Reclamation releases river basin study examining water needs in Western U.S.

The Bureau of Reclamation has announced the latest in a series of river basin studies that examine the growing imbalance between available supply, increasing needs and projected demand due to climate change in the western United States.

WASHINGTON, DC, June 15, 2015 -- The Bureau of Reclamation has announced the latest in a series of river basin studies that examine the growing imbalance between available supply, increasing needs and projected demand due to climate change in the western United States. Studies have been completed in the Colorado River Basin, Lower Rio Grande, Milk-St. Mary Rivers, Santa Ana Watershed, Yakima River, and the most recently completed Henrys Fork Basin.

The purpose of this basin study is to assist state and local planning efforts by exploring options for meeting the complex water supply and management challenges, meeting the goals of the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer Comprehensive Aquifer Management Plan and Idaho State Water Plan, as well as identifying risks posed to water supply by climate change and opportunities to mitigate those risks.

The Henrys Fork of the Snake River, located in Southeastern Idaho, provides irrigation water for more than 280,000 acres, sustains a world-class trout fishery and is home for native Yellowstone cutthroat trout. Reclamation and the Idaho Water Resource Board prepared the Henrys Fork Basin Study while working with the Henrys Fork Watershed Council. The final report includes alternatives, which provide the board and other interested stakeholders options to meet the water demands in the future.

This basin study was conducted as part of WaterSMART. WaterSMART is the U.S. Department of the Interior's sustainable water initiative that uses the best available science to improve water conservation and help water resource managers identify strategies to narrow the gap between supply and demand.

Basin studies are comprehensive water studies that define options for meeting future water demands in river basins in the western United States where imbalances in water supply and demand exist or are projected to exist. Through these studies, Reclamation collaborates with non-federal cost-share partners to help ensure sustainable water supplies in the West.

See also:

"Reclamation to invest $50M for water savings in West; WaterReuse applauds efforts"

"Bureau of Reclamation makes WaterSMART grants available to improve water, energy conservation"

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