Water resources of the Missouri River basin

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Title:
Water resources of the Missouri River basin
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Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Library of Congress -- Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division
United States -- Congress. -- Senate. -- Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. -- Subcommittee on Energy Research and Water Resources
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U.S. Govt. Print. Off. ( Washington )
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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aleph - 22446879
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page ii
    Memorandum
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Letter from Senators Metcalf and Abourezk
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
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        Page xiii
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    Title Page
        Page xv
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    Table of Contents
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
    I. Summary
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    II. Introduction
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    III. Missouri River basin - general setting
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    IV. Yellowstone River
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    V. Upper Missouri River tributaries
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    VI. Western Dakota tributaries
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    VII. Eastern Dakota tributaries
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    VIII. Platte-Niobrara Rivers
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    IX. Kansas River
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    X. Middle Missouri River tributaries
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    XI. Lower Missouri River tributaries
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    XII. Groundwater resources of the Missouri River basin
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    XIII. Legal considerations in the Missouri River basin
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    XIV. Issues related to water availability in the Missouri River basin
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    Appendix I. List of groundwater studies in the Missouri River basin by State
        Appendix 1 - 1
        Appendix 1 - 2
        Appendix 1 - 3
        Appendix 1 - 4
    Appendix II. Adequacy of data on groundwater in the Missouri River basin
        Appendix 2 - 1
        Appendix 2 - 2
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    Appendix III. Water quality in aquifers in the Missouri River basin
        Appendix 3 - 1
        Appendix 3 - 2
        Appendix 3 - 3
        Appendix 3 - 4
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


q Ilk 94th Congress I OMTE RN
2d Sessions XXTEPRN




WATER RESOURCES QF 'THE MISSOURI RIVER B~ASIN




PREPARED RY TE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
POLICY DIVISION" CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS AT THE REQUEST OF FRAW~K CHURC-H, Chairman SUBCOMMITTEE ON ENERGY RESEARCH
AND WATER RESOURCES OF THE
COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS UNITED STATES SENATE






NOVEMBER 1976

Printed for the use of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs

U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
7"-13 0 WASHINGTON: 1976

























COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS
HENRY M. JACKSON, Washington, Chairman
FRANK CHURCH, Idaho PAUL J. FANNIN, Arizona
LEE METCALF, Montana CLIFFORD P. HANSEN, Wyoming
J. BENNETT JOHNSTON, Louisiana MARK 0. HATFIELD, Oregon
JAMES ABOUREZK, South Dakota JAMTES A. McCLURE, Idaho
FLOYD K. HASKELL, Colorado DEWEY F. BARTLETT, Oklahoma
JOHN GLENN, Ohio
RICHARD STONE, Florida DALE BUMPERS, Arkansas'
GRENVILLE GARSIDE, Special Counsel and Staff Director
DANIEL A. DREYFUJS, Deputy Staff Director for Legislation WILLIAM 3. VAN NESS, Chief Counsel D. MICHAEL HARVEY, Deputy Chief Counsel OWEN J. MALONE, Senior Counsel W. 0. (FRED) CRAFT, Jr.,1Minority Counsel



SUBCOMMITTEE ON ENERGY RESEARCH AND WATER RESOURCES FRANK CHURCH, Idaho, Chairman HENRY M. JACKSON, Washington MARK 0. HATFIELD, Oregon
J. BENNETT JOHNSTON, Louisiana CLIFFORD P. HANSEN, Wyoming
JAMES ABOUREZK, South Dakota PAUL J. FANNIN, Arizona
FLOYD K. HASKELL, Colorado JOHN GLENN, Ohio
RICHARD STONE, Florida DALE BUMPERS, Arkansas BE~N YAMAGATA, Counsel RUSSELL R. BROWN, Professional Staff Member









MEMORANDUM OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIRMAN
To Members of the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs:
At the request of Senator Lee Metcalf and Senator James Abourezk, I have ordered to be printed a report authored by staff of the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. The report addresses the many and diverse issues which surround the water resources of the Missouri River Basin. Energy and agriculture development, municipal, environmental, and transportation needs will continue to make demands upon the water resources of this river basin. In my judgment, this study -adds a valuable perspective to the many questions relating to resource development in this area of the country. In addition, and most importantly, Senator Metcalf and Senator Abourezk include in their letter to the Subcommittee a list of recommendations with respect to the various issue areas. The letter from the Senators is also reproduced in this report.
FRANK CHURCH, Chairman,
Subcommittee on Eveiqy Researelt and Water Resources.













