Reclamation Issues Snowmelt Forecasts For North Platte River Basin

Jun 13, 2022 | Featured, Regional News

Mills, Wyo (RELEASE from Bureau of Reclamation) June 13, 2022 —

The Bureau of Reclamation has prepared the June forecast and operating plans for the North Platte River Basin.

The June forecasts indicate the spring snowmelt runoff will be below average. Total April through July runoff in the North Platte River Basin above Glendo Dam is expected to be 545,000 acre-feet (af), which is 72% of the 30-year average. This forecast includes the 302,000 af of runoff accumulated in April and May.

The total conservation storage capacity of the North Platte Reservoir System is approximately 2,815,800 af. As of May 31, 2022, the combined storage content in the North Platte Reservoirs was 1,775,600 af, which is 89% of the 30-year average.

Current releases are 1,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) from Seminoe Reservoir through the Miracle Mile. Releases out of Gray Reef Reservoir will increase to 2,000 cfs between June 9-10, 2022. Releases out of Glendo Reservoir are 950 cfs. Releases out of Guernsey Reservoir are 950 cfs and will vary depending on downstream requirements. Based on current projections for the months of May, June, and July, the releases out of Seminoe Reservoir are expected to peak at around 1,500 cfs, while flows out of Gray Reef are expected to peak at 3,000 cfs by the end of June. Releases from Guernsey are expected to peak near 4,600 cfs. Based on our current forecasts, there may be a need for an allocation 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.