September 26, 2013

Garrison Dam release down to 13,000 cfs

By April Baumgarten

BHG News Service

Despite more than normal rainfall the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has continued drought conservation measures at Garrison Dam.

"Reservoir levels at the upper three large reservoirs – Fort Peck, Garrison and Oahe – are 3-9 feet below their desired elevations," said Mike Swenson for the Missouri River Basin Water Management office.

The Corps. Dropped its release rates from 16,000 cfs to 13,000 cfs Monday, far below its September historic average of 21,000 cfs. October averages 19,000 cfs, said Todd Lindquist, Corp. operations manager for Garrison Dam in Riverdale. The lowest releases were at 9,000 cfs.

"The basin is in a drought cycle so we are reducing releases to try to conserve water on the reservoirs," he said. "As winter progresses we will increase releases again to shift water amongst the reservoirs and increase hydropower power production."

Western North Dakota has seen more than normal rainfall, according to the National Weather Service in Bismarck. Mercer, Dunn, McLean and Mountrail counties have received up to 30 inches of precipitation to date, almost 20 above normal.

The Weather Network