LETTER FROM SENATORS METCALF AND ABOUREZK
U.S. SENATE,
COM-1ITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS,
Wa.~hington, D.C., Decemb~er 7,1976.
lion. FRANK CHURCH,
U.S. Senate,
TVasking ton, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR CHUrRCH: As you know, we have been concerned about the water resources of the Missouri River Basin. During the second session of the 94th.-Congress, public hearings were conducted before your Subcommittee on Energy Research and Water Resources to investigate a water marketing agreement by which water slated for agricultural development would be sold, on an "interim" basis, to entities interested in energy development. During the course of those hearings, it became obvious that considerable disagreement exists with respect to the data available about water resources of the Missouri River Basin. In light of the discrepancies which exist we requested that the Congresisional Research Service prepare an analysis of the water resource issues involving the Missouri River Basin. Submitted with this letter is the completed CRS study. The study was written by Dr. Warren Viessman, Senior Specialist in Engineering and Public Works, Dr. Allen F. Agnew, Senior Specialist in Mining and Mineral Resources, Mr. Christopher K. Caudill, Research Assistant and Mr. Howard A. Brown, Analyst. We are indebted to these gentlemen for the work they have done in preparation of this report.
The report summarizes the basic hydrologic data of the Missouri River Basin, notes the differences in hydrologic estimates made by various entities and attempts to identify deficiencies in data as well as critical water resources issues. This letter summarizes the findings of the CRS 'report and includes our own recommendations which are based upon the information in the report and our understanding of the situation.
I. With respect to the basic hydrologic data about surface water and ground water resources the following information is given in the report:
SURFACE WATER RESOURCES
All eight subbasins of the Missouri River Basin show a surplus of water in the year 2000 while satisfying projected streamfiow depletions under "average" conditions. If instream flow allocations are imposed, all subbasins with the exception of two, show some level of deficiency. On thbe basis of flows expected about 10 percent of the time (that is, flow variability ex-pected about one year in ten), several subbasins would be 'either deficient or close to it if all projected depletions occurred even without the imposition of instream. flow requirements. With the imposition of inst ream, flow requirements, all subbasins, would be deficient. For annual flows occurring-with other frequencies, the sit(V)






VI

uation would vary accordingly. Of importance is the fact that for years with flows significantly below average, several subbasins appear headed for serious periodic water problems by the year 2000 even if instream flow requirements are not imposed. If a decision is made to allocate wa ter for instream use, tradeoffs of some consequence will have to be made. Montana has given legal standing under State water law for instream nonconsumptive uses and filings can and are being made on instream flows for environmental purposes.
A practical limit of depletions in the upper basin (above Sioux City, Iowa) has been tentatively set at 9.9 maf per year above the 1970 level of development (the 1970 level was 6.53 maf). This would amount to a total depletion in the upper basin of about 16.4 maf. Even if this limit were reached (all current projections are below this), there could still be partial service to navigation, a viable hydropower generating facility, and the maintenance of minimum flows of 6,000 cubic feet per second throughout a ten year drought similar to that experienced in the 1930's.
Various estimates of future streamfiow depletions above Sioux City have been made. The Bureau of Reclamation estimate for the year 2000 is about 10 maf or about 6.4 maf less than the designated practical limit of development of 16.4 maf. Other estimates range from this low to a maximum of 13.5 maf, or about 7.0 maf above the 1970 level of development. The latter value was based on localized regional and State viewpoints (State-regional futures) and reflects a strong bias toward expanded irrigated agriculture. The wide range in estimated depletions of 3.5 maf supports the need for careful evaluation of -future water use and suggests that~ a greater degree of coordination between Federal and State planning programs might be useful in narrowing differences.
At the 1975 level of development, the major depleting use of water in the Missouri River Basin was irrigated agriculture (about 78 percent), followed by evaporation from man-made reservoirs (about 15 percent). All other depletions totaled about 7 percent with those f rom domestic use and manufacturing and minerals production each representing about 1.5 percent. Projections to the year 2000 do not indicate any significant change in this distribution.
Irrigated agriculture is, and will continue to be, the major user of the basin's water resources. Measures taken to conserve or reduce water use in that sector will have greater impact than similar efforts relative to any other water use.
Recommendatio'm.-1. A higher degree of planning coordination and communication at State and regional levels should be sought to narrow differences in projections of future water use. The WNRC could facilitate this through its River Basin Commissions and Title III grants to States program.
GROUNDWATER
Detailed information on the groundwater resources of the Missouri River Basin has been obtained for some locations but in many areas only a limited knowledge of the resource exists. More information on the extent and quality of groundwater systems is needed. The f act that groundwater and surface-water sources are often interconnected amplifies the urgency for adequate quantification.





