River Basin Planning Discussions from the WWA Conference
The Wyoming Water [Development] Association held its Annual Meeting in
Casper at the Radisson Hotel on October 23rd -24th and used the opportunity to focus on the
State of Wyoming’s current river basin planning process. Entitled “Wyoming Water
2001: Wyoming’s Water Challenges and Opportunities”, the conference featured
discussions on the hot-button issues facing each of Wyoming’s river basins as
presented by respective basin advisory group members, a roundtable discussion on
“Wyoming’s River Basins – Planning for the Future” as led by the basin advisory group
facilitators, a presentation on “Wyoming’s River Basin Planning Process, Lessons
Learned: An Update and Future Directions” as given by Jon Wade, WWDC River
Basin Planning Administrator, and a keynote address, “Wyoming’s Water Resources,
Visions for the Future" as delivered by Rick Tempest, Speaker of the Wyoming House of
Representatives, and Wyoming State Legislator from Casper.
Basin participants included John Zebre, Green River Basin Advisory Group member; John
Teichert, Bear River Basin Advisory Group Member; Nels Lofgren, Powder/Tongue River
Basin Advisory Group member, Jim Kruse, Northeast Basin Advisory Group member; Reed
Gardner, Snake/Salt Basin Advisory Group member; Kathy Buchner, Snake/Salt Basin
Advisory Group member; Gary Collins, Wind/Bighorn River Basin Advisory Group member;
and Klodette Stroh, Wind/Bighorn River Basin Advisory Group member. Since the
North Platte River basin currently does not have a basin advisory group, Tom Davidson,
from the Wyoming Attorney General's Office, spoke on North Platte River basin issues.
More than 100 participants listened to the concerns and issues brought up by residents
of Wyoming’s seven major river basins. Attendees included many federal and state
resource managers and afforded individuals the opportunity to brainstorm as to
“What is right with the State’s current planning effort?”, “What is wrong with the
State’s current planning effort?”, and “How can the state help?”. Information collected
at the meeting will assist the planning team in making the state’s current river basin
planning process even better. Also, the Wyoming Water Association has indicated that
it will continue to promote and support these activities as it sees planning as being
integral to the future of the state’s water resources. We agree!
Progress Reports from the Snake/Salt and Wind/Bighorn Basins
Progress has been steady since the beginning of the planning process in the Wind/Bighorn
(WB) and Snake/Salt (SS) basins. The Basin Advisory Groups (BAG) have accomplished much,
including complete their mission statements and issues identification work.
Sunrise Engineering has been hired develop the basin plan for the SS basin and has begun
acquiring data for the basin water use profile. Water rights data has been gathered and has been
tied to irrigated polygons throughout the basin. Data is also being gathered that will be
used to develop demand projections.
BRS Engineering was hired to develop the WB basin plan and activities are underway similar
to those being undertaken by the SS basin. The BRS team has nearly completed the
initial phase of irrigated lands mapping and water rights attribution has begun.
Economic Data is also being gathered to be used for demand projection work. For
further information on any of the river basin plans please call (307) 777-7626
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Progress Report from the Northeast and Powder-Tongue River Basins
HKM Engineering is in the final stages of preparing the Powder/Tongue and the
Northeast (Little Missouri, Belle Fourche, Cheyenne, and Niobrara River Basins) River
Basin Plans. The water rights attribution effort is complete for the Powder/Tongue (PT)
and Northeast (NE) basins. Interviews have been conducted with industrial and
recreational water users throughout the NE and PT basins to determine water usage
by these sectors, and the industrial water use inventory and technical memorandum
are in draft form. Technical memoranda are also nearing completion on population projections
for the two basins.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data themes have been developed for the various
use types and will be available in Decimal Degree and UTM formats. GIS coverages
will be available in project and e00 file formats.
Modeling work is in draft form in the PT and NE River Basins, and utilizes a study
period beginning in 1970 and continuing through 1999. Model schematics have been
prepared for the both basins. The agricultural water use memoranda are now being
prepared, to be followed by the spreadsheet model development and calibration, and
available surface water determination memoranda. HKM is also currently preparing the
available groundwater determination memoranda.
HKM has developed the screening criteria and the long list and short list of future water
use opportunities with input provided by BAGs. They are also preparing the technical
memoranda on legal and institutional constraints. HKM is using the water availability
models to define existing shortages and to determine the amount of water
available for future use, subject to compact constraints.
The draft reports are due by the end of the year, and the final reports should be available
by late winter.
