Updates From the NE and PT Basins
The Northeast and Powder / Tongue River Basin Plans are moving along at an excellent
pace. Both groups are in the middle of issues identification. These basin issues help
construct a path for the consultants to follow and will be addressed in the plan. One
consulting team was awarded the contract to complete both of the basin plans. The contract
is structured very similar for both basins without limiting the flexibility needed to
address issues that differ from one basin to the next. Because of the contract structure
and the convenience of a single contractor, the tasks similar to each plan are being
worked on simultaneously providing efficiency and consistency. The consultant is
represented at each of the bimonthly BAG meetings, as well as one of the monthly
meetings held with the Wyoming Water Development Commission's (WWDC) River Basin Planning Team.
These meetings keep both the consultants and WWDC personnel aware of specific basin
issues, as well as providing for constant communication between the public, the consultant,
and the WWDC.
Since publication of the last newsletter, the consultants have begun mapping irrigated
lands within the plan areas. The Tongue River and Powder River basins are now complete, and the Northeast
Wyoming River basins are roughly 40 percent complete. Digitizing of the irrigated
lands in the Tongue River and Powder River basins is roughly 75 percent complete.
A compilation of the diversion records for the ditches with headgate capacities
greater than or equal to 10 cfs has started, and the consultant has began coordination with
The State Engineer's Office (SEO) Division 3 personnel to gather information necessary
for the development of ditch operation memorandums. The SEO has provided the consultants
with surfacewater and groundwater data retrieved from the SEO database. This
information will help with attributing irrigated polygons, locating wells and headgates,
and this data will be a valuable reference for proofing the consultants' work. All of the
aforementioned tasks are being worked on currently.
News From WRDS
WRDS Revamps Water Library Web Site
The Water Resources Data System has a new website for its Water Library. You can
conduct an online search in the Water Bibliography, view Water Talk videos, or visit the
Picture Gallery. You will find the Water Library website at the following URL:
Statewide Data Inventory Gets a Second Look
The Water Resources Data System and the Wyoming Water Development Commission
are committed to maintaining the Statewide Data Inventory and insuring that it
remains current. Under the direction of the Wyoming Water Development Commission,
the Wyoming Water Resources Center completed a statewide inventory of water
resources data. The inventory was used in the statewide water planning feasibility
process to identify and evaluate available resources and estimate costs. The Statewide
Data Inventory allows water resource professionals and the general public to access
primary data descriptions under specific themes in Wyoming river basins.
You can review the Statewide Data Inventory online at
http://waterplan.state.wy.us/sdi/sdi.html If you know of any dataset themes that you
think would be appropriate for posting to the Inventory, please contact Robin Gray,
Water Resources Data System, (307) 766-6651.
Progress on the Water Plan Web Site
WRDS will maintain all of the Water Plan products on their server. These products
will be made accessible through the Internet in a variety of formats as HTML documents and
downloadable in PDF. The products will include:
In addition to the products, the website contains materials generated
during the entire water planning process, including briefing books, meeting agenda,
meeting records, press releases, and newsletters. The primary goal of the online
briefing book is to place all information generated for and from Basin Advisory
Group meetings onto the website. Placing the agendas, meeting records, press releases,
and newsletters, in a timely manner onto the website is an ongoing process.
- Water use inventories and maps
- Water flow data
- Demand Projections
- Future Water Use Opportunities
The ultimate goal of this project is to create a website that meets the following
- User friendly
- Contains information pertinent to water users in Wyoming
- Has Reliable data with complete metadata
This requires working with the Water Development Commission, State Engineer's Office,
and the planning consultants. To date, the homepage and most of the structure has
been completed. WRDS is looking forward to serving the first plans for the Green River
Basin and the Bear River Basin as soon as possible.
Open Houses to be Held in the Wind-Bighorn and Snake-Salt River Basins
The original schedule outlined by the Water Development Commission for the
statewide water planning process dictates that river basin plans should be completed
for the entire state within five years. To maintain that schedule the Water Development
Commission has submitted a request to the 2001 Legislature for authorization of
the next two river basin plans. That request is for a total of $1,550,000 for consultant
services needed to complete the Snake and Salt River Plan as one project, and the Wind and
Bighorn River Basin plan as the second project. If authorized by the legislature, the
consultants selected to prepare these plans should be under contract by July.
