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Green River Basin Advisory Group
October 12, 2004
Facilitator Sherri Gregory welcomed the group and the meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. 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 for April 5th in Big Piney.
Water Development Commission Report
Barry Lawrence introduced Justin Mulbay, Water Resources Data System, and indicated that Justin would be replacing Debra Cook who had recently moved. Lawrence then updated the BAG on the status of the river basin planning process for the other basins. He discussed the agendas for future meetings, and distributed handouts from the prior meeting. The BAG for the Snake/Salt Basin will be meeting tomorrow, October 13th, in Jackson.
Bridger Valley Joint Powers Board Water Development Issues
Roger Kesterson discussed the water development issues they were facing locally. He described their latest project, completion of a $6.5 million dollar water treatment facility. Concerns resulting from the drought were also addressed. He then went on to discuss the need for additional, closer storage and specifically summarized findings from the WWDC Level II Bridger Valley Reservoir Study. Roger stated that the best site was Jack Hollow, located one mile from the plant. A considerable amount of discussion ensued, including scrutiny of cost estimates detailed in the study.
Flaming Gorge and Fontenelle Reservoir Operations/Issues Update
Ed Vidmar, with the Bureau of Reclamation Office in Provo gave two separate presentations, each one detailing the current operations and issues associated with a specific facility, namely Flaming Gorge and Fontenelle Reservoirs. He discussed inflows, current conditions and projected operations for 2005 for both facilities. The drought was a dominant theme throughout Ed’s presentation. It was noted that Lake Powell was 38% full, or down 129 feet, with 81 feet of reservoir remaining. A considerable amount of discussion followed both presentations, including a significant discussion on Wyoming's 100,000 ac-ft of water in Fontenelle Reservoir, and whether it was "ready to serve" if needed.
Winter Season Outlook
Joe Sullivan, Riverton National Weather Service Office, gave a presentation detailing last season’s conditions and highlighting the winter season forecast outlook. Joe showed continuing drought moisture trends and discussed the reliability of forecasts. He noted that the Green River Basin was probably the worst part of the State over the past three years. He concluded his remarks by discussing El Nino effects and the coming forecast outlook. A brief discussion followed Joe's presentation. Discussion followed.
Upper Green River Joint Powers Board Update
John Zebre explained the amendment that the group had filed with the Secretary of State's Office concerning the board’s composition. He also discussed the three project applications sent into the WWDC for the following projects: Viva Naughton Enlargement/Dempsey Basin, Boulter Lake outlet works rehabilitation, and a Level I reconnaissance study of the mainstem of the Upper Green River. He concluded his remarks by listing the current board members and noted the staggered one, two, and three year terms. Current board members include himself, Stan Cannon, Randy Bolgiano, John Androkopolis, Tom Crank, Stan Cooper and an at-large member. Considerable discussion followed John's remarks, including concerns about enlarging Viva Naughton Reservoir.
Colorado River Issues
Pat Tyrrell and John Shields, Wyoming State Engineer’s Office, gave a presentation that detailed the Lake Powell situation, provided an update on Upper Colorado River Commission activities, and discussed the 7-basin states' technical committee work. Pat indicated that the State Engineer’s Office was developing recommendations and plans to administer Article IV of the Upper Colorado River Basin Compact should the need arise. He then went through the steps that would be required to accomplish such recommendations. Foremost in the process would be the need to gather input from the affected public through meetings that would be held across the Green River Basin. It was noted that this would be a “team approach”, including involvement by Wyoming’s alternate Upper Colorado River Commissioners, and with support from the Water Division IV Superintendent and Interstate Streams Engineer. Pat noted that a facilitator would also be used in the process.
John Shields then discussed the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control program and Endangered Fish Recovery Program, giving updates on both program's activities. He concluded his remarks by discussing public meetings to be held on the Flaming Gorge Draft EIS, and noted that written comments were due by November 15, 2004. Considerable discussion followed Pat and John's presentation.
The meeting adjourned at 1:45 p.m.