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Bear River Basin Advisory Group
Meeting Record
Cokeville High School Library, Cokeville
September 11, 2000

Introduction - The meeting opened on Monday, September 11, 2000, at 6:10 p.m. at the Cokeville High School Library in Cokeville, Wyoming. Copies of the agenda were handed out to the group. The attendance sign-in list was also circulated at this time.

Planning Team Issues - Jon Wade reported on the status of the other three BAGs in the state. The Green River BAG will be reviewing draft basin plan products at their meeting on September 12th. The Northeast and Powder-Tongue basins are proceeding with their issues identification process. These later BAG's have benefited from the work completed by the Bear and Green River Basin Advisory Groups.

Future Meetings & Locations - Mr. Wade conducted a discussion relative to future meeting dates. Presentation of the final basin plan will be at the meeting on November 6th in Evanston. Due to the vast amount of information to be presented, the planning team felt that there should be another meeting between now and the final meeting. This meeting will be held on October 9th in Kemmerer at 6pm.

Consultant Draft Plan Presentation - Clarence Kemp of Forsgren Associates was introduced. Mr. Kemp provided a flow chart of activities that have been undertaken during the planning process. He summarized the process and conclusions to date. Mr. Kemp's presentation focused on the following items:

Data Acquisition and Documentation / Water Use Profiling
1. Agricultural Use
- Key Diversion Identification and Documentation
- Diversion Records
- Irrigated Lands Mapping
- Efficiencies & Return Flow Patterns
- Crop Consumptive Use Analysis
- Livestock Use
2. Environmental Use (Generally Non-consumptive)
- Instream Flow Filings
- Minimum Reservoir Releases
- Minimum Conservation Pools
- Wetlands
- Bear Valley Wildlife Refuge
3. Industrial Use
- BP Amoco
- Chevron
4. Recreational Use (Generally Non-consumptive)
- Boating
- Fishing
- Water Fowl Hunting
- Swimming
- Destination Activities
5. Municipal Use
- Evanston
- Cokeville
6. Domestic Use
Surface Water Modeling
1. Period Selection
2. Model Development
3. Calibration
4. Available Surface Water Availability

Mr. Kemp reviewed the approach to the planning effort and stated that the "product is a tool" to be used in future decisions relative to the Bear River Basin. He indicated that the final report will be relatively brief and supported by more detailed technical memorandums addressing the key components of the plan. It is intended to be useful to a wide range of users.

Mr. Kemp ended his part of the discussion by summarizing the amount of water available within the basin. He discussed water storage issues and the impacts that storage have on the basin in wet, dry, and normal years. He also asked for input from the BAG relative to storage within the basin.

Break from 7:20 to 7:35

Future Projections and Future Water Use Opportunities - Ed Harvey of BBC, the economic research firm preparing the water demand forecast for the Bear River Basin Plan, presented his findings to date. Mr. Harvey discussed BBC's economic and demographic forecasts through the year 2030. BBC performed an economic base analysis, broke the data down into sectors, and looked at specific water use factors to determine future needs. Each sector was analyzed, and projections made for a high and low forecast. The sectors were agriculture, energy, tourism, and manufacturing / commercial.

Planning scenerios for the "High Case" and "Low Case" by sector were summarized as follows:

High Case
Agriculture: Growth in livestock, small increase in acreage, little or no change in number of farms or farm workers.
Energy: Enhanced recovery and high prices support production similar to current.
Tourism: Substantial growth due to increased traffic and Evanston visibility.
Manufacturing/Commercial: Major growth engine for region.

Low Case
Agriculture: Decline in livestock and acreage due to grazing limitations, refuge implementation.
Energy: Sector essentially gone by 2030.
Tourism: Substantial growth, but less than High Case.
Manufacturing/Commercial: Growth approximately offsets energy losses.

Based on the above assumptions, specific water demands were generated to the year 2030. These additional demands were then compared against available water supply for normal and dry years. These data indicate that shortages would be expected under even moderate growth assumptions (particularly during the summer months in both the Upper and Central Divisions of the Bear River Basin. The BAG concurred with the projected shortages.

The available water supply analysis reasonably matched the subjective experience of basin water users. The BAG felt that this quantitative understanding would be very useful in understanding water limitations, future opportunities and concerns, and in determining their solutions. The consensus of the BAG was also that the construction of new large storage projects in the basin was not a likely solution to water supply problems at this time based on economic, environmental, and permitting concerns.

Mr. Kemp ended the meeting with a discussion on the process for review of technical memos by basin advisory group members. A list of technical memos submitted to the state and available for review was read out loud. This list will be sent to BAG members prior to the next meeting.

Meeting adjourned - 9:00 p.m.


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