Mills, Wyo. (RELEASE from Bureau of Reclamation) May 11, 2023 — The Bureau of Reclamation has prepared the May snowmelt runoff forecasts and operating plans for the North Platte River Basin.
The May forecasts indicate the spring snowmelt runoff will be above average. Total April through July runoff in the North Platte River Basin above Glendo Dam is expected to be 1,180,000 acre-feet (af), which is 129% of the 30-year average.
The total conservation storage capacity of the North Platte Reservoir System is approximately 2,815,800 af. As of April 30, 2023, the combined storage content in the North Platte Reservoirs was 1,449,400 af, which is 79% of the 30-year average.
Current releases are 2,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) from Seminoe Reservoir through the Miracle Mile. Releases out of Gray Reef Reservoir are 2,000 cfs. Releases out of Glendo Reservoir are currently 2,100 cfs and adjusted as needed to maintain Guernsey Reservoir elevation. Releases from Guernsey Reservoir are by irrigation demand currently at 2,000 cfs. Based on current projections for the months of May, June, and July, the releases out of Seminoe Reservoir are expected to peak at around 2,600 cfs, while flows out of Gray Reef are expected to be in the range of approximately 2,000 to 3,600 cfs. Releases from Guernsey will be in the 2,000 to 5,200 cfs range. Pathfinder Reservoir is not expected to spill this spring. Based on our current forecast, an allocation is not expected for our North Platte Project contractors.
Reclamation’s Wyoming Area Office operates seven reservoirs on the North Platte River with Seminoe Reservoir farthest upstream and Guernsey Reservoir farthest downstream. This system provides irrigation supply to hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland and produces power generation from 6 powerplants which supply power to tens of thousands of homes.