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Recommendations.-L Data collection geared to identify surface wate r-ground water linkages so conjunctive use systems can be included as viable alternatives in water resources development and management plans should be implemented and/or accelerated.

II. Major water resource issues in the Missouri River Basin are:
INDUSTRIAL WATER MARKETING
The issue of marketing water from the main stem reservoirs is one of concern over the authority of an a gency of the Federal Government to act as a marketing agent. and State versus Federal water rights. The water under consYdera/tion is ultimately scheduled for agricultural use at such time as various water development projects are constructed or completed. In the interim, it is contended that the water should be used for other beneficial purposes-namely energy development in the Northern Great Plains. Agricultural interests are concerned that industrial water contracts, once let, would set a precedent and that the use of the water would not revert back to agriculture at the appropriate point in time.
The, authority of the Bureau of Reclamation to act as water marketing agent has been challenged but a July 22, 1976 decision by the U.S. District Court in Montana (Environmental Defense. Fund vs. Rogers C. B. Morton, Civil No. 1220) appears to support the premise that this authority exists.
The amount of water which can be, put to industrial purposes is controversial but the Bureau of Reclamation and Corps of Engineers contend that three million acre-feet of water could be provided -annually as an assured supply while continuing to meet all other anticipated beneficial requirements.
The CRS report concludes that, on the strength of the analyses made in the report and studies by the Bureau of Reclamation and Corps of Engineers, it appears the marketing of 1 maf per year of water for industrial purposes is practical in the Upper Missouri River Basin. Principal conflicts would be in low flow years, particularly if instream flow reservations are made and maintained.
On October 4, 1976, a block contract between the Bureau of Reclamation and the State of Montana involving 300,000 acre-feet of water from Fort Peck Reservoir was signed. A S similar document was being negotiated with South Dakota. North Dakota, on the other hand, appears inclined to issue permits to acceptable industrial water applicants and have them contract directly with the Bureau. The course this action is following would result in about 1 maf of water being allocated for industrial purposes for 40 years or less from the contracting date. I
Recom-mendatiom.-L The Bureau of Reclamation should develop a systematic procedure for periodically publishing (in a, formal manner) the details of all applications for industrial water use from the main stem reservoirs.
2. The Bureau of Reclamation and the participating States should develop and publish definitive procedures and guidelines for industrial water applicants. We cannot emphasize enough the importance. of providing procedures by which full disclosure of information regarding possible industrial use of water is made, and that agricultural





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and other local interests are fullv aware of the impacts, if any, which industrial water use would have -on agriculture development.

NAVIGATION
Barge tow transportation of farm products below Sioux City depends on storage of water behind the Missouri River main stem dams. From Corps oY Engineers analyses, the maximum navigation season length of 8 months will be met about 70 percent of the time for total annual depletions above Sioux City of about 10 maf (corresponds to lowest current projected value). If depletion levels on the order of those specified by the State-Regional Futures Analysis (13.5 maf) occur, a maximum season length of 8 months would prevail only about 54 percent of the time and there would be no navigation season about 15 percent of the time. The Bureau of Reclamation and others have estimated that total depletions upstream could reach about 16.6 maf total and still meet essential water quality and municipal needs downstream in the main stem Missouri River system. At this practical limit of depletion, navigation -and power generation would be affected significantly and only a minimum level of power and navigation service could be maintained.
Reemn~ndation8.-1. Studies of the economic, social, and environmental impact of shortened or eliminated navigation seasons should be expedited.
HYDROELECTRIC POMMR
Hydroelectric power generated in the Missouri River Basin is centered around the main stem reservoirs above Sioux City. If no further capacity is installed (additional potential exists), the amount of power generated annually will decrease about proportionately to added stream flow depletions. On the other hand, the peaking capacity of the plants would not be significantly altered.
A study by the U.S.D.I. Water for Energy Management Team (1975) shows an overall reduction in hydropower generation of about 13 percent from 1970 to 2000 with about 2 percent of this being attributed to coal development in the Northern Great Plains.
The Corps of Engineers in its main stem reservoir regulation studies considered four alternative, futures. Its data show that the total reduction in hydropower by the year 2000 (below the 1970 level) would range from about 8 percent to about 30 percent. The reduction due to coal development ranges from about 1.8 percent tG about 3.7 percent.
Using an average annual flow above Sioux City adjusted to the 1970 level of development of approximately 21.8 maf, and' assuming 1 maf of water to be used for energy development by the year 2000, a reduction in average annual hydropower from this depletion would be about 4.6 percent. In contrast, a reduction in hydropower generation of about 11.5 percent would result from increased irrigation depletions of about 2.5 maf projected by the Bureau of Reclamation (1975). Irrip,,ated agriculture is the major water iiser in the TTnT)er Missouri River Basin and reduced water use in that sector could improve the future outlook for hydroelectric potential.






