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

Green River Basin Advisory Group Meeting
Meeting Record
Kemmerer, WY - Council Chambers, City Hall
November 8, 2005 - 10:00 a.m.


Facilitator Jodee Pring, State Engineer.s Office, 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. A list of attendees can be found at the end of these minutes. The next meeting is scheduled for March 28, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. in Green River.

Water Development Commission Report

Vicki Beckman, WY Water Development Office, went over with the group the schedule for the next six Basin Advisory Group (BAG) meetings. Last night, the Bear River BAG was held in Evanston and tomorrow night we will be meeting with the Snake/Salt River BAG in Jackson. In two weeks we will meet with the Wind/Bighorn BAG in Cody, the Powder/Tongue BAG in Dayton, the Northeast BAG in Sundance and the Platte River BAG in Torrington. Please visit the water planning website at http://waterplan.state.wy.us for agendas, meeting locations and meeting records.

Eric Niemi - Green River Basin Water Value Analysis

Ernie Niemi gave a powerpoint presentation entitled, .Economic Value of Water in the Green River Basin.. Mr. Niemi.s firm, ECONorthwest, was chosen as the consultant for this Level I study. Mr. Niemi asked the group for any information, input, and anecdotes that they could provide. He also mentioned that a symposium will be held to discuss the findings of the study. He requested thoughts or ideas on the format of the meeting from the group.

Upper Green JPB Update

John Zebre gave a brief update on the Board.s continuing efforts to persuade the Army Corps of Engineers to allow permitting activities for the Green River basin to be done from the Sacramento District office instead of the Omaha District office. Mr. Zebre also discussed the fact that they would like to move towards having more groundwater studies done in the basin. The first step would be to identify the resources and the data and determine what is missing and how to obtain that missing data. The next step would be to move to a GIS system where layers could be added as they are completed. Mr. Zebre also mentioned some of the projects that the JPB has sponsored and asked Jodie Pavlica to brief the group on the projects that are in process.

Coalbed Methane in Southwest Wyoming

Bj Kristiansen, who is the coordinator for the Coalbed Methane Coordination Coalition, gave a powerpoint presentation on what is occurring with coalbed methane (CBM) in southwestern Wyoming. A copy of his powerpoint presentation can be found here. Mr. Kristiansen stated that the cumulative CBM production in Wyoming is at 1.7 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and the non-Powder River Basin CBM production in Wyoming is at 4 million cubic feet (mcf). The differences in production come in the handling of the water. In southwest Wyoming the water must be totally contained or re-injected. The wells are also deeper, averaging between 1800 to 4000 feet deep. The coals in southwest Wyoming are not continuous coals, but have a greater capacity for gas. Mr. Kristiansen stated that between conventional oil and gas and CBM, the expectancy of southwest Wyoming production is 30 to 50 years. More information on CBM can be found at the Coalition.s website: www.cbmcc.vcn.com.

State Framework Discussion

Jodie Pavlica, project manager for the Framework Water Plan, gave a powerpoint presentation highlighting where we have been with water planning and what we can look forward to in the Framework Water Plan. A copy of that presentation can be found here.

Ms. Pavlica spoke about how the Basin Advisory Group (BAG) process would be just a bit different during the course of the Framework Water Plan project than what the BAG is accustomed to. One of the things that will be different is that each of the seven basins will choose a BAG representative and an alternate to represent their basin. A handout entitled, .State Framework Water Plan BAG Representative Criteria. was handed out to the group. A copy of that handout can be found here. Ms. Pavlica went through the list of criteria and explained that one of the responsibilities of the representative will be to attend the 5%, 50% and 90% progress review meetings that will be held during the course of this project. The representative will be responsible for delivering information between their BAG and the Framework consultants.

The meeting attendees were then asked to choose two people, a representative and an alternate, to be their spokesperson. After much discussion, the group decided that Ben Bracken would be their representative and Randy Bolgiano would be their alternate.

Jodee Pring then facilitated a discussion with the group concerning their specific basin issues. A spreadsheet was handed out and also projected on the screen for ease of discussion. Information on the spreadsheet was taken from the list of issues that the BAG developed when their basin plan was being written. The purpose of the list is to give the consultants an idea of the concerns and challenges each of the basins are facing. The BAG was asked to review the list and make any changes, additions, deletions, etc. to it. Ms. Pring explained that the spreadsheet is dynamic and will be discussed at all meetings during the course of the Framework Water plan project. Therefore, BAG members can take the list, review it, and tailor it how they see fit.

Understanding that each of the issues on the spreadsheet are important, Ms. Pring then explained to the group that she would like them to discuss and develop a list of their top five most pressing issues. The representative and/or the alternate will then take this list and present it at the 5% Framework Water Plan project meeting to be held sometime in early March. The goal of developing a list of the top 5 most pressing issues is that it will help each of the basins understand the challenges of the other basins and facilitate a discussion among the group and the consultants on what issues Wyoming as a whole is facing.

After much discussion, the attendees developed their top five list. A copy of the entire spreadsheet can be found here: http://www.greenwoodmap.com/framework/msdocs/GreenRiverBAGissues.html

The meeting adjourned at 3:45 p.m.

List of Attendees

Name Organization City
John Andrikopoulos Daniel, WY
Clay Baird Uinta Engineering & Surveying Inc. Rock Springs, WY
Vicki Beckman WY Water Development Office Cheyenne, WY
Randy Bolgiano Boulder, WY
Ben Bracken GR/RS Joint Powers Water Board Green River, WY
Keith Clarey WY State Geological Survey Laramie, WY
Robert Crittenden Naughton Power Plant Kemmerer, WY
Mary Crosby Lincoln Uinta Assoc. of Govts. Kemmerer, WY
Carol Damberg Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge Green River, WY
Jeff Davis State Engineer.s Office Big Piney, WY
Mark Eatinger Rio Verde Engineering Pinedale, WY
Ken Fackrell Bridger Valley Water CD Mountain View, WY
Annette France Uinta Co. Conservation District Lyman, WY
Ray Frint Trout Unlimited Green River, WY
Tony Gosar Pinedale, WY
Gregory Gronski Simplot Phosphates Rock Springs, WY
Paul Haggenstein Pinedale, WY
Jade Henderson State Engineer.s Office Cokeville, WY
Neil Hoopes Naughton Power Plant Kemmerer, WY
Darin Howe Simplot Phophates, LLC Rock Springs, WY
Tom Jacobsen FMC Corp. Green River, WY
Glenn Laidlaw U.S. Geological Survey Riverton, WY
Nancy Lull Bureau of Land Management Kemmerer, WY
Pat Mehle Rock Springs, WY
Mike Meyer Jim Bridger Power Plant Point of Rocks, WY
Jodie Pavlica WY Water Development Office Cheyenne, WY
Jodee Pring State Engineer.s Office Cheyenne, WY
James Roberts Bureau of Land Management Kemmerer, WY
Hilda Sexauer WY Game and Fish Pinedale, WY
Ronna Simon Bridger Teton National Forest Jackson, WY
Pati Smith District Rep.-Senator Craig Thomas Rock Springs, WY
Mark Thiesse WY Dept. of Environmental Quality Lander, WY
Jonathan Teichert Lincoln Co. Planning Office Kemmerer, WY
Cat Urbigkit Pinedale, WY
Philip Washburn Pinedale, WY
John Zebre Upper Green River Joint Powers Brd. Rock Springs, WY