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

BAG Meeting No. 6
Meeting Notes
February 26, 2009 6:00PM
Higher Education Center
Baggs, WY

The meeting generally followed the format of the agenda distributed by the WWDO:

1. Introductions

Chace Tavelli introduced the team and presented several logistical details about the meeting.

2. Description and purpose of meeting

Chace described the broad goals of the planning update and made mention of the WGS effort on updating groundwater information. Chace described the handouts at the meeting (comment card and issues list), and the methods through which the State and Planning Team was collecting input.

3. Consultant update

Murray Schroeder presented handouts and described recent progress on three topics.

First, a handout on weather mapping (prepared by WRDS) was distributed. Murray mentioned that the 2001 plan was short on weather information and that these mapping products would help improve that shortcoming. Chris Nicholson described the maps in the handout and how they were prepared.

Second, a handout was distributed outlining the findings of the phone survey of stakeholders in the basin. The handout included a list of issues and strategies that were reported by Murray to be the most common themes and ideas mentioned by those who were contacted.

Finally, a handout was presented that compared Task 3 Water Availability estimates 2001 versus 2008 for the Henry's fork. This work was done by Meg Frantz. The graphs show that there is about 22% less water available during June in normal years at this location. This is the result of extending the period of record from 2001 to present, and having the recent years is relatively dry.

4. Presentations

  1. Larry Hicks
    • A presentation on local water development projects that he has been involved with for the past 15 years. Projects ranged from diversion dam installations on in the Little Snake, to stream improvement projects, to High Savery reservoir construction. Larry has been involved in one way or another in about 38 million dollars worth of projects.

      At the conclusion of his presentation, Larry presented three issues that he felt needed to be discussed or resolved in some way during the execution of the basin plan update. These issues included:

      • Prescriptive versus descriptive planning
      • Stream Gaging needs. There are 16,000 irrigated acres below the last stream gage in the Little Snake and before Colorado. The amount of return flows leaving the state are unknown, but should be. A gage at the state line would help.
      • Future water use opportunities and how they might be impacted by shale oil projects in the area.

  2. Fred McLaughlin from the Wyoming State Geological Survey presented on coal bed natural gas and his recent research into water chemistry. His work was centered on the CBNG field of Atlantic Rim. His work also shows that CBNG waters have distinctive water chemistry signatures. An important concept stemming from this research is that simple water tests can be used to predict the occurrence of CBNG with a very high degree of certainty.

  3. John Shields - SEO Office gave an update on several Colorado River Basin topics including: