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Bear River Basin Advisory Group
Meeting Record
Lincoln County Library, Kemmerer
October 9, 2000

Introduction: The meeting opened on Monday, October 9, 2000 at 6:15 p.m. at the Lincoln County Library in Kemmerer. Joe Lord reviewed the agenda followed by an introduction of all attendees.

Announcements: Joe Lord, facilitator, invited everyone to attend the Wyoming Water Association meeting November 1-3 at the Radisson Hotel in Casper where Gordon Park will report on the Bear River BAG.

Planning Team Issues: Jon Wade reported on the Green River Basin Final Plan Presentation in January. The Bear River Basin Plan Final Presentation will be presented on November 6 in Evanston. The Powder and Tongue and Northeast BAG meetings are scheduled for every other month to continue issues identification.

Role of Basin Advisory Group: Barry Lawrence, Wyoming Water Development Commission, gave a presentation on the role of the BAG following the completion of the plan. He indicated that the current role of the BAG is to provide key information and insight into future data needs. The structure is in place to continue addressing basin issues.

Future Meeting Dates: The grouped agreed to meet every four months (3 times) beginning in March. The group was concerned with continued public interest and therefore, meeting times will continue in the evenings. It was noted that the information being gathered at the post-plan meetings is a tool for future use and not to be misrepresented as a "plan" in the traditional sense. The following dates, locations, and times were set:

  • Monday, March 19, 2001, Cokeville, Wyoming 6-9 p.m.
  • Monday, July 9, 2001, Kemmerer, Wyoming 6-9 p.m.
  • Monday, November 5, 2001, Evanston, Wyoming 6-9 p.m.

Data Dissemination and the Water Resources Data System (WRDS): Dennis Feeney, University of Wyoming, gave a slide presentation on the role of WRDS. Dennis stated that the role of WRDS is to host water resources information and provide data upon request. Challenges of delivering information: 1) There are few cities in the state of Wyoming, and many rural towns and communities; 2) The availability of Internet throughout state is still limited; and 3) GIS software is becoming available in libraries throughout the state, however, not all of the county libraries have received the software or the training necessary to run it. Also available will be cooperative data postings, alternate data systems, and the Water library. Requestors could include federal agencies, state agencies, counties, and municipalities.

WRDS will provide:

  • Water and climate data
  • Point attribute data and coverages
  • Agency and process index
  • 2000+ inventory pages online

Continuation of Bear River Basin Plan Review: Clarence Kemp, Forsgren Associates, concluded his presentation on the draft basin plan that began at the prior meeting. Mr. Kemp began by discussing the information that has been gathered for Surface Water Quality. Information on total dissolved solids is more complete than any other type of data. He noted that river water quality degrades as one goes down stream. The 303d list of the Clean Water Act requires the states to identify waters that are threatened or impaired and do not meet their beneficial use requirements. Further, the state is required to prioritize those waters for Total Maximum Daily Load determination. The following three creeks are the only ones represented on the 303d list in the Bear River Basin.

  • Bridger Creek deemed significant contributor of sediment and sophates (watershed project completed 1996)
  • Yellow Creek below a wastewater plant (TMDL's now established - no longer on list)
  • Bear River below Cokeville wastewater plant (TMDL's now established - no longer on list)

DEQ stream classifications are mostly Class 2, but some are Class 4, which do not support fish.

Mr. Kemp discussed the instream flow law and the constraints that it is subject to, those are as follows:

  1. Subject to Wyoming water law
  2. Cannot result in more compact water leaving the state
  3. May be appropriated within one mile leaving state
  4. Cannot seek abandonment of existing rights.

The instream flow filing process is a three-agency process including the following agencies: 1) Wyoming Game and Fish; 2) WWDC; and 3) SEO.

Other discussions reviewed from past meetings:

  • Ground Water
  • Documented Wells and Springs
  • Geologic Mapping
  • Well Aquifer Characteristics Report and Yields

There is a tremendous variance in aquifer sensitivity to contamination depending on its location. A survey conducted in North Uinta County (north of Evanston) indicated 400 individual structures with 98% of the wells less than 300 feet deep. The majority of water users in this area reported experiencing water quality problems within the past five (5) years.

Potential Storage Development: Potential storage sites (based on 1958 Banner report) were presented. They included Woodruff Narrows; Twin Creek; Upper Bear East; West Forks and Mill Creek (13 sites); Yellow Creek (2 sites); and Smith's Fork (3 sites). Mr. Kemp asked for the groups input on future storage. The group thought that interest would be low but that the information should be available when it is needed in the future.

Break 7:30 - 7:45 p.m.

Summation: Geographic Information System (GIS) Data themes will be linked based on common data. GIS will be used as a tool to make future water use project decisions.

Meeting adjourned 8:15 p.m.

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