Water continues to rise/Uinta snowmelt still coming

Reservoirs in Uintas filling

By VIRGINIA GIORGIS Pioneer Editor vgiorgis@bridgervalleypioneer.com
Posted 5/18/23

The reservoirs are filling and there is still a lot of snow to melt

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Water continues to rise/Uinta snowmelt still coming

Reservoirs in Uintas filling


MOUNTAIN VIEW — The Bridger Valley Conservancy District (BVCD) keeps an eye on the two reservoirs in the Uintas and monitors their filling and the water going out.

This has been the on-going process since the reservoirs were developed and their development was due to many years of work before the reservoirs were actually built by the Bureau of Reclamation.

With the on-going, on-slaught of stories of rising waters on the Salt Lake TV channels, it is only normal for many in this area to feel the possibility of a threat of rising waters. But so far, everything is in control and under the comfortable tutelage of the BVCD as it continues monitor existing conditions of Meeks Cabin and Stateline.

As long time residents know, Meeks Cabin was built first and Stateline was on a holding pattern as BuRec changed its priorities on building dams. Some time later, although Stateline was to be an irrigation storage facility, just like Meeks when it was constructed in the early 1960s, irrigation storage was not a leading factor in building dams. Over the years, the situation was reassessed and determined culinary water needed to be added as a of the priorities of the dam site to make it a more important resource. This then gave the go-ahead for the Stateline to be constructed. However, two more conditions were added. The dam site was moved to facilitate a larger holding area for water and a pipeline was built from Meeks Cabin to join the flow for the Smith Fork River to add to the water now designated for culinary water. The water which now serves Bridger Valley communities.

A few years ago, there was so much snow in the Uintas Meeks Cabin spilled and there was eight feet of water flowing over the top of the spillway. To the eye, this didn’t look too drastic at the damsite, because all of that was contained within the dams cement works but it resulted in lots of water rushing downstream to the Valley.

The on-going monitoring by the BVCD keeps Valley residents aware of what is going on with the two reservoirs in the Uintas. The latest BVCD report was dated this week on Monday, May 8. Last year and the year before, the water level at the reservoirs was like a puddle in the middle of a massive dry wadi or open ground. But things are changing and look good for both irrigation water and culinary water for the Valley.

This latest report on Thursday, May 11, said the inflow at Meeks was about 470 cubic feet (CFS) per second, which is a flow rate or discharge equal to one cubic foot per second, which was up by about 80 CFS from the day before.

Irrigation storage was at 71 percent. This does not reflect the actual amount of water in the reservoir, only the portion used for irrigation storage. The report also stated there was about 10 CFS going out the outer-works at Meeks Cabin.

The inflow at Stateline was about 140 CFS, which was up about 30 CFS from the day before. About 4 CFS was being released out of the outer-works. Irrigation storage at Stateline was about 56 percent.

Although conditions in the Valley don’t look dire at this time, preparations have been made by the county setting up three sand bag filling areas in the county. The one in Bridger Valley is at the Road and Bridger at Mountain View.