Joel for gov and dam the river!

Open letter to Mr. Joel, Mr. Andy, Ms. Mary, Mr. Albert, Mr. Stan, Ms. Ann, Ms. Karen, others in positions/interests & in memory of Mr. Dan Budd:

Well, it’s ending July and time sure flies by! Maybe it’s time again (as ever) to look ahead in various ways, like for the next election of Wyoming’s governor.

I have not asked the most logical/ capable/ involved/ knowledgeable and recognized/ awarded leader-person I know of, who has the best interests of people in mind for, who has the best interests of our people in mind for, not only in Sublette County and the entire Green River Valley, but also in a for the entire state of Wyoming and its people, its industries and its related economies; because there are prominent local and statewide persons who more likely could influence Mr. Joel Bousman to consider such a responsible leadership role, as Wyoming’s governor. Maybe such an influenced effort is already under way – I don’t get to town often to hear/ know what goes on?

Many folks remember Mr. Dan as a prior Wyoming legislator and a water development commissioner, also involved in various ways over the years with Colorado River Compact matters (headwaters of which is Wyoming’s Green River and drainage systems/ rivers/ creeks). Our state engineer’s office has stated about 200,000 acre-feet leaves Wyoming annually, undeveloped.

One project (of numerous) was/ is common between/ with Mr. Joel, other county commissioners (who promulgated several county resolutions in favor thereof), and with Mr. Dan’s efforts (over several decades). Namely, a potential Upper Green River water storage dam/ reservoir (75,000 to 82,500 acre-feet) to include alternative hydroelectric power facilities (no solar if the sun don’t shine, no wind if it don’t blow, but river runs day/ night/ windless!).

Also, to include diversion controls/ canals/ aqueduct features to flow water by gravity, maintaining a higher elevation and gradient downhill/ southward, on both east/ west sides of our Green River and valley (extended over time as uses develop and hydropower provides revenues for payout).

Under the Colorado River Compact Agreement a fund of several hundred million dollars (+- $300 million) exists (Wyoming share 14+ percent), from hydropower revenues in the lower Colorado River Basin, for exclusive uses of water storage and hydropower projects in the upper basin (our Green River and valley) with agricultural-related grants of 50 years allowed for payouts.

Irrigation water-right shortages in the north/ south – west/ easterly areas of Daniel/ Big Piney/ LaBarge drainages ranged from +- 30,000 to 55,000acre-feet/ season. (When snow is gone and eastern valley areas have similar shortages!); from my 2009-2010 study and our WWDC hearing.

Also, study included running levels upriver to determine the extent of lake to about BLM campsites – 7 or 8 – and hydrogeneration of about 7,000+ watts (7 megawatts), based on four 10-year USGS averages back to 1970 of 3,200 to 3,700 acre-feet/sc river flow rates, and 100 to 120 feet of operating head depths at the potential dam site (E-W centerline of SE/4 section 4-T35N-R111W), at overall 85-percent hydraulic/ mechanical/ electrical efficiency.

Many more benefits and conservation details and Colorado River criteria exist that include needed flood control (like happens in Daniel and other areas) along the Green River, and freshwater aquifer for recharge, improvements of fishery, waterfowl and wildlife preserves, as with other lakes.

Mr. Joel and commissioners, then Mr. Dan and other local water users and prominent persons favored such a project and “over time” benefit developments (if it’s built, they will come!). Mr. Dan also said that then-governor candidate Mr. Mead favored such a water/ energy conservation project and would include its consideration among his priority list of energy/ industry/ water/ et al, Wyoming and people benefit developments. The Colorado River Compacts also allow for lake-water recreational developments – the BLM could sell Highway 189/191 entry tickets to this officially designated BLM recreation area and its BOReclamation hydroelectric reserve area:? (And share revenue with the county?)

If construction completion is coordinated with spring river runoff, with half the river diverted downstream, half to filling the lake, then about 70 to 60 days or less of normal runoff flow rates would fill the lake/ side draws/ storage reservoir for hydropower operations.


AL Radke is an ME/PE from the Warren Bridge area.

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