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Recom'mendations.-1. Future water resource development should incorporate conservation measures to the maximum degree practical so as to reduce depletions and lessen adverse impacts on hydroelectric generation and other instream flow uses.
2. Water depleting developments in the upper reaches of the Missouri River would have a more serious effect on hydroelectric power generation than similar developments downstream, because of the reuse of water from upstream dams, such as Fort Peck, for hydroelectric purposes. Future plans should take that factor into consideration.

IRRGATED AGRICULTURE
Irrigation is the largest single use of water in the Missouri River Basin. Year 2000 estimates of depletions by irrigated agriculture range from about 14 maf per year to approximately 23 maf per year or from about 70 to 80 percent of the total depletions in the basin (U.S.D.I. Missouri River Basin Planning Office). In contrast, even the most extreme estimates of streamfiow depletions from energy resource development constitute less than 5 percent of the total.
Because of the large quantites of water used by agriculture it is important to evaluate the potential for practices which can reduce the quantity of water required for a given level of output. The potential for water conservation in the Missouri River Basin appears to be significant.
A reduction of 10 percent in irrigation water requirements in the year 2000 is technically feasible. For the Missouri River Basin this could amount to savings of about 1.4 to 2.3 maf annually without adverse impact on crop yield for currently projected levels of irrigated acreage. A reduction of even 1 maf would be significant (about the level of water use projected for energy development from the main stem reservoirs).
Recornmendationm.-1. Planning and development processes should be designed to incorporate and emphasize evaluation of conservation practice alternatives.
2. A high priority should be assigned studies of the efficacy of conservation practices or technological change for reducing irrigation water requirements and the mechanics for implementing Such changes should be explored.
INSTREAM FLOWS
Instream flow maintenance is intended to protect the aquatic, biologic, benthic, and esthetic values of a stream and preserve the existing fishery. While the concept has merit, the quantification of such flows is difficult because of the wide variety of habitats and streamflow conditions encountered and the lack of research and data related to this issue. There is also the conflict with prior filings on water which in many streams are already greater than natural flows can supply in dry periods.
Although current (1976) estimates of instream flow needs are crude, their magnitude suggests substantial conflict with other uses, notably irrigation and energy resource development. In general, the amount of water available for storage or for new use will be reduced by about 30 to 60 percent for any one selected storage volume and location if






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designated instream flow rates are adhered to. Such requirements might well be the most critical water development issue in the basin.
Reconimendaticms.-1. A high -priority should be given to the support of research to refine and produce reasonable estimates of the quantities of water needed to satisfy instream flow requirements on an annual, seasonal and regional basis.
2. iData needs for determining instream flow requirements need better definition and programs to secure such data, should be facilitated. 3. A cooperative and coordinated effort by all interested State and Federal agencies to reach agreement on appropriate instream flow levels and tradeoffs which will have to be made To achieve these is needed in light of the cross-purposes of many of these f actors. WRC might play a major role in this.

INDIAN WATER RIGHTS
The competition between Indian and non-Ind',ian water rights poses some extraordinary problems. Most Indian reservations predate extensive water development projects in the western U.S. although the use of water in significant quantities by the Indians has generally developed only in recent years.
Resource potentials of Indian reservations in the Upper MAissouri River Basin are enormous. There are 23 reservations wholly or partly in the basin encompassing over 12 million acres or about 3.6 percent of the region's area. Most Indian lands are underlaid with large reserves of coal and other valuable minerals and many have outstanding recreation features and contain large areas suitable for agricultural development. Preliminary surveys indicate that Indian wi-ater requirements may constitute a significant portion of the annual flows in the Mlissouri River and its tributaries. For example, the U.S.D.I. Water for Energy Management Plan has estimated that in the States of Montana and Wyoming, Indian water requirements in the Yellowstone subbasin and the Upper Missouri above the confluence of the Yellowstone River could reach an annual level of 2.6 million acre-feet of consumptive use by the year 2020.
The tribes are concerned that water used for energy development will adversely affect their water rights and lead to depletions of supplies critical for sustaining future economic developments on their reservations. They are looking for assurances that their water requirements will be properly accounted for in all planning scenarios.
Rational water planning in the Missouri River Basin is dependent upon quantification of all existing and proposed water uses. Current studies of future water uses in the Missouri River Basin have addressed the issue to greater or lesser degrees but the fact remains that the quantities involved are generally unknown or in dispute. Until this matter i's resolved, estimates of 'future streamfiow depletions will be biased accordingly, and decisions on tradeoffs. with other users will be clouded.
Recommrnen dations.-1. The quantification of Indian water requirements for both short- and long-range, planning horizons is urgently needed and should be given high priority. Congress should appropriate funds to support this process and related litigation.






