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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Reservoir system ready to capture runoff from high mountain snowpack

  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Missouri River Basin Water Management Division has increased the annual runoff forecast for the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa, to 32.0 million acre feet (MAF), 127 percent of normal. Typically, the average annual runoff volume is 25.2 MAF. Runoff during March was 4.2 MAF,...
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  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Missouri River Basin Water Management Division has increased the annual runoff forecast for the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa, to 32.0 million acre feet (MAF), 127 percent of normal. Typically, the average annual runoff volume is 25.2 MAF. Runoff during March was 4.2 MAF, 142 percent of normal, as a result of plains snowmelt runoff and ice breakup on the Missouri River and its tributaries. 
    As of April 3, mountain snowpack was 132 percent of normal in the reach above Fort Peck Dam, and 140 percent of normal in the reach between Fort Peck and Garrison Dams. The mountain snowpack typically peaks in mid-April, and runoff from the melting snow enters the reservoir system from May through July.  
    The total volume of water stored in the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System is 53.2 MAF, which is still below the base of the annual flood control and multiple use zone of 56.1 MAF. 
    “It's important to remember that in 2011, we had high runoff from three sources in the Missouri River Basin: mountain snowpack, plains snowpack, and rainfall,” emphasizes Farhat. “Only one of those conditions exists today: the above normal mountain snowpack.” The current mountain snowpack is near the same levels as this time in 2011 yet still below the peak levels seen in 2011. Plains snowpack was generally light this year, and system storage ended March 8.5 MAF lower than in 2011. “The Corps will continue to monitor the plains and mountain snowpack, basin soil conditions, and rainfall events to fine tune the regulation of the reservoir system based on the most up-to-date information,” said Farhat. 
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