News and Information
Water Planning Process History
Historical Planning Documents
Wyoming Water Facts
River Basin Plans
Bear River Basin
Green River Basin
NE River Basin
Platte River Basin
Powder/Tongue River Basin
Snake/Salt River Basin
Wind/Bighorn River Basin
Basin Advisory Groups
Mission and Purpose
GIS Web Mapping
Framework Water Plan
Platte Water Atlas
Water Search Engine
Send Us Your Comments
State Engineer's Office
Water Resources Data System
Water Plan Home Page
Water Development Office
Green River Basin Advisory Group
Kemmerer Town Hall
November 9, 1999
Facilitator Joe Lord welcomed the group and the meeting was opened at 5:00 pm. The
overall meeting agenda was reviewed, followed by an introduction of all attendees.
There were no Planning Team issues on the agenda. A sign-in sheet was passed around
to record attendance.
Pat Tyrrell of States West introduced Mr. Gary Watts of Watts & Associates, who was
present to discuss preliminary population projections. Mr. Watts is a consulting
economist who is on the consulting team for the Green River Basin Water Planning
Mr. Watts' presentation began with a discussion of current population estimates for the
basin in comparison to the estimates given in the earlier Framework Water Plan. Actual
growth in the basin by year 2000 will have been more than the earlier plan had estimated.
Mr. Watts then went on to show four different projections to the year 2030 he has made
to date, including data from:
- State of Wyoming DAI growth estimates;
- Federal Bureau of Census estimates based on tax return address changes;
- Federal Bureau of Census estimates based on job growth; and
- Actual 1960-1990 regional growth rates, extended into the future.
Mr. Watts proposed that the DAI numbers be used as a "low" growth scenario, the
Census projections (which were similar) be used as a "moderate" growth scenario, and
the 1960-1990 rate used as a "high" growth scenario. Mr. Watts noted that the "high"
scenario proposed may actually be too high, in that the base population (+/- 30,000) in
1960 is not the same base population as exists today (+/- 60,000). He indicated that
maybe the absolute growth amount, in terms of number of people, might be a better
"high" scenario estimate than the percentage approach.
Comments and questions posed after Mr. Watts' presentation follow:
An industry representative noted that the "high" scenario might be too high because he is
not aware of any industry expansion plans in the works (such as the expansion that fueled
growth in the 70s and 80s). Mr. Watts noted the comment and said he would be
contacting industries in the basin to discuss future plans.
A questioner wondered whether the projections included consideration for population
movement due to "baby boomers." Mr. Watts said he was unaware of objective data on
this demographic, but to the extent this group would move away from Wyoming as well
as move into the state, the overall effect is likely small.
A questioner asked about the time frame for counting seasonal employees, and whether
they were included in census figures. Mr. Watts said that census numbers typically use
the "permanent" address when counting people, so whether seasonal employees are
included or not depends on if, and where, they claim that address. The overall effect of
the counting of these workers is probably small because some are probably included that
are not residents of Wyoming and vice versa.
A questioner wondered whether, and how, the agricultural community is counted. The
answer was yes, agricultural residents (farmers and ranchers) are included in the rural
One questioner wondered if the projections Mr. Watts was making were made the same
way that a commercial venture, such as Wal-Mart, might make them before deciding to
build in a certain location. Mr. Watts was unsure what data such commercial decisions
were based upon, but suggested state projections were available and very possibly used in
A questioner asked if projections for future power generation needs had been looked into
as a way of forecasting population growth. Mr. Watts said no, but that it was something
he could look into.
One questioner asked whether the 1980-1990 (or 1980-2000) period, specifically, had
been looked at as an actual growth period for future projection because that period would
not be unduly influenced by the industrial growth spurt of the 70s and early 80s. Mr.
Watts said no, but it could be.
The final questioner asked whether Mr. Watts had a feeling for which economic sector
would see the most growth in the study period. Gary said he did not have that
information at hand, but could review the assumptions in the econometric models used
and could have that information, as well as the current makeup (population as a function
of economic or industrial sector) presented at a future BAG meeting.
