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Water Development Office

Bear River Basin Advisory Group
Meeting Record
Cokeville, Wyoming


Joe Lord introduced himself and began the meeting with introductions of the Basin Advisory Group (BAG) members and audience members in attendance. New name tents were passed out to group members. Joe read through the rules for the meeting and the mission statement that was written on the back of each name tent. The BAG members were then asked to write their names on the front and back of the tents.

Expectations for the Meeting

Joe briefly discussed the topics that were to be covered on the agenda. The informational presentations were moved ahead of the consultant's update.

Planning Team Issues

Biographical Surveys:
Biographical survey forms were given to each BAG member at a previous meeting upon the group's request. These surveys were to be filled out and distributed to the group. The response to this effort was minimal. For this reason the effort will be put on hold unless specific requests are made for the information at a later date.

Programs for local presentations:
The Bear BAG requested information concerning the water planning process to present to local groups. The group decided that a video was the most convenient format for the group to use. Barry Lawrence and Jon Wade will make a video of a future presentation for this purpose. Handouts will also be made available on the water planning process.

Website Development:
The Water Resources Data Systems (WRDS) unit needed information concerning the types of computers that are available to the group. This information will be used to determine the interface and format for the data that is going to go on the web. Those questions and responses are as follows:

How many people have web access? Most of the BAG and half of the audience
How old is your computer? 6 months to 3 yrs.
What is the average monitor size? 14-15 inches.
What is the average speed of connection? 33 kbps. The local provider access is limited to 44 kbps.
Does the Library have an Internet connection? Yes

Informational Presentations

Craig Thomas, Bear Lake Regional Commission, gave a presentation on water quality issues in the Bear River Basin. He has been with the Bear Lake Regional Commission for 24yrs, and serves as the secretary of the Bear River Water Quality Task Force. The Bear Basin sits in portions of three states and this has a big effect on the politics that govern the River. It is also in two different EPA regions, which can sometimes cause problems. The lake itself is in Utah and Idaho. The Basin starts on the north slope of the Uinta mountain range. Within 25 miles of its headwaters it enters Wyoming, then passes through Utah, Wyoming again, and Idaho, before ending in the Great Salt Lake. The river system is 500 miles long, and follows a horseshoe shape.

Further information on this subject can be found on the web at Craig finished with a video on the Bear River System.


Jack Smith, Wyoming DEQ gave a presentation on Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL's) and water quality standards. Jack began his presentation with a video called TMDL's AND WATER QUALITY STANDARDS. The video discussed the authorization of TMDL's by the Clean Water Act, which has an anti- degradation policy. As a result TMDL's were established to keep the quality of the "waters of the United States" from backsliding. Water quality standards are designated to restore the quality of the United States waters, and to provide for plant and fish habitat. Water quality standards are reviewed on a tri annual basis, with 1999 being a review year.

The video also discussed point and nonpoint source pollution. Point sources can be defined as those coming from pipes or ditches (single point of discharge). Nonpoint sources are those that cover a large area, such as agricultural runoff. There are two approaches to pollution control. The first uses a technology-based approach, which is used for municipal and industrial sources. The second is the water quality approach previously mentioned. The state conducts an assessment of its waters and prioritizes them on a water quality basis. Last year an assessment began in the Bear River area, which is not yet completed. TMDL's will only be approved if it will help to reach water quality standards. Since Wyoming is in the assessment phase no TMDL's have been set. The Clean Water Act also requires classification of water bodies. All water bodies in the state have been classified.

Consultant Update

Clarence Kemp of Forsgren Associates presented the project timeline to the group. The first task is the basin water use profile. Demand projections and future water use opportunities will be based on this effort. A discussion of water quality concerns and how they will be addressed in the plan was undertaken.

Agenda Addition

Jeff Fassett, Wyoming State Engineer, concluded the meeting with a discussion on the proposed merger of PacifiCorp and Scottish Power; along with the ramifications this merger might have on Wyoming.

Future Meeting Dates

November 8th Evanston
January 10th Kemmerer

The Water Development Commission staff proposed a joint meeting of the Green and Bear BAG's sometime in the future.

Meeting adjourned at 9 PM.

Handouts Mailed

  1. Craig Thomas' presentation handout
  2. Clarence Kemp's timeline handout

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