Meeting About Water & the Buffalo Bill Reservoir on March 15

Meeting About Water & the Buffalo Bill Reservoir on March 15

Written by on March 9, 2022

The Bureau of Reclamation is holding an important meeting at the Park County Fairgrounds to discuss water and the Buffalo Bill Reservoir in 2022.

The Bureau of Reclamation will host a public Buffalo Bill Reservoir Water Information Meeting in Powell on Tuesday, Mar. 15 at 1:00 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss water supply and reservoir operations for this coming spring and summer.

Topics of discussion during the meeting will be current water supply conditions, the 2022 snowmelt runoff forecast, and 2022 projected reservoir operations.

The Buffalo Bill Reservoir has a storage capacity of 646,565 acre-feet and provides irrigation water to approximately 95,000 acres. It is a source of municipal water supply to multiple Park County communities, and its power generation facilities at the Buffalo Bil Dam provide electricity to thousands of homes.

Buffalo Bill Reservoir

Courtesy Buffalo Bill State Park

Runoff forecasts for the Buffalo Bill Reservoir 2022 aren’t very encouraging, especially with the abnormally warm days this winter.

The last snowmelt forecast for the Bighorn Basin was released in mid-February. According to that report, the largest reservoirs – Buffalo Bill, Bighorn Lake, and Boysen – will not reach capacity this year.

For the Buffalo Bill Reservoir specifically, April through July inflow from the Shoshone River, which feeds into the reservoir, is forecast at 600,000 acre-feet. This inflow is 81% of the 30-year average of 739,800 acre-feet.

Furthermore, the sixty-plus-degree days this winter have melted a significant portion of Wyoming’s critical snowpack, determining the flow of rivers and the fill of reservoirs.

As of Jan. 1, the Buffalo Bill Reservoir is 60% full.

The meeting will be held in the Heart Mountain Hall located at the Park County Fairgrounds, 655 East 5th Street, Powell, Wyoming.

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