. On April 10th the proposals will be opened and assigned to a
consultant selection committee who will review the proposals and rank the proposals in their individual
order of preference. The selection committee will be made up of two commissioners, the river basin
planning administrator, a representative of the State Engineer's office, a representative of the Water
Resources Data System at the University of Wyoming and one or more representatives from the local area.
After compiling the rankings, three firms will be asked to appear before the consultant selection
committee for a formal interview. The consultant selection committee will rank the three consulting
teams in the order of preference and recommend that ranking to the full commission.
The Commission will vote on the recommendation and direct the WWDC Director to initiate negotiations
with the top ranked firm. The Commission may give specific negotiation instructions. The WWDC
Director will take the negotiated contract to the full Commission and the Select Water Committee of the
Legislature for final approval on May 31, 2000. Upon final approval and signing of the contract by all
parties, the study process is ready to commence.
In addition to the two river basin studies, the WWDC is in the process of procuring consulting services for
a facilitator to work with the river basin plans and for consulting services for fifteen other projects.
The selection process is fairly long and drawn out and can be fairly expensive for both the WWDC and the
prospective consultants, however, the commission goes to great lengths to insure that the selection process
is a fair and impartial process.
Progress Report from the Green and Bear River Basins
Since publication of our last newsletter, the basin consultants have completed irrigated lands mapping and
water rights attribution. The major structures (diversions greater than 10 cfs) have been inventoried in the
Bear Basin, and that work is nearing completion in the Green Basin. Historical operation information for
Sulphur Creek Reservoir and Woodruff Narrows Reservoir has been collected in the Bear. Diversion
records have been compiled, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Wyoming Geological Survey
oil & gas, trona, and coal maps have been obtained in digital form. Technical Memoranda on reservoirs,
instream flows, environmental uses, and salinity control programs are under preparation.
The consultants are researching future markets and growth potential of the trona industry, and trends in
regional, national, and international agricultural markets. A spreadsheet tool has been prepared to
develop regression relationships for extending streamgage records, and that work is about 50% complete
for monthly wet, dry, and normal year flows.
Identification of average wet, dry, and normal year consumptive use values at key climate stations is
underway, and United States Geological Survey gaging station data for relevant Colorado and Utah gages
has been obtained. Assumptions and schematics for hydrologic modeling have been prepared and
presented to the Basin Advisory Groups (BAG), and modeling work is underway. Irrigation districts have
begun to respond to requests for information on their operations, and the Forest Service and BLM have
been requested to provide their near-term plans regarding water resources on the lands they manage.
The Water Resources Data System is working on the "look" for the River Basin Plans to be presented on
the Waterplan website. This website continues to maintain and update the information currently being
generated by the water planning process
Please check the Waterplan website regularly at:
http://waterplan.state.wy.us/ We are constantly updating existing material and adding new work
Water Planning Calendar
April 11, 2000 - Green River Basin Advisory Group Meeting - Sublette County Library,
Pinedale. 1 pm. Topics: Consultant update, water quality issues, coal methane development, Wyoming
April 26, 2000 - Northeast Wyoming Basin Advisory Group Meeting - Sundance High School
Auditorium, Sundance. 6 pm. Topics: Basin Advisory Group formation.
April 27, 2000 - Powder/Tongue Basin Advisory Group Meeting - Sheridan College
Presentation Hall, Sheridan. 6 pm. Topics: Basin Advisory Group formation.
May 2, 2000 - Water Forum - "Water Planning Round Table" - Wyoming State Engineer's
Office, Room 1699, 10 am. Discussion of water planning activities and collaboration by federal, state,
and county agencies.
May 4, 2000 - River Basin Planning Consultant Interviews - Wyoming Water Development
Commission, Herschler Building, Cheyenne. All day. Consultant interviews for selection of firm(s) to
produce Northeast Wyoming and Powder/Tongue River Basin Plans.
May 5, 2000 - Wyoming Water Development Commission Meeting, Herschler Building, Room
1699. Cheyenne. Consultant selection.
May 8, 2000 - Bear River Basin Advisory Group Meeting - Uinta County Library, Evanston. 6
pm. Topics: Consultant update, population growth and demand projections.
May 9, 2000 - Green River Basin Advisory Group Meeting - TBA, Baggs. 5 pm. Topics:
May 31, 2000 - Wyoming Water Development Commission / Select Water Committee Joint
Meeting - Cheyenne. Contract approval for NE Wyoming and Powder/Tongue River Basin Plans.
June 13, 2000 - Green River Basin Advisory Group Meeting - TBA, Marbleton. 5 pm.
Topics: Consultant update, US Forest Service watershed management plans, TBA.
June 14, 2000 - Powder/Tongue Basin Advisory Group Meeting - TBA
June 15, 2000 - Northeast Wyoming Basin Advisory Group Meeting - TBA
The site will also include a wide variety of spatial and tabular data developed by the river basin planning
consultants. Information such as irrigated lands, surface hydrology, and groundwater usage will be
available for download in a variety of file formats and projections. Our goal is to serve this data for a
variety of users, from individuals who may not have a lot of computer skills but still want to view and
print the wide array of maps and associated data, to educators who want to use the spatial data in their
classrooms, to technical personnel who will analyze the data with a geographic information system.
The Wyoming State Water Plan website is designed to serve the citizens of Wyoming, and help us
understand Wyoming's most vital resource, water. Take a few minutes to browse this site, and let us know
what you think.
Open Houses Held in the Northeast and Powder/Tongue Basins
The River Basin Planning Team (Wyoming Water Development Commission, State Engineer's Office,
and Water Resources Data System) recently hosted two open houses, January 25th in Buffalo, and January
26th in Newcastle. The purpose of these informal meetings was to introduce basin residents to the State of
Wyoming river basin planning process, explain activities currently underway in the Bear and Green River
Basins in Southwestern Wyoming, and highlight proposed activities for Northeastern Wyoming.
[Development of river basin plans for the Powder/Tongue and Northeast Wyoming River Basins has
since been approved by the 2000 Wyoming State Legislature. See front page for related
Keen interest in the state's river basin planning process was exhibited with more than 80 people turning
out in Buffalo and more than 50 people attending the Newcastle meeting. Participants listened to
presentations and viewed displays not only by the water planning team, but from other cooperating natural
resource agencies, including the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Wyoming Game & Fish
Department, and the United States Geological Survey. The meetings also afforded the opportunity for
attendees to ask water resource questions of the various agency representatives in attendance.
The next "round" of meetings has been set and will start the process of forming basin advisory groups in
each of the two slated basins. The Northeast Wyoming River Basin (Little Missouri, Belle Fourche,
Cheyenne and Niobrara) Advisory Group formation meeting is set for the Sundance High School
Auditorium, Wednesday, April 26th at 6 pm, while the Powder/Tongue River Basin Advisory Group
formation meeting is set for the Sheridan College Presentation Hall, Thursday, April 27th, also at 6 pm.
Both meetings are open to the public, with individuals interested in participating in one or both of the
advisory groups being encouraged to attend the appropriate meeting for the basin(s) of their choice.