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USACE announces release plans at Jamestown and Pipestem reservoirs

USACE Omaha District
Published April 1, 2021
Historical streamgauge

Historical streamgauge

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District announced that maximum combined releases are not expected to exceed 200 cubic feet per second this year.  Significant rainfall could necessitate higher release levels.

Pipestem Reservoir is currently at pool elevation 1440.4 feet, 2.1 feet below the base of the exclusive flood control zone, with approximately 11 cfs inflow and a water quality release of about 11 cfs.  Jamestown Reservoir is currently at pool elevation 1429.9 feet, 1.1 feet below the base of the exclusive flood control zone, with negligible inflow and no release. All the flood storage at Jamestown and Pipestem Reservoirs is currently available. 

The historical annual flow volume past the U.S. Geological Survey streamgage at Jamestown, North Dakota is shown below.  The 2020 flow volume is based on provisional values at this time.  Both 2019 and 2020 fall in the top 10 volumes observed in the life of the gage.

Forecasts for the 2021 calendar year indicate less than 40,000 acre-feet is expected to flow past the Jamestown, North Dakota streamgage.  This would make 2021 a low flow year, with expected maximum combined releases of no more than 200 cfs.  Significant rainfall could result in higher release levels.

Current conditions in the basin are dry with almost the entire James River basin in moderate to severe drought conditions.  Soil moisture conditions are below normal.  Winter snowpack was below average, and no significant runoff due to snow occurred into the reservoirs this year.

Release no. 21-026