2018 expected to be a full water year for North Platte Project Irrigators

Mountain snow measurements by NRCS staff. (Courtesy: Natural Resources Conservation Service, Montana)
By  | 

MILLS, Wyo. (by Release / KNEP) - Federal officials today announced some good news for North Platte Valley ag producers that depend on surface water for irrigation.

"We anticipate the North Platte Basin water contractors will have a full water supply this year," said Wyoming Area Manager, Carlie Ronca.

The April 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 715,000 acre-feet (AF) which is 78% of the 30-year average.

However, as of March 31, 2018, storage content in the North Platte Reservoirs amounts to 2,190,053 AF, which is 132% of the 30-year average. The total conservation storage capacity of the North Platte Reservoir System is approximately 2.8 million AF.

Current releases are 2,700 cubic feet per second (cfs) from Seminoe Reservoir through the Miracle Mile, 1,000 cfs out of Gray Reef, and the release out of Guernsey Reservoir is expected to begin on April 23. Based on current projections, for the months of April, May, June, and July the releases out of Seminoe Reservoir are not expected to exceed 3,000 cfs, flows out of Gray Reef are expected to be in the range of approximately 1,000 to 3,000 cfs and releases from Guernsey will be in the 3,000 to 5,300 cfs range. Pathfinder Reservoir is not expected to spill this spring.