Corps of Engineers Announces Water Release Plans for Jamestown and Pipestem Reservoirs

OMAHA, NE (USACE-Omaha District) —Pipestem Reservoir is currently at pool elevation 1442.4 feet with approximately 20 cubic feet per second (cfs) inflow and a water quality release of about 5 cfs.  Jamestown Reservoir is currently at pool elevation 1429.8 feet with approximately 5 cfs inflow and no release.  All of the flood storage at Jamestown and Pipestem Reservoirs is currently available for the spring runoff. 

During the spring snowmelt emphasis will be placed on evacuating Jamestown Reservoir flood storage by June 1.  Pipestem Reservoir flood storage will be primarily evacuated in June, July, and August.  Current forecasts indicate that combined releases are expected to stay below 750 cfs; however, additional snow accumulation or significant spring or summer rainfall could necessitate release levels of 1,200 cfs or higher.  An agency meeting will be held in Jamestown, N.D. in early April and a release schedule will be developed after that meeting.

The National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center’s (NOHRSC) model currently shows an average of 2-3 inches of snow water equivalent (SWE) in the upper James River and Pipestem Creek basins.  These estimates are down from the peak modeled SWE values averaging between 3-4 inches.  Soils are still frozen in the upper basin, and soil moisture conditions are currently drier than normal.