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Bear River Basin Advisory Group
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
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 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
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
- 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?
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
www.bearriverrcd.org 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
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.
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.
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.
- Craig Thomas' presentation handout
Clarence Kemp's timeline handout