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2. Prior to the authorization of any non-Indian water resource project, a final adjudication should be made of all Indian water rights which when exercised could substantially affect the water supply for the project.
3. Future water resources plans involving Federal funds should require a separate accounting of water projected for Indian use so that this projection can be readily compared with claims of the tribes involved.
RESERVED RIGHTS OF FEDERAL LANDS
As with Indian water rights, Federal reserved rights can be merged with prior appropriation rights under State law by assigning, the reserved rights a priority date as of the date of the reservation. Although uses of Federal lands such as mineral leasing could have large water consumption requirements, uses such as recreation and fish and wildlife would primarily exert only instream. requirements. As such, the impact of the exercise of Federal reserved rights might fall primarily on upstream. users.
The issue of Federal reserved water rights is of considerable significance in the Missouri River Basin because much of the basin's water originates on national forest and 'national park lands. The Public Land Law Review Commission (1970) estimated that 66 percent of the average annual water yield in the Missouri River Basin is contributed by Federal lands (p. 147, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado only).
As with Indian water rights, adjudication of Federal reserved rights has been minor.
Recommendati*Ons.-1. Congress should consider direct action to resolve the issue of quantification of water requirements of lands reserved from the public domain. If Congressional action is not taken, it is likely that the problem will be resolved only through an indetermninable, number of suits at great expense of t-ime and funds.

WEATHER MODIFICATION
Studies- by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1973 indicate a potential increase in water supply from operational weather modification of as much as 1.8 million acre-feet of new water annually to the Missouri River Basin. In the Yellowstone subbasin, the estimated potential is 536,000 acre-feet per year. An increase in water supply on this order of magnitude would offset projected water depletions from energy resource development and ease the burden on expanded irrigation development.
Rlecommeivations.-L Studies of the sociological, legal, and environmental implications of weather modification should be accelerated and appropriately funded.
2. Technical aspects of weather modification need additional researh an appoprite aencies such as the Bureau of Reclamation,
-National Science Foundatioii and the Office of Water Research and Technology should be provided the funds necessary to facilitate this research.






X~i

WATER QUALITY
Water quality problems in the Missouri River Basin relate to both surface and ground waters. The fate of farm chemicals and fertilizers is considered an important problem by most States. Other water quality problems relate to erosion, sediments, logging operations, cattle grazing and, coal and other mining operations. To meet the requirements of P.L. 92-500, there is need for information on the use of sewage effluent for crop irrigation, and for land disposal of both urban and agricultural (livestock) organic waste residues.
Recommendation.-1. Research on the fate and control of pollutants related to the use of agricultural lands should be accelerated. Emphasis should be placed on the development of practical and enforceable methods of control.

BASIC DATA
The period of record, nature of adjustments, quality of the data base, drainage basin boundary configuration and other aspects of definitive data related to evaluation of the current state of the water resource should be made clear to those using planning studies based on these data.
Reeommendation&.-1. Drainage basin boundary configurations used in all federally supported studies should be agreed upon and standardized.
2. The period of record used, the quality and source of the data, and the nature of adjustments made in hydrologic data (precipitation, streamfiow, etc.) should be clearly stated in all planning reports.

ALTERNATIVE FUTURES PLANNING
The studies of the Missouri River Basin reviewed in this report have one thread in common-they all assume a r'articular future. For example, the 1975 Assessment being developed by the Water Resources Council focuses on a Modified Central Case-that future deemed most likely to occur by the Federal agency representatives. By analyzing this single future, it is true that useful insights to tradeoffs between water uses and users and other policy oriented issues can be gained. A more informative approach, however, involves the evaluation of several alternative futures so that the price to be paid by emphasizing one use over another can be made more explicit and the nature of tradeoffs more clearly defined. Through this mechanism, better decisions regarding the direction of future water resources development should result. '
It is suggested that a display of at least four alternative futures em.phasizing irrigation development, energy resource development (including hydropower), instream, flow needs and Indian water use respectively would be most informative. For each alternative, the im-pacts of several levels of water used by specific water users could also be presented. This would expand the utility of each alternative analysis and provide a better base for policy determination.
The following example serves to illustrate the approach. Assume that one alternative is to provide an optimal level of instream flows for fish and wildlife preservation, navigation and hydroelectric power