Mr. Bill Klippert made a
presentation on the operation of Viva Naughton (VN) Reservoir, which is owned and operated
by Naughton Powerplant. Highlights of his presentation follow:
- VN dam is roughly 70 feet high and 3,200 feet in length with a storage
capacity of 45,184 AF. The High Water Line elevation is 7242 feet msl.
- The dam was built in 1960, with subsequent enlargement and the addition of
hydropower capacity. Hydropower generators (2) are capable of supplying 567
and 173 kiloWatts of power. The primary purpose of the reservoir is to provide a
continuous supply of cooling water at 25 cfs to the Naughton Powerplant under a
2-year drought scenario. No agricultural water is specifically included in the
reservoir storage permit.
- Penstock (2) capacities are 740 cfs (54-inch Howell-Bunger valve) and 100
cfs (18-inch Howell-Bunger valve).
- The service spillway uses 2 16-ft wide by 11-ft high slide gates with a
combined capacity of 12,000 cfs. Ultimate dam protection from overtopping is
provided by an earthen fuse plug.
- The inflow to the reservoir is not measured because of the number of
tributaries entering the various arms (in addition to the main stem Hams Fork).
Outflow is measured below the dam. Inflow is calculated based on outflow and
reservoir storage values.
- The size of the powerplant generators at the Naughton plant are:
Unit No. 1: 160 Net MW
Unit No. 2: 210 Net MW
Unit No. 1: 330 Net MW
- Reservoir operations can be simply described as follows:
- Permit allows storage of runoff in excess of prior rights (160 cfs)
- Not constructed for flood storage (no flood pool) but can be operated to
assist is reducing flooding levels below the dam.
- Historic inflows have ranged from 0 to 2,500 cfs; historic outflows from
30 to 2,250 cfs.
- Goal is to fill by June 20, snowpack data are used to help plan storage
Questions and comments:
One questioner asked why it doesn't make sense to enter into an agreement with the State
of Wyoming and other users to enlarge the reservoir and include flood control and
irrigation purposes. Mr. Klippert responded that they have not been approached with a
serious offer (economically speaking) to do that.
A comment was made that one reason there is no agricultural dam in the basin is that one
of the favorable sites had been overfiled by industry before the irrigators could file.
One questioner asked what Naughton had done to benefit the downstream irrigators. Mr.
Klippert responded that they have over-released in non-drought years for agriculture
benefits. However, they have been careful not to establish a predictable pattern of over-
releases. A predictable pattern could result in the irrigators coming to rely on releases
that may or not materialize in years the water is needed for the power plant.
A question was asked about where the power from the hydropower plants was used. Mr.
Klippert responded that it generally offset the power use at the Kemmerer substation.
Another questioner asked Mr. Klippert's reaction to the filing of instream flow water
rights on the Hams Fork below the reservoir. Mr. Klippert believes instream flows are
not tied to storage and therefore the filing is of no effect to the reservoir operation.
In response to other comments, Mr. Klippert indicated that the reservoir has an
Emergency Action Plan on file with the State of Wyoming. This plan contains detailed
information on the inflow design flood magnitude, downstream flooding effects and other
safety-related data. Also, Mr. Klippert said that while the plant was designed for a 30-
year life, the availability of spare parts should keep them running for the foreseeable
Discussion of Issues Meeting Held on November 6, 1999
Mr. Lord walked the group through the results of the issues meeting held in Rock Springs
the previous Saturday. One question was whether tonight's attendees should consider the
presentation, and any follow-up, as adoption of the issues document by consensus. The
answer was yes, although the document would be "cleaned up" grammatically and
organizationally following the meeting. Additional comments on the issues
- Under Water Quality, address the use of wetlands to improve water quality.
- Address the anecdotal comment that declining glaciers in the Wind River Range
may have a measurable impact in water supply in the Green River.
- Note that the issue of access under the heading of Recreation is intended to mean:
"does access (or lack thereof) have an effect on the use or economic value of
water resources in the basin."
These and other comments will be included in the final issues statement and posted on
the Water Planning website.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 pm.