Corps Reducing Gavins Point Releases As Niobrara Inflows Decline

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says releases from Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota were reduced to 73,000 cubic feet per second Saturday morning and will reduced over the coming days, reaching 20,000 cfs on Tuesday.

According to the National Weather Service, tributary flows into Gavins Point Dam, primarily from the Niobrara River have dropped significantly over the past 48 hours.

“For us to reduce releases from 90,000 cfs to 20,000 cfs, we are reducing releases in 10,000-cfs steps every 12 hours. The inflows from the Niobrara are declining at a faster rate, so we are initiating releases from Fort Randall, to balance the Gavins Point inflows with its releases, says John Remus, Chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Water Management Division.

"Releases from Fort Randall do not affect the release schedule at Gavins Point Dam. The travel time for the releases from to Fort Randall to reach the Gavins Point reservoir is about 36 hours,” Remus says

The current Gavins Point release schedule is:

  • 63,000 cfs Saturday evening
  • 53,000 cfs Sunday morning
  • 43,000 cfs Sunday evening
  • 33,000 cfs Monday morning
  • 23,000 cfs Monday evening
  • 20,000 cfs Tuesday morning

The release schedule can change based on changing reservoir inflow and/or downstream river conditions. Gavins Point release changes take two to three days to reach Omaha, three to four days to reach Nebraska City and four to five days to reach Kansas City, Missouri.

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