X111

generation. 'Within this constraint, the remaining flows could then be apportioned in several alternative ways to satisfy the other major uses-namely irrigation, energy resource development and municipal and industrial water supply. The analysis would show the impact of the various tradeoffs by each 'sector and would provide the basis for a reasonable compromise. In like manner, the instream flow optimizing alternative could be compared with those stressing irrigation, Indian water use and energy resource development. The selection of a policy for future water resources development should be made less difficult in thi-s manner and the implications of that choice explicit.
The projection of a sin-gle future is an inadequate approach to water resources planning. The impacts of several alternatives for each major water use should be developed in the context of their relationship to other uses so that interactions can be displayed and tradeoffs explicitly defined.
Recommendations.-1. The Missouri River Basin Commission in cooperation with the WRC and the affected States should be instructed to analyze a practical range of alternative futures for the Missouri River Basin. At least four-futures emphasizing instream flow needs, energy resource development, irrigation development and Indian water use respectively should be studied and the implications of these clearly displayed. Congress should appropriate the necessary funds to support this study and instruct that it be accomplished within a minimum time frame.
Very truly yours,
LEE METCALF, U.S. Senator.
JAMES ABOUREZK, U.S. Senator.





















WATER RESOURCES OF THE MISSOURI RIVER BASIN

Prepared by WARREN VESSMAN-, Jr. Senior Specialist in Engineering and Public Works ALLEN F. AGNEW Senior Specialist in Mining and Mineral Resources
CHRISTOPHER K. CAUDILL Research Assistant and
HoWAm A. BROWN Analyst
Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division
Congressional Research Service Library of Congress

November 1976





(XV)












TABLE OF CONTENTS



Page


I. SUMMARY .............................................. 1-1

11. INTRODUCTION ......................................... 2-1

III. MISSOURI RIVER BASIN GENERAL SETTING ............. 3-1

IV. YELLOWSTONE RIVER .................................. 4-1

V. UPPER MISSOURI RIVER TRIBUTARIES ................... 5-1

V1. WESTERN DAKOTA TRIBUTARIES ........................ 6-1

VII. EASTERN DAKOTA TRIBUTARIES ........................ 7-1

VIII. PLATTE -NIOBRARA RIVERS ............................. 8-1

Ix. KANSAS RIVER ........................................... 9-1

X. MIDDLE MISSOURI RIVER TRIBUTARIES .................. 10-1

X1. LOV,rER MISSOURI RIVER TRIBUTARIES .................. 11-1

Mi. GROUNDWATER RESOURCES OF THE MISSOURI RIVER
BASIN .................. *. 0 ................ 0 .... 0... 12-1

XIII. LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS IN THE MISSOURI RIVER
BASIN ....................... 0 ...... *. ............... 13-1

MV. ISSUES RELATED TO WATER AVAILABILITY IN THE
MISSOURI RIVER BASIN ................................ 14-1



APPENDIX I List of Groundwater Studies in the Missouri River Basin by State

APPENDIX H Adequacy of Data on Groundwater in the Missouri River Basin

APPENDIX III Water Quality in Aquifers in the Missouri River Basin






















78-913 0 77 2













I. SUMMARY


It is the purpose of this report to: summarize the basic hydrologic data of the Missouri River Basin; point out variances in hydrologic estimates by different authors or agencies; identify data gaps and weaknesses; present the available data in a manner which will permit its optimal use in designing or evaluating water resources policy; and to identify those critical problems and issues which must be resolved if stable water resources development is to be achieved in the basin.


A. The Missouri River Basin


The Missouri River Basin is the largest of the principal water resources regions in the contiguous United States. It includes all or part of ten States and ranges in.climate from semi-humid to semi-arid. All manner of water problems and uses are encountered.

Figure 1-1 shows the eight-subbasin configuration used in the Missouri River Basin Comprehensive Framework Study. These subbasins are the principal units dealt with in this report. Since they have been used or partly-used in most other studies, comparisons are facilitated.

Figure 1-2 shows the location of the six main stem reservoirs along the Missouri River above Sioux City, Iowa. These storage units provide water for irrigation, municipal and industrial use, and recreation. They also supply hydroelectric power, permit regulation of flows for downstream navigation and facilitate flood damage reduction. One of the issues addressed herein' is the marketing of main stem reservoir water for industrial purposes.







