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Water Development Office

Green River Basin Advisory Group
Meeting Record
Lyman Town Hall Courtroom
October 12, 1999


Joe Lord, facilitator, began the meeting with introductions of the audience that included members of the Basin Advisory Group, Water Development Commission staff, State Engineer's Office representatives, States West Water Resources representatives, UW and WRDS personnel, and interested members of the community.

Mr. Lord then handed out the agendas and explained that this meeting will be more of an "absorption" meeting instead of an interactive meeting, because of the number of scheduled presentations to be made.

De-earmarking Letter Update - Joe Lord

The legislative report still recommends the current proposal to de-earmark funds currently allocated to the water development program. The Green River Basin Advisory Group's (BAG's) letter was distributed to the legislature with the report of the Joint Legislative Committee.

A statement was made that it would be more effective if each of the BAG members contacted their legislators individually.

Planning Team

Special Issues Identification Meeting

A Special Meeting will be held November 6, 1999 from 9:00 AM - 4: 00 PM at the White Mountain Library in Rock Springs. This meeting will be to work on issues identification only and will be recorded by Mr. Lord. Lunch will be provided. The goal for this meeting is to have issues fully identified. An outline of potential issues information will be sent out prior to the meeting. Members who cannot attend this meeting and have comments on the issues are urged to send them to WWDC by November 5th. Results of the special meeting will be presented for discussion at the next BAG meeting.

Future Meetings

The next BAG meeting is scheduled for November 9th at 5:00 PM in Kemmerer (Location pending).

--December 14th meeting is cancelled.

--January 11th at 1:00 PM in Green River. (The early start time allows easier travel due to darkness and possible inclement weather.)

--February 15th in Farson (no time or location set yet).


Green River Basin Projects - John Jackson

On going projects in the Basin.

  1. The biggest project currently underway is sponsored by Rock Springs/Green River/Sweetwater county/Joint Power Board.
  2. Fayette Irrigation District project possibly will go to level III.
  3. Little Snake River small storage project.
  4. The Town of Baggs is developing a groundwater source.
  5. High Savery Reservoir.

Two new applications.

  1. Granger.
  2. Opal/Oakley.

A question was asked about the current projects' status if de-earmarking takes place. Mr. Jackson stated that the Water Development Commission would know after they meet with the legislature. Mr. Jackson implied current projects and/or contracts (with appropriations) are probably safe.

States West Water Resources: Consultant Update - Pat Tyrrell

This presentation reviewed the Wyoming State Water Plan - Green River Basin Plan's Scope of Work.

  • A question was asked if the river basin plan would consider water availability in the case where a subdivision occupies previously irrigated and water righted land.

  • A second question was asked of how detailed the long list and short list of water use opportunities will be. (Mr. Tyrrell indicated this is an area where BAG involvement will be important.)

  • A third question was asked if the data developed and utilized by the study will be available and if there will there be statistical packages on the web site to manipulate that data.

  • All these questions were referred to the consultant for consideration in the preparation of the planning document.

Local Presentations-Lower Green River Basin

  • Bridger Valley Conservation District - Ken Fackrell

    Bridger Valley Conservation District includes 6000 people and 130,000 acres. In 1958-1960, the District began work on getting a better water supply. The District contracted in 1964 with USBR for Meeks Cabin Dam (approximately 30,000 acre feet), which was finished in 1971, and China Meadows Dam which was not built. State Line Dam replaced China Meadows Dam and was finished around 1981 (10,800 acre-feet) and included municipal water for Mountain View and Lyman. Leaks in Meeks Cabin Dam were repaired in 1995 by grouting. The District in cooperation with the USBR, operates these dams. These projects have increased the productivity of the basin greatly.

  • Wyoming State Engineer's Office - John Yarbrough

    Mr. Yarbrough gave a brief presentation on regulation of the Smiths Fork, Hams Fork, Henry's Fork, and Blacks Fork Rivers.

    • The Smith's Fork, with approximately 280 cfs of rights, typically flows 30-40 cfs (without storage) by mid July. Without State Line Dam, rights back to 1882-1885 would be regulated in a typical year.

    • The Hams Fork has 150-180 cfs in rights which rely heavily on releases from Viva Naughton Reservoir, which is operated by a power utility that allows and cooperates with the irrigation uses.

    • The Henry's Fork is unique in that storage for irrigation (with Wyoming permits) is located entirely in Utah.

    • The Blacks Fork is one of the easiest systems in the state to operate, owing to Meeks Cabin Reservoir, which provides late season water to virtually all irrigators served below it.

Informational Presentation

  • The California 4.4 Plan - John Shields gave this presentation for Jeff Fassett.

    Issues to be considered in the Green River Basin plan: Groundwater storage of excess compact water, or transbasin diversion within WY, to preserve Green River Basin water for in-state use.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 PM.

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