US Bureau of Reclamation North Platte River Water Update

US Bureau of Reclamation North Platte River Water Update

Pathfinder Reservoir
Figure 1. Pathfinder Dam and Fremont Canyon on the North Platte River in Wyoming

Oct. 24, 2015

The US Bureau of Reclamation presented its annual North Platte River water and water operations update Tuesday in Torrington, Wyo. Following is a synopsis:

  • Water operations and deliveries were good for 2014, with no allocations and with significant carryover of water into 2015. 
  • Inflows into Seminoe Reservoir were 152% above average for April – July, which is the normal snow melt / runoff period.  Inflows from Alcova to Glendo Reservoirs were 191% above average for April – July. 
  • The total storage capacity for the seven reservoirs in Wyoming is 2,815,900 acre-feet and there are 1,621,900 acre-feet for the water year ending 2014.  Average ending water is 1,401,400 acre-feet. 
  • Seminoe Reservoir is at 699,462 acre-feet or 69% of capacity.
  • Pathfinder Reservoir is at 662,107 acre-feet or 62% of capacity.
  • Glendo Reservoir is at 110,937 acre-feet or 21% of capacity.  Glendo Reservoir is usually drawn down this time of year to make room for next season's runoff.  If there is normal snowpack in the mountains, there will be sufficient water for users in 2015. 

Other items of note are the dam safety projects at Guernsey dam have been completed and work on the Glendo Reservoir dikes and spillway should be completed in spring 2015. Also, Carlie Ronca is the new Wyoming Area Manager for the US Bureau of Reclamation.

The next Bureau of Reclamation update will be in spring 2015 at the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center at Scottsbluff, when they will have a more accurate forecast of water operations and snowpack runoff for 2015. 

For more information on the North Platte River Surface Irrigation Projects and Power Generation, view the slideshare presentation found on the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension web page at  or the Pumpkin Creek web page at

Gary Stone
UNL Extension Educator, Panhandle REC

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