Figure 1-1 MISSOURI RIVER BASIN AND

--- --- SUBBASINS AS DEFINED IN
UNITED STATES THE MISSOURI RIVER BASIN

COMPREHENSIVE FRAMEWORK

D A T STUDY


2 SoS 0 OT H I,/NNEsoTA
..... 1 - 4 M IuNSs
/J 3SUBBASI NS
IN G D A KTA1. UPPER MISSOURI RIVER TRIBUTARIES
2. YELLOWSTONE RIVER
f"3. WESTERN DAKOTA TRIBUTARIES
4. EASTERN DAKOTA TRIBUTARIES
1 0 W A 5. PLATTE-NIOBRARA RIVERS
6. MIDDLE MISSOURI RIVER TRIBUTARIES
7. KANSAS RIVER
-8. LOWER MISSOURI RIVER TRIBUTARIES



K AN S A S BASIN BOUNDARY
M SUBBASIN BOUNDARY ,,-,, -.,







Figure 1-2 MISSOURI RIVER CN_ -- .PE MAIN STEM
7ERUNITED rAE T E CK RESERVOIR

GARRISON RESERVOIRS
A NA NORTH
Bismar CkO A N E Biln s Y Lo 0 D A K O TAW. ,,-.e MINNESOTA Pierre BIG BEND

OSEN D A K O A RANDALL
NW YO M I NGSio- GA VINS POINT City
NE B RASKA IOVA
B OCheyenne .Oraha
f P T E L in c o ln O "
Nebraska City MSO R
Denver *;0
Topeka Kansas City St Louis Jefferson City :
COL ORAD
KANSAS







1-4


B. Surface Water Resources of the Missouri River Basin

The surface water situation in the Missouri River Basin is summarized in Tables 1-1 and 1-2. The best available or most reasonable estimates of average annual flows (calculated on the basis of water use conditions in 1975) are compared with maximum estimates of streamflow depletions (water removed and not returned for further use; normally evaporated, used by plants or incorporated in products) and mainstream flow requirements (minimum streamflows needed to protect fish and wildlife) which might be imposed between 1975 and 2000.

Interest in preserving prescribed levels of mainstream flow is predicated on the desire to protect aquatic, biologic and esthetic values. The mainstream flow requirements reported herein are tentative and should be accepted only as rough and probably conservative indicators -of magnitude, but they demonstrate that such requirements could be substantial, (up to 50 percent or more of the average annual flow) and if met, serious conflicts with other uses such as irrigated agriculture would almost certainly result.

Conclusions drawn from Table 1-1 are founded on the use of average annual flows and must be accepted on that basis. While these average values are representative of the long-term volume of water which can be generated, they. do not indicate the variability of natural flows from year to year. With a highly regulated stream, it would be possible to approach the average annual flow as a safe or dependable yield but in most river basins this condition is not met and there are often large variances in flows from one year to the next. The Missouri River Basin is no exception and annual and seasonal variations should be carefully evaluated in planning processes.





1-5


Table 1-1 Missouri River Subbasin Summary of Flow Availability (1975),
Projected Depletions to the Year 2000, Instream Flow Approximations and Surpluses or Deficiencies by the Year 2000 1/


All Flows In Millions of Acre-Feet

(A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

Subbasin Approximate Projected Instream Surplus (+) Surplus (+)
Name Average Maximum Flow Needs or Defi- or DefiAnnual Flow Depletion Approxi-na- ciency ciency (-)
At 1975 Level Levels tion (-) at the at the Year
of Develop- 1975-2000 Year 2000 2000 with
ment without Instream
Instream Flow ConFlow Con- sideration
sideration
(A-B) (D-C)

21
YellowstoneRiver 8.8 1.3, (5.3) 5.3. (7.0) +7.5,(+3.5) +2.2,(-3.5)
Upper Missouri
River Tributaries 7.3 1.9 4.7 +5.4 +0.7
Western Dakota 3/ 3/
Tributaries 2.1 1.2 --- +0.9
Eastern Dakota
Tributaries 2.4 0.6 2.4 +1.8 -0.6
Platte-Niobrara
Rivers 3.6 2.2 5.1 +1.4 -3.7
Kansas River 4.5 0.6 4.8 +3.9 -0.9
Middle Missouri 3/
River Tributaries --- --- --- --- -Lower Missouri 31
River Tributari-s ..............



