2014 North Platte River Water Forecast

2014 North Platte River Water Forecast

This week (April 9) the US Bureau of Reclamation Wyoming Area Office gave its forecast for runoff and water operations for the North Platte River for 2014.   

Inflows to Seminoe Reservoir are forecasted to be 950,000 acre-feet of water, well above the 30-year average of 709,400 acre-feet.  These inflows are primarily influenced by the amount of snowpack in the upper reaches of the North Platte River.  Forecasted inflows between Alcova Reservoir and Glendo Reservoir are expected to be 170,000 acre-feet of water, with the 30-year average being 124,100 acre-feet.  This forecast can vary due to the amount of spring precipitation received in this area. 

The Sweetwater River sub-drainage to the North Platte River is forecasted to have inflows of 60,000 acre-feet into Pathfinder Reservoir.  At this time, the Bureau anticipates there will be no water allocations to water diverters on the North Platte River System and that there should be a small excess that will allow the reservoirs to build up their storage.  The amount of storage that could be built up will depend on the amount of precipitation the North Platte River basin receives throughout the growing season.  Pathfinder Reservoir is not expected to "fill" this season.  

They also reported that work on Glendo Dam and spillway has been completed, but work on the dikes remains. Guernsey Dam has completed work on the inlets to the power plant; one drum gate was replaced with a concrete weir and the other drum gate was refurbished.  Work on the dam is still in progress.  Glendo and Guernsey Reservoirs will start releasing water April 13-15 in order for the Interstate (Pathfinder) canal to start filling the Inland Lakes, located north of Scottsbluff.

The forecast meeting was held at the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff.

Gary Stone
UNL Extension Educator, Panhandle REC

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