For further information on this or any river basin plan the River Basin Planning Staff can
be reached at email@example.com
or visit our website at http://waterplan.state.wy.us
Water Planning Calendar
December 10, 2001 - Snake/Salt Basin Advisory Group Meeting - Town Hall,
Alpine, WY, 6 p.m. Topics: Wyoming State Climatoligist's Office Program; USGS
Monitoring and Data Collection; Wyoming Game & Fish: Fisheries Management in the
December 11, 2001 - Wind/Bighorn Basin Advisory Group Meeting -
Holiday Inn, Thermopolis, WY, 3 p.m. Topics: Wyoming State Climatologist's Office
Program; USGS Monitoring and Data Collection; Socioeconomic Issues in the
December 12, 2001 - Powder/Tongue Basin Advisory Group Meeting - Sheridan,
WY, 6 p.m. Topics: Wyoming State Climatologist's Office Program; Draft Final Results of the
Powder/Tongue Basin Planning Process.
December 13, 2001 - Northeast Basin Advisory Group Meeting - Moorcroft, WY,
1 p.m. Topics: Wyoming State Climatologist's Office Program; Draft Final Results of the
Northeast Basin Planning Process.
January 9, 2002 - Wyoming Water Development Commission Meeting - Laramie
County Community College, Center for Conferences & Institutes, Centennial Room 130,
Cheyenne, WY, 8:30 a.m. Topics: 2002 Proposed Water Development Program.
January 10, 2002 - Legislative Select Water Committee Meeting - TBA,
Cheyenne, WY, 8:30 a.m. Topics: 2002 Proposed Water Development Program.
January 16, 2002 - Powder/Tongue Basin Advisory Group Meeting - Sheridan,
WY, 6 p.m. Topics: Final Powder/Tongue Basin Plan Presentation.
January 17, 2002 - Northeast Basin Advisory Group Meeting - Upton, WY
1 p.m. Topics: Final Northeast Basin Plan Presentation.
February 12, 2002 - Wind/Bighorn Basin Advisory Group Meeting -
Dubois, WY, 3 p.m. Topics: Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL); TBA.
February 13, 2002 - Snake/Salt Basin Advisory Group Meeting -
Afton, WY, 6 p.m. Topics: Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL); TBA.
March 5, 2002 - Wyoming Water Forum Meeting - State Engineer's
Office Conference Room, Herschler Building, 4th Floor East, Cheyenne, WY,
10 a.m. Topics: "The Water Resources Data System and the Wyoming State
News from Water Resources Data System...
From the State Climatologist
As of mid-November 2001, the drought that has gripped most of the state for the past
20 months continues. The weather pattern this time last year resulted in about half the
normal mountain snow pack for the winter. Unfortunately this fall's weather pattern appears
to be identical to last fall's. If this scenario holds, this next summer will be considerably
harder on farmers and ranchers than last. Long-range weather forecasters use
a technique of comparing major regional weather patterns to precipitation totals, sometimes
several thousands of miles down wind. As the climate record becomes longer in
duration, statistical methods help refine the accuracy of these forecasts. Because of the
complexity of the atmosphere and its interaction with land, oceans, and terrain, no forecast
is 100 percent certain, especially 3 to 9 months in advance. So while all indicators point
towards a severe drought, there is a possibility that the pattern will shift and welcomed rains
and snows will return in abundance.
From the WRDS Coordinator
In an effort to spread the news about the latest water and climate topics of interest, the Water
Resources Data System (WRDS) website http://www.wrds.uwyo.edu has established a listserv called RAPIDS
(Remote Access to People, Information and Data Sites). To subscribe for free: email to
firstname.lastname@example.org and in
the Body of the message, type: subscribe rapids and then to send an email to the group,
Wyoming's Drought Plan
Jan Curtis, a member of the Governor's Drought Task Force has been tasked to update the
State's current drought plan by incorporating specific triggers that would help determine
when a drought begins or ends and to what degree the severity of a drought is.
The nature of droughts is highly complex, effecting different segments of the society
depending on the duration, geographical extent, and the type of land effected. The
findings will be presented on 19 March 2002 in Cheyenneat the Drought Task Force
The Water Conservation Report...
There are a number of local, state and federal agencies and organizations in Wyoming
that have resident expertise to assist with the development and delivery of water conservation
information, programs and projects. They also offer opportunities to connect together to leverage
assistance in technical support and with funding programs.
It is important to maintain and enhance coordination among and between these various
agencies and organizations in order to bring forward the wide range of programs that
are available. One effort that attempts to accomplish this objective is the
Water Management and Conservation Assistance Programs Directory.
This publication, now in second edition, is a compilation of local, state and federal programs. It is a
description of water related programs in an introductory format complete with contact name, telephone
number and electronic address where available. This directory is provided as an opportunity
to review a menu of assistance information and is available in hard copy or via electronic format.
The Water Resources Data System at the University of Wyoming maintains the electronic form of
the Directory. To connect to this site and review this information, click on the Water Management
and Conservation Assistance Programs Directory entry at the Wyoming Water Development Commission
web site http://wwdc.state.wy.us
An example page from the directory off of the website is shown below.