Wyoming’s Colorado River Working Group serves as a conduit between water users and state engineer’s office.
Above the Colorado-Wyoming border, the Sierra Madre Mountain snowpack holds water that ranchers say flows downstream too fast. Some question whether a proposed 10,000-acre-foot reservoir is pork or progress.
The clock begins ticking for the public to weigh in on a new reservoir, proposed mainly for irrigation, above the Little Snake, Yampa, Green and Colorado Rivers.
Wyoming’s land board applied for a swap with the Forest Service in November. Dam backers have scheduled January public meetings in two weeks.
Colorado River upper basin states, including Wyoming, hope paying irrigators to keep water in streams will help satisfy federal call for voluntary water conservation.
The Bureau of Reclamation will continue to rely on Flaming Gorge to back up hydropower generation at downstream reservoirs, meaning diminished levels will likely persist.
Although municipalities make up a small percentage of Wyoming water users under the Colorado River Compact, their legal claims to the water are among the most vulnerable.
Lawmakers will seek money to determine Colorado River Basin water losses from Wyoming irrigation canals in hopes of staving off reductions.
State believes water cuts, if drought continues, won’t happen before 2028. Other stakeholders may disagree.
The reservoir has been tapped for extra water to help maintain critical levels at Lake Powell, stranding boat ramps and changing fishery dynamics.
Water users subject to the Colorado River Compact must prepare and consider voluntary conservation measures, state officials say.
The State Engineer’s Office will host a public meeting Sept. 27 in Pinedale to discuss water conservation, voluntary cutbacks and Wyoming’s obligations vis-a-vis the regional resource calamity.
As the Colorado River system reaches a “tipping point,” Wyoming officials are reluctant to commit to sending additional water downstream or impose water-use restrictions.
State officials say they won’t provide specific water volume savings in response to a federal request to send more water downstream in 2023.
The release of an extra 500,000 acre feet of water is intended to help maintain hydroelectric power generation at Lake Powell.
Two water development officials have criticized a proposed expansion of the state’s cloud seeding program into the Little Snake River valley. State Sen. Larry Hicks (R-Baggs) objected to adding $150,000 to expand the program to include the west slope of the Sierra Madre above Savery and Baggs. Wyoming doesn’t use or get credit for any…
As the first-ever official shortage hits the basin, a top federal official believes the state can responsibly execute its plans to hold even more water behind dams.
Five water storage projects underway in Wyoming would capture or use 115,000 acre-feet from an already strained basin. Wyoming is bent on accomplishing its goals.
State will match grant to help consultants decide whether to pursueNational Forest land swap or a permit for the controversial $82-million West Fork Dam above Little Snake River. Reservoir would aid as few as 67 irrigators.
Lawmakers seek “beneficial use” label for drought mitigation, security against downstream demands.