Missouri River Water Management News

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Spring release plans for Jamestown and Pipestem reservoirs

Published April 13, 2015

Omaha, NE — Pipestem Reservoir is currently at pool elevation 1445.0 feet, which results in 1.7 percent of the flood pool occupied.  Inflows are currently 40 cubic feet per second (cfs) with no reservoir release. Jamestown Reservoir is currently at pool elevation 1430.0 feet, which is one foot below the base of the flood pool. Inflows are currently 10 cfs with no reservoir release. 

The maximum combined release from the reservoirs is not expected to exceed 200 cfs; however, significant rainfall could necessitate higher release levels. The upper James River basin is currently in abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions according to the US Drought Monitor, which could decrease rainfall runoff into the reservoirs.

A winter release to benefit water quality resulted in a Pipestem Dam release of 11 cfs when the winter snowmelt began in early March. On March 14, an additional release was initiated as the reservoir elevation rose above the base of its flood pool. The release peaked at 35 cfs, but was reduced to 25 cfs on March 16, and reduced again to 0 cfs on March 23 when lower than expected inflows occurred into Pipestem Reservoir. 

Releases are planned to remain at zero during the remainder of the snowmelt runoff period. The release from Jamestown Dam will be increased if necessary this spring or summer in order to evacuate any accumulated Jamestown Reservoir flood storage by the June 1 target date. Pipestem Reservoir flood storage will be primarily evacuated in June, July, and August to allow for evacuation from Jamestown reservoir by June 1.

Eileen Williamson
Jessica Branigan

Release no. 150413-001