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

Powder/Tongue River Basin Advisory Group Meeting
Meeting Record
Dayton, WY - Lucille Alley Room, Dayton Town Hall
December 7, 2005 - 3:00 p.m.


Facilitator Jodee Pring, WY State Engineer’s Office, welcomed the group and the meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.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 April 12, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. in Buffalo.

Water Development Commission Report

Jodie Pavlica, WY Water Development Office, went over with the group the schedule for this round of Basin Advisory Group (BAG) meetings. November 7th, the Bear River BAG was held in Evanston, November 8th we met with the Green River BAG in Kemmerer and November 9th we met with the Snake/Salt BAG in Jackson. Yesterday afternoon we met with the Wind/Bighorn BAG in Cody, and after this afternoon’s meeting, we will meet with the Northeast BAG in Sundance tomorrow. The Platte River BAG is scheduled for Tuesday, December 13th in Torrington. Please visit the water planning website at http://waterplan.state.wy.us for agendas, meeting locations and meeting records.

Water Year Recap

Carmine LoGuidice, Assistant Superintendent of Water Division II of the State Engineer’s Office, gave an update on what occurred this past water year.

The following streams went into regulation on the dates indicated:
Smith Creek - June 23
Goose Creek - July 23
Little Goose Creek - July 16
Clear Creek - July 19
Crazy Woman Creek - July 18
Rock Creek - July 18
All Reservoirs on the Powder River filled.

Big Goose Creek, looking at the last 20 years of record, is 120% of average. Dome Lake carried over 70% of its capacity, while Dull Knife Reservoir carried over 30% of its storage.

The State Engineer’s Office (SEO) has been performing more inspections on reservoirs that impound water produced as a result of coalbed natural gas (CBNG) activities. The Division II office has hired a full-time inspector, Dave Schroeder. Mr. Schroeder has been out since June and has inspected 465 reservoirs. Of the 465 reservoirs inspected, 244 are not yet built. The remaining 221 are reservoirs that store CBNG water and 137 of these reservoirs were approved as constructed, 78 were not approved as constructed and 6 were found to have no SEO permit on them.

Next, Mr. LoGuidice went over the authorization to correct the record (ACR) forms. These forms have been used extensively in the CBNG field as many of the reservoirs that are being utilized to store CBNG water are old, existing reservoirs. Companies are rehabbing these facilities and changing the configuration of the reservoirs, but aren’t notifying our office of the changes. Mr. LoGuidice wanted to remind people that they can complete ACR forms on existing reservoirs and file those with the SEO.

Robert Brug, Campbell County Conservation District, stated that the conservation districts would like to raise the 20 feet height, 20 acre-feet limitation for stock reservoirs in steep drainages.

CBMCC Activities Update

Bj Kristiansen gave an update to the BAG of recent activities in which the Coalbed Methane Coordination Coalition (CBMCC) has participated. Mr. Kristiansen demonstrated the use of an excel spreadsheet that has been developed to help assist Emergency Management Systems (EMS). The spreadsheet contains a location point with a northing, easting, latitude, longitude, cell service availability, hyperlink to Google Earth (aerial view) and an actual picture of the site (the sites were developed with the ability for a helicopter to land in mind). There are 37 sites in Sheridan County. The CBMCC is currently working on Johnson Co. and the project map will be completed by the end of the year. These sites are meeting points for emergency personnel. For more information concerning this program, go to http://www.cbmcc.vcn.com/emslocs.htm.

In October, Congress passed a bill to appropriate money for some proactive air quality mitigation work. There needed to be a way to disperse the funds that were available equitably between the counties. To this end, a “Climatological Contour” map was developed. Mr. Kristiansen used information that Mickey Steward developed for climate trends and the information available from the 158 climate stations located within the state. Factors used to determine need within each county included annual precipitation, wind direction and velocity, and mean annul high temperature. The counties involved in this project are Sheridan, Johnson, Campbell, Converse, and Sublette.

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 Bruce Yates would be their representative and Bob Brug 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/Powder-TongueBAGissues.html

The meeting adjourned at 5:45 p.m.

List of Attendees:

Name Organization City
Bill Bensel WWDC Ranchester, WY
Bob Brug Campbell Co. Conservation District Recluse, WY
Bruce Hepp City of Buffalo Buffalo, WY
Carmine LoGuidice State Engineer’s Office Sheridan, WY
Mike McKinley BLM - Buffalo Field Office Buffalo, WY
Phil Ogle WY Water Development Office Cheyenne, WY
Jodie Pavlica WY Water Development Office Cheyenne, WY
Jodee Pring State Engineer’s Office Cheyenne, WY
David Schroeder State Engineer’s Office Sheridan, WY
Bill White Ranchester, WY
Chris Williams BLM - Buffalo Field Office Buffalo, WY
Bruce Yates Sheridan Co. Engineer Sheridan, WY