Pioneer Canal and Laramie River by Tony Bergantino
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The Wyoming Water Development Program was established in 1975 to promote the optimal development of the state's human, industrial, mineral, agricultural, water and recreational resources. In 1979 the Wyoming Water Development Commission was established to implement the water development program and conduct water and related resources planning. Over the years the Office structure has changed to better fulfill this mission, and is now made up of a Planning Division and a Construction Division. The Planning Division consists of three sections: Project Planning, River Basin Planning, and Dam & Reservoir Planning. The Planning Division includes 14 staff members: 5 in Project Planning, 5 in River Basin Planning, and 4 in Dam & Reservoir Planning.

Water development projects are defined with three levels. Project planning is performed in Levels I and II, and project construction is performed in Level III. Level I studies carry out necessary reconnaissance work, while Level II studies determine a project's feasibility. Levels I and II are 100% grant funded. Projects originate with sponsoring public entities and come to the Agency through applications. Applications for Level I and II projects must be received by March 1st and Level III construction projects by September 1st.

The Wyoming Water Development Program receives funding from severance tax distributions. Water Development Account I is utilized for new development projects. Water Development Account II is used to fund the rehabilitation of water projects that have been in existence for 15 years or longer. Water Development Account III is used to fund dam and reservoir projects. The legislature has the opportunity to authorize additional funding for water development from the Budget Reserve Account.

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