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

Platte River Basin Advisory Group
Meeting Record
Casper, WY
February 8, 2005

Facilitator Sherri Gregory welcomed the group and called the meeting to order at 10:00 am. All attendees introduced themselves, followed by a review of the overall meeting agenda. A sign-in sheet was circulated to record attendance. The next meeting is scheduled for April 12, 2005 in Saratoga.

Planning Team/Consultant Update
Jodie Pavlica, WWDC, reviewed a modified project calendar. At the April 12 meeting in Saratoga, Trihydro Corporation will review a draft basin plan for the BAG. The final basin plan presentation will occur June 14 in Cheyenne.

Population/Demand Projections
Mr. Andy Fritsch from Harvey Economics (HE, Denver) presented information regarding ongoing HE work, and he encouraged BAG members to ask questions during the presentation.

The role of HE is to look at future water use, compare it to existing supplies, and try to determine potentially unmet water supply needs in the basin. The results of this work should allow WWDC and local planners to decide what types of water projects to consider in the future.

HE has two major forecasting objectives:

Mr. Fritsch showed a schematic of HE.s overall methodology, which is fairly typical for any water planning project and includes:

Since the Platte River Basin is large and contains about 60 percent of the population in the state, economic and demographic data on a subbasin level were prepared. Subbasins are separate from each other topographically, demographically, and economically. HE has reviewed county-level data for those counties located within the Platte River Basin, including Niobrara, Converse, Natrona, Fremont, Carbon, Albany, Platte, Goshen, and Laramie Counties.

Mr. Fritsch noted that:

Other Economic Drivers
Mr. Fritsch discussed other economic drivers, including:

Future of the Sectors:
Discussion regarding the future of basin economic sectors included consideration of:

HE will develop three economic scenarios for the basin: 1) the high scenario (most optimistic outlook for the economy), 2) the low scenario (minimum expectations and negative growth), and 3) the mid scenario (the most realistic level of growth). HE.s economic assessment will include state projections as well as on-the-ground input from local experts. HE projections will be for year 2035, 30 years into the future.

Technical Memorandum Update - Future Water Use Opportunities
Mr. John Galbreath from Trihydro Corporation (Trihydro) led discussion regarding ongoing basin plan work pertaining to future water use opportunities and other technical memoranda. He asked for BAG input regarding his presentation.

Trihydro's goal is to compile a list of potential structural and nonstructural opportunities to meet current and projected water demand in the Platte River Basin. "Structural" water use opportunities include reservoirs, water distribution system enhancements, groundwater development, aquifer storage, and in-basin and trans-basin diversions. "Nonstructural" opportunities include conservation management, improved water efficiencies, and water rights transfers and exchanges.

Mr. Galbreath presented a preliminary draft list of water use opportunities and asked for input from BAG members. The list included:

Mr. Galbreath reviewed and asked for input regarding the criteria that have been used in other basin plans for assessing future water use opportunities, including: Mr. Galbreath discussed ongoing Trihydro work and conclusions developed to date, including: Mr. Galbreath stated that Trihydro Corporation was not yet prepared to discuss agricultural consumptive use of irrigation water and would do so at the next BAG meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 1:00 pm.