Concurrent with this request to the legislature, the WWDC will hold several
public meetings in the project areas to introduce the statewide water planning process,
and to begin formation of Basin Advisory Groups (BAGs). The first meetings will be in
an open house format, and will be held in Thermopolis on January 29 th at the Hot
Springs Historical Museum from 6-9 p.m., and in Alpine on January 30 th at the Civic
Center from 6-9 p.m. Displays and presentations are planned from each of the
planning team agencies (Water Development Commission, State Engineer's Office,
and Water Resources Data System). Other resource management agencies will
also be in attendance to explain their respective programs and answer questions.
Over the next few months following the open houses, BAGs will be formed, and
then these groups will begin the task of identifying the water issues important to each of
the basins. Meetings will occur every two months, with meeting locations rotating
around the basin. Persons interested in the water resources of either of these two
basins basin are encouraged to attend and participate in this important process.
Water Development Commission Meets with the Select Water Committee in Cheyenne
The Wyoming Water Development Commission met on December 11, 2000 to give
final approval to the project recommendations that were tentatively made in November.
The project recommendations were presented in the form of draft legislation. The
WWDC approved two new Level I New Development projects and increased funding
for one existing project, four new Level I Rehabilitation projects, three new Level
II New Development projects and increased funding for two existing projects and five new
I Rehabilitation projects. The total funding recommended for Level I and
Level II evaluations is $1,130,000 from Water Development Account 1 and
$2,635,000 from Water Development Account 2.
The WWDC approved recommendations for funding for two new Level III New Development
Projects and increased funding for three existing Level III projects. The
WWDC also recommended funding for thirteen new Level III Rehabilitation projects
and increased funding for two existing Level III projects. The total funding recommended
for Level III construction is $4,488,000 from Water Development Account
1 and $3,405,000 from Water Development Account 2.
The draft legislation was presented to the Select Water Committee on December 12.
The Select Committee approved the draft legislation and agreed to sponsor it. The
two proposed bills now await introduction and consideration by the entire Legislature
during the 2001 Session.
Water Planning Calendar
January 9, 2001 - Green River Basin Advisory Group Meeting - White Mountain Library,
Rock Springs, 1 pm. Topic: Final Green River Plan Presentation
January 29, 2001 - Wind/Bighorn River Basin Open House - Hot Springs County
Historical Museum, Thermopolis, 6-9 pm. Topics: Introduction to river basin planning;
proposed planning process for the Wind/Bighorn Basin; presentations and displays
by other resource agencies.
January 30, 2001 - Snake/Salt River Basin Open House - Alpine Civic Center,
Alpine, 6-9 pm. Topics: Introduction to river basin planning; proposed planning
process for the Snake/Salt Basin; presentations and displays by other resource agencies.
February 7, 2001 - Powder/Tongue Basin Advisory Group Meeting - Big Red Barn,
Ucross Foundation, Ucross, 6 pm. Topics: Water rights attribution; issues identification
February 8, 2001 - Northeast Basin Advisory Group Meeting - TBA, Moorcroft, 6 pm.
Topics: Water rights attribution; issues identification.
March 19, 2001 - Bear River Basin Advisory Group Meeting - Cokeville Town Hall,
Cokeville, 6 pm. Topics: TBA.
March 20, 2001 - Green River Basin Advisory Group Meeting - Sublette County Library,
Pinedale, 10 am. Topics: TBA.
April 11, 2001 - Powder/Tongue Basin Advisory Group Meeting - TBA, Buffalo, 6pm.
April 12, 2001 - Northeast Basin Advisory Group Meeting - TBA, Sundance, 6 pm.
May 1, 2001 - "Water Planning Round Table", Wyoming State Engineer's Office Water
Forum Meeting, Hathaway Auditorium, 10 am. Topics: Water planning activities and coordination
among Wyoming State and federal agencies.
June 13, 2001 - Powder/Tongue Basin Advisory Group Meeting - TBA, Dayton, 6 pm.
June 14, 2001 - Northeast Basin Advisory Group Meeting - TBA, Lusk, 6 pm.
July 9, 2001 - Bear River Basin Advisory Group Meeting - TBA, Kemmerer, 6 pm.