From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 24 - September 9, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Upper Green storage proposed

by Cat Urbigkit

On Tuesday, Randy Bolgaino provided the Sublette County Commission with an update of the activities of the Upper Green River Basin joint powers board.

Bolgaino reported on an August public meeting in Kemmerer for Hams Fork water users that resulted in an agreement to finish work on the level II feasibility study assessing the enlargement of Viva Naughton Reservoir to provide storage for Hams Fork irrigators, Kemmerer/Diamondville municipal use and power company use. Although this study had been previously undertaken, it was not deemed complete because it did not include an assessment of offstream reservoir sites as alternatives. The joint powers board signed on as a co-sponsor for the study.

Bolgiano said the board also agreed to request a level I study from the Wyoming Water Development Commission for possible rehabilitation on Boulter Lake on the East Fork drainage. The 560-acre foot reservoir was originally permitted in the 1930s, but has been inoperable since vandalism occurred about 30 years ago, Bolgaino said.

Bolgaino said that the board also agreed to apply for a third WWDC project, in requesting a level I reconnaissance study that would result in the WWDC's opinion of the best high-altitude mainstem Green River storage site, either on or off channel.

"We really don't want to start the fight - we want them to identify the best place, to start," Bolgiano said.

Commission Chairman Gordon Johnston pointed out that not everybody is happy about that idea, expressing concern about the possibility of damming the Upper Green.

Bolgaino said that the "handwriting on the wall is if we don't impound it, we will lose that water."

Bolgaino noted that the west side of this basin is in dire need of additional water supply and that all applications have to pass muster by the Wyoming Legislature.

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