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    2018 runoff forecast above average; Public meetings to be held April 17-19



    Story by Eileen Williamson 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Northwestern Division

    OMAHA, NE – The 2018 runoff forecast in the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa, is 29.0 million acre feet (MAF), 115 percent of normal according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Missouri River Water Management Division. “The updated forecast increased from last month due to the continued accumulation of mountain and plains snowpack in the upper basin,” said John Remus, Chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. “Based on the current plains and mountain snowpack, runoff into the Fort Peck and Garrison reservoirs is expected to be above average from March through July,” said Remus.
    As of March 1, the mountain snowpack was 129 percent of average in the reach above Fort Peck and 134 percent of average in the reach from Fort Peck to Garrison. Normally the mountain snowpack peaks in mid-April. View the mountain snowpack graphic here: http://www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc/reports/snow.pdf.

    Plains snowpack is currently heaviest in central and eastern Montana. The snowpack’s liquid content, or snow water equivalency (SWE), ranges from 2 to 8 inches. As of March 1, the rest of the upper basin has much less plains snowpack, ranging up to 2 inches of SWE. The Corps is cooperating with other agencies to acquire plains snow measurements in the upper basin.

    All 2017 stored flood waters were evacuated from the Missouri River mainstem reservoir system (System) as of January 15, when the total volume stored in the System reached 56.1 MAF. System storage is currently 56.4 MAF, occupying 0.3 MAF of the 16.3 MAF flood control zone. “Nearly all of the System’s flood storage is currently available to capture runoff from the remaining plains snowpack, spring rainfall and runoff from the mountain snowmelt,” said Remus.”

    Winter releases from Gavins Point were increased from 18,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 20,000 cfs in early March. Gavins Point releases will be adjusted, if needed, in response to basin conditions.

    Beginning in mid-March, releases from Gavins Point Dam will be adjusted to provide flow support for Missouri River navigation. Flow support for Missouri River navigation will be at full service levels for the first half of the 2018 season. Flow support is generally sufficient to provide a 9-feet-deep by 300-feet-wide channel. Flow support for the second half of the navigation season, as well as the navigation season length, will be based on the actual July 1 System storage. The navigation season opening dates are as follows:

    Sioux City, IA : March 23
    Omaha, NE : March 25
    Nebraska City, NE : March 26
    Kansas City, MO : March 28
    Mouth near St. Louis, MO : April 1
    Weekly updates on basin conditions, reservoir levels and other topics of interest can be viewed here: http://www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc/reports/pdfs/weeklyupdate.pdf.

    The Corps will continue to monitor basin conditions, river ice conditions, and plains and mountain snow accumulation, and will adjust the regulation of the System based on the most up-to-date information.

    Monthly Water Management Conference Calls

    The Corps will host its third monthly conference call of 2018 on Tuesday, March 6, to inform basin stakeholders on current weather and runoff forecasts and the planned operation of the System. Presentation materials will be posted on the MRBWM website at: http://www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc/. The call is intended for Congressional delegations; Tribes; state, county and local government officials; and the media. It will be recorded in its entirety and made available to the public on the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System at www.dvidshub.net/unit/usace-nwd.

    Read more at http://go.usa.gov/xnuf4



    Date Taken: 03.06.2018
    Date Posted: 03.06.2018 15:48
    Story ID: 268329
    Location: OMAHA, NE, US 

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