Lummis Bill increasing Southwest Wyoming water storage passes committee
U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis’ (WY-At large) legislation to approve expansion of water storage at the Bureau of Reclamation’s (BOR) Fontenelle Reservoir in Lincoln County, Wyoming was approved today by a unanimous vote of the House Natural Resources Committee.
“Water is our most precious natural resource and this legislation will help Wyoming increase water storage capacity at the Fontenelle Reservoir,” said Rep. Lummis. “Ranching in Wyoming all my life, I know first-hand we can’t solely depend on rainfall in our high plains desert state. Water storage and other water development projects are what make Wyoming and the arid West bloom and prosper, and this legislation will build on that success story with the common-sense, state-led fulfillment of Fontenelle’s storage potential.”
The bill allows for the expansion of water storage at the Bureau of Reclamation’s (BOR) Fontenelle Reservoir in Lincoln County. This would be accomplished by completing the “rip-rap” around the reservoir. “Rip-rap” is a foundation or sustaining wall of stones or chunks of concrete connected together around the reservoir to prevent erosion.
The bill directs the BOR to reach an agreement with the State of Wyoming to allow the State to complete the “rip-rap” around the reservoir. The State of Wyoming would shoulder the cost of completing this project.
The current active storage capacity of the reservoir is 260,000 acre-feet. The potential to expand the active storage capacity of the reservoir is up to 85,000 acre-feet for a total capacity of 345,000 acre-feet.
This project is part of Wyoming Governor Matt Mead’s “Ten in Ten” plan, which aspires to build ten new water storage facilities in ten years.
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