The 2014 Missouri River runoff season has begun, with reservoirs drawn down significantly due to the lingering effects of the 2012 drought.
Jody Farhat, Chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division, says as a result, the corps is implementing water conservation measures in the mainstem reservoir system.
Farhat says this will include low winter releases and reduced service to navigation.
"Cold weather over the past month has created significant challenges in our operation related to icing conditions on the river. While it’s our intent to reduce releases from Gavins Point Dam this winter to the target rate of 12,000 cfs, we’ll so only when the temperatures moderate and the risk to water intake among the lower river, due to ice formation is reduced.”
Farhat says the risk of snow melt driven flooding is low but the risk of rainfall induced flooding remains normal.
She says because the reservoirs are below normal, the total flood control capacity of the reservoir system has been increased by more than 35%.