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Green River Basin Advisory Group
Meeting Record
Kemmerer, WY
July 16, 2002

River Basin Planner Barry Lawrence welcomed the group and the meeting was called to order at 10:01 a.m. Facilitators Cathy Lujan and Sherri Gregory- Schreiner of Counterpoise were introduced to the group. All attendees introduced themselves, followed by a review of the overall meeting agenda. A sign-in sheet was passed around to record attendance. The next meeting is scheduled November 19 in Green River.

Water Development Commission Report
Barry Lawrence updated the BAG on the status of the plans for the other basins. The BAGs for the Powder/Tongue and Northeast Wyoming Basins will be meeting July 17 in Dayton and July 18 in Lusk with the Wind/Bighorn and the Snake/Salt Basins meeting August 13 in Worland and August 14 in Moran. The Bear River Basin BAG met July 15 in Kemmerer. Barry discussed the status of all basin studies, and schedule for future meetings.

Jodie Pavlica presented status reports on the Viva Naughton enlargement, Green River Supply Canal, and Green River ASR projects.

Water Resources Data System Report
Robin Gray discussed the current drought situation. She indicated that weekly drought e-mail updates are available, and can be requested via The Wyoming climate atlas is being updated and will be available spring 2004. The 2002 Municipal Water Supply Survey has recently been placed on-line. September 1, 2002 is the target date for the State Engineer's Office (SEO) groundwater rights database in queryable format to be online.

Ad Hoc Group Report
Randy Bolgiano presented a report on the April 18 meeting with the Water Development Commission, county commissioners from Lincoln, Sublette, Sweetwater, Uinta and Carbon Counties, and other interested parties. The five counties are contemplating the formation of a joint powers board to sponsor water projects.

Water Resources Investigations of Sweetwater and Carbon Counties (PDF Format - 3,336kb)
Jon Mason, US Geological Survey (USGS), presented an overview of the water resources investigations in the two county study area. He indicated general topics included a description of the study area, streamflow, ground water, water quality and water use. Study area aspects included physiography, climate, and geology; streamflow components included characteristics, such as stream types and flow duration, and both USGS and SEO data sources; water quality and water use components included both surface and groundwater and related data sources; and groundwater components included data sources and physical properties of aquifers.

He continued by stating that surface water quality utilizes current USGS cooperative gaging sites. Field parameters, which are measured, can include discharge, water temperature, turbidity, pH, and fecal coliform bacteria. Measurable laboratory parameters include trace metals and dissolved minerals, nitrate and phosphate. Groundwater quality differs in that there is no current USGS well network. Field parameters measures include well water level, pH, water temperature, turbidity, and alkalinity. Laboratory parameters include radon in addition to those from surface water.

The current timeline proposes compiling existing information and commencing water quality sampling, which continues into 2003, with report completion in 2004.

Proposed Revision of the Salinity Control Forum's NPDES Policy (PDF Format - 420kb)
Bill DiRienzo, Department of Environmental Quality, stated that the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum was formed in 1974 to set basin wide salinity standards and to develop a plan of implementation of said standards. The standards were recommended by the Forum, adopted individually by the basin states, approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, and are reviewed and revised as appropriate every three years.

He reviewed the numeric standards set in 1974 as well as implementation policies for both nonpoint and point source salinity control. The current NPDES policy goal is "no salt return whenever practicable" and Bill assessed the various approaches and waivers for industrial and municipal discharges. Proposed policy changes involve various waivers, including fresh water discharge benchmark values and locations, multiple discharges, salt banking, and once- through cooling water. He indicated public comment is currently being accepted on the proposed policy revisions, and revised policy may be adopted in September 2002 by the Forum.


State Engineer's Office Report
Jade Henderson, Division IV Superintendent, indicated water rights are being regulated from 1864-1898 in the various sub-basins. He also discussed water thefts, and how they are prosecuted.

Chace Tavellli, State Engineer's Office, discussed the agency's change in public water right search policy and related training available during the summer and early fall.

Lower Colorado River Basin Activities (PDF Format - 522kb)
John Shields, Interstate Streams Engineer, addressed several issues, which included:

  • Seven Party Agreement. The State of California needs to sign the Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA) by December 30, 2002 for the Imperial Irrigation District and Coachella Valley Water District to continue receiving interim surplus water. On June 14, 2002, the Water and Power Subcommittee of the House Resources Committee held a field oversight hearing in LaQuinta, California. Testimony was presented by the various water interests, which will be affected by the QSA. There are still some critical issues, which remain to be resolved, including Salton Sea. Interim surplus and shortage criteria have been implemented.

  • 2003 Annual Operating Plan for the Colorado River Reservoir System. The development of said plan is waiting for California to complete all NEPA and ESA requirements. The Colorado River Management Work Group will meet August 5.

  • 1970 Criteria for Coordinated Long-Range Operation of Colorado River Reservoirs. John summarized the process and timeframe of the update, which is done every five years.

  • Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program. Legislation to extend the appropriation and implementation authorization period for Recovery Program capital construction projects to 2008 for program participants is being submitted to U.S. Congressional committees.

  • Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum. The proposed Water Quality Standards for Salinity in the Colorado River System, 2002 Review have been reviewed and approved at a Control Forum meeting held June 4. An upcoming public meeting will be held August 13 at Western Wyoming Community College at 7:00 p.m.

  • Colorado River Delta. Minute No. 306 to the Mexican Water Treaty provides that the International Boundary and Water Commission will study the effect of flows on existing riparian and estuarine ecology. The next meeting of the Ad Hoc Technical Committee on the Colorado River Delta will be August 2 in Las Vegas.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:53 p.m.

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