Wyoming State Water Plan, Wyoming Water Development Office
Rafting on Snake River Lake Marie, Snowy Mountains Wyoming Wind River Range picture

Wind/Bighorn River Basin Water Plan
2003 Final Report


As authorized by the Wyoming Water Development Commission in its contract scope of work, this planning document presents current and proposed future uses of water in Wyoming's Wind/Bighorn River Basin. Uses to be inventoried include agricultural, municipal, industrial, environmental, and recreation. Both surface and ground water uses, as well as overall water quality are described. Given current uses, the availability of surface and ground water to meet future requirements is estimated. To lay the groundwork for future water development, a review of the current institutional and legal framework facing such projects is presented. Finally, thoughts are given to guide implementation of the water planning process.

The intent of this summary report is to describe the planning study in sufficient detail for the reader to gain a general understanding of the investigations that were performed and the results of those investigations. For detailed information on a specific topic the reader is directed to the technical memorandum prepared for that topic.

Wind/Bighorn subbasin Map

HTML or PDF (4,237kb) Final Report for the 2003 Wind/Bighorn Basin Plan

HTML or PDF (674kb) This basin plan documents current water uses, surface and ground water availability, and projects future use and/or demand for water, based upon various planning scenarios.

HTML or PDF (838kb) The majority of the appropriated water in the WBHB has been appropriated for the irrigation of land. Therefore, an estimate of water used for irrigation is central in the development of a comprehensive water use inventory for the WBHB. Mapping the irrigated lands within the WBHB is a principal task in developing the water use inventory.

HTML or PDF (1,389kb) The availability of surface water was determined through the construction and use of a spreadsheet simulation model that calculates water availability based on the physical amount of streamflow less historical diversions, compact requirements and minimum flows. The availability of ground water was primarily performed based on a review of existing information throughout the study area.

HTML or PDF (958kb) Water demand is a function of environmental, economic, demographic, cultural and institutional variables. Among these, the first three are primary variables, but all must be considered if realistic projections are to be made. Credible projections also demand good data, both quantitative and qualitative.

HTML or PDF (578kb) The list of opportunities compiled under this task is intended to be used by individuals and organizations that need to develop a water supply to satisfy their specific needs. A long list of future water use opportunities was developed with input from the Basin Advisory Group (BAG), and is included here as Appendix A.

PDF (669kb) Access the 2003 Wind/Bighorn River Basin Executive Summary here

Wind/Bighorn River Basin Water Plan
Spreadsheet Models

There are 48 spreadsheet workbooks, one for each of three hydrologic conditions and twelve distinct areas:

  • Clarks Fork
  • Greybull
  • Little Wind
  • Lower Bighorn
  • Lower Wind
  • Madison
  • Nowood
  • Owl Creek
  • Shoshone
  • Upper Bighorn
  • Upper Wind
  • Yellowstone

For further information including both a user's guide and engineering documentation of the models please refer to the Spreadsheet Model Development and Calibration.

Steps for Downloading the Models

The three workbooks (wet, dry and normal years) for each area are yoked together with a simple menu-driven graphical user interface (GUI), effectively creating four area models. In addition, the spreadsheet models are stored as zipped Microsoft Excel files using WinZip compression software. An evaluation version of WinZip may be downloaded at http://www.winzip.com/download.htm

  • Download the models by clicking on the file name and saving to your local directory. Depending on the browser this may entail only responding to a prompt, or choosing "Save As..." from the browser file menu.
  • Once on the local disk, double click the zipped file to extract the Excel Workbooks. A total of 4 files will be extracted for each zipped file.
  • In Microsoft Excel, open the area Model file. From this graphical user interface the wet, normal, or dry year models may be selected.
  • For further information on the use of the models please refer to the tutorial included in each of the workborks.

Spreadsheet Models
Clarks Fork Model 2585 kb compressed
13757 kb uncompressed
Greybull Model 4273 kb compressed
23087 kb uncompressed
Little Wind Model 2638 kb compressed
13609 kb uncompressed
Lower Bighorn Model 3195 kb compressed
16728 kb uncompressed
Lower Wind Model 4038 kb compressed
22351 kb uncompressed
Madison Model 761 kb compressed
2717 kb uncompressed
Nowood Model 4171 kb compressed
22825 kb uncompressed
Owl Creek Model 2978 kb compressed
15490 kb uncompressed
Shoshone Model 6036 kb compressed
34218 kb uncompressed
Upper Bighorn Model 3348 kb compressed
17739 kb uncompressed
Upper Wind Model 5236 kb compressed
29300 kb uncompressed
Yellowstone Model 1261 kb compressed
5822 kb uncompressed

The memoranda may be viewed in either HTML or PDF. The PDF version requires Adobe Acrobat® Reader. If you do not already have this program on your computer, please visit Adobe's Website to download a free copy.

HTML PDF Technical Memoranda
83 kb 155 kb   Tab  1 - Summary of Wyoming Water Law
52 kb 238 kb   Tab  2 - Summary of Interstate Compacts and Decrees
26 kb 113 kb   Tab  3 - Institutional Considerations
312 kb 802 kb   Tab  4 - Agricultural Water Use and Diversion Requirements
436 kb 2343 kb   Tab  5 - Mapping and Water Rights Data
169 kb 694 kb   Tab  6 - Municipal Uses
3194 kb                  Figure 1 - Municipal Wells above 50 GPM
181 kb 331 kb   Tab  7 - Domestic Uses
3298 kb                  Figure 1 - Domestic Wells
17 kb 139 kb   Tab  8 - Industrial and Mining Uses
175 kb 1212 kb   Tab  9 - Environmental and Recreational Uses
512 kb 252 kb   Tab 10 - Water Use from Storage
16 kb 46 kb   Tab 11 - Wind River Range Glaciers
22 kb 90 kb   Tab 12 - Water Conservation in the Wind/Bighorn Basin
None   Tab 13 - Empty
1738 kb 2377 kb   Tab 14 - Surface Water Hydrology
None 1326 kb                   Appendices A, B, C
3370 kb 2099 kb   Tab 15 - Spreadsheet Model Development and Calibration
None 5993 kb                   Appendices A, B, C, D
113 kb 212 kb   Tab 16 - Available Surface Water Determination
None 1091 kb                   Appendices A, B, C
4447 kb 2043 kb   Tab 17 - Available Groundwater Determination
3019 kb                  Appendix B - Water Well Locations
1735 kb                  Appendix C - Hydrogeologic Data
1343 kb                  Appendix D - Aquifer Sensitivity
1966 kb                  Appendix E - Hydrographs
200 kb 576 kb   Tab 18 - Socioeconomic Factors and Water Demand
124 kb 435 kb   Tab 19 - Agricultural Water Demand and Projections
81 kb 102 kb   Tab 20 - Municipal and Domestic Water Demand and Projections
64 kb 100 kb   Tab 21 - Industrial and Mining Water Demand and Projections
15 kb 100 kb   Tab 22 - Recreational and Environmental Demand and Projections
25 kb 106 kb   Tab 23 - Future Water Use Opportunities: Screening Criteria
48 kb 508 kb   Tab 24 - Future Water Use Opportunities: Project Summaries
18 kb 97 kb   Tab 25 - Opportunities to Enhance and Protect Water Quality
None 251 kb
  Bibliography of Previous Water Use Studies 
Click for listing   Irrigation Diversion Operation and Description