Dworshak Dam Discharges to Increase to Draft Reservoir to Meet Flood Risk Management Targets
AHSAHKA – In order to meet flood control targets for January, reservoir managers will increase releases Monday evening, January 10, from 1,700 cubic feet per second (CFS) to approximately 2,400 CFS.
Releases are expected to remain at 2,400 CFS for a week. This increase will occur simultaneously with decreasing natural flows and is expected to result in the Clearwater River near Peck remaining at an approximately constant level, within half a foot.
For the second half of January, flows will be further increased to the range of 4,500 to 6,000 CFS. Exact flows will vary slightly based on incoming flow, snowpack, power needs for temperature, and availability of turbines.
Flood risk management targets are driven by basin conditions. The snowpack in the Dworshak basin at this point in the winter has reached average levels. Low elevation snow is above average. Additional snow is expected through today and tomorrow, but the remainder of the 10-day forecast is drier. The 3-to-4-week outlooks issued December 31 predict below normal temperatures and above-average precipitation. Additional snow may accumulate in the second half of the month.
The rate of change in the downstream river stage will be limited to below one foot per hour as measured at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Clearwater River Near Peck, ID (gage #13341050).
The Corps works with regional water managers, other agencies, tribes, and fish managers, and hatcheries in joint efforts to keep total dissolved gas (TDG) below the Idaho State maximum threshold of 110%, when possible.
For safety, the public is advised to be aware of the danger associated with fluctuating river flows and elevations. The river at this time of year is deep, cold, and fast, so extreme caution should be used near riverbanks. Boaters, anglers, and other people using waterways both in Dworshak Reservoir and below the dam on the Clearwater River are advised to be alert to changes in water elevation and volume of flow. Current Dworshak water-management conditions can be viewed on the Walla Walla District website at https://www.nwd.usace.army.mil/CRWM/Water-Control-Data/Project-Data/.