11 See Sections IV through XI for origin of average annual flows, estimated
depletions and instream flow approximations

2/ Numbers in parentheses reflect estimates by the Montana Department of
Natural Resources and Conservation. They are shown separately since they are substantially greater than any other estimates for the Yellowstone River Basin

3/ Values not given since streamflows in the main stem Missouri River are
not representative of internal problems on tributaries in these subbasins







1-6



Table 1-2 Flow Availability Ten Percent of the Time, Projected Depletions to
the Year 2000, Instream Flow Approximations and Surpluses or Deficiencies by the Year 2000 1/

All Flows In Millions of Acre-Feet

(A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

Subbasin Approximate Projected Instream Surplus (+) Surplus (+)
Name Annual Flow Maximum Flow Needs or Defi- or DefiWhich Would Depletion Approxima- ciency ciency (-)
Not be Exceed- Levels tion (-) at the at the Year
ed on the Aver- 1975-2000 Year 2000 2000 with
age of One Year without Instream
In Ten Instream Flow ConFlow Con- sideration
sideration
(A -B) (D-C)

27
Yellowstone
River 5.8 1.3,(5.3) 5.3,(7.0) +4.5,(+0.5) -0.8,(-6.5)
Upper Missouri
River Tributaries 4.4 1.9 4.7 +2.5 -2.2
Western Dakota 3/ 3/
Tributaries 1.2 1.2 --- 0.0
Eastern Dakota
Tributaries 0.4 0.6 2.4 -0.2 -2.6
Platte -Niobrara
Rivers 2.3 2.2 5.1 +0.1 -5.0
Kansas River 1.7 0.6 4.8 +1.1 -3.7
Middle Missouri 3!
River Tributaries 1.6 ---.......
Lower Missouri 3/
River Tributarie9 4.9 --- ---..





1/ See Sections IV through XI for origin of annual flows, estimated depletions
and instream flow approximations

2/ Numbers in parentheses reflect estimates by the Montana Department of
Natural Resources and Conservation. They are shown separately, since they are substantially greater than any other estimates for the Yellowstone River Basin.

3/ Values not given since streamflows in the main stem Missouri River are
not representative of internal problems on tributaries in these subbasins







1-7


A review of Table 1-1 shows that if instream flow allocations are not considered, all subbasins would show a surplus of water in the year 2000 while satisfying projected streamfiow depletions. With the imposition of instream flow allocations, the picture changes materially and all subbasins with the exception of two (if Montana's estimate for the Yellowstone is disregarded) show various levels of deficiency. Table 1-2 depicts the situation which could be expected about 10 percent of the time (flow variability expected about one year in ten). In this case several of the subbasins would be either deficient or very close to it if all projected depletions were imposed even without reservation of instream flows. With the imposition of instream flow requirements, all of the subbasins would be deficient. For annual flows occurring with other frequencies, the situation would vary accordingly. Of importance is the fact that several subbasins will experience serious periodic water problems by the year 2000 even if instream requirements are not imposed. If a decision is made to allocate water for such use, tradeoffs of some consequence will have to be made. Note that Montana has given legal standing under State water law for instream non-consumptive uses and filings can and are being made on instream flows for environmental purposes. Because Montana's estimates of future water use in the Yellowstone River Basin are much greater than all others, they are shown in parentheses in Tables 1 -1 and 1 -2.

A summary of findings for each of the eight subbasins follows.






1-8

Yellowstone River

For all projections except those made by the State of Montana, the average annual water supply of the Yellowstone River Basin is adequate to meet the anticipated needs of the basin to the year 2000.

A surplus of about 2. 7 million acre-feet (maf) in the year 2000 is indicated even if instream'flows are allocated during an average year. The 11 average" year rarely occurs, however, and about once in ten years, for example, the annual flow is less than or equal to about 5. 8 maf. 'On this basis, a shortage of approximately 0. 8 maf would occur if the maximum reported mainstream. flow use prevailed. On the basis of Montana' s estimate, a deficiency would occur even during the average year if the full mainstream flow requirement was imposed.


Upper Missouri River Tributaries

During years with flows near the average, it appears that an adequate supply of water is available to meet current projected water uses in the Uppper Missouri Tributaries to the year 2000. The flow in this region is variable however, and as indicated in Table 1 -2, deficits would occur 10 percent of the time or more frequently with the imposition of mainstream flow requirements.


Western Dakota Tributaries

Considering an average annual available surface water supply of about 2. 1 maf, the maximum additional depletion projected from 1975 to 2000 of about 1. 2 maf would deplete most of the available water supply. The flow variability in the Western Dakota Tributaries is high, with annual flows of about 25 percent of the average annual flow reported about 10 percent of the time for many of the tributaries. This situation further compounds the pro-







1-9


blem. Instream flow requirements would not be met during critical periods. The question of Indian water rights is important in this basin and could significantly increase the prospects for water supply problems. Eastern Dakota Tributaries

Using the average annual flow of 2.4 maf (1975) reported by the Water Resources Council (WRC) and the maximum projected use of 0. 6 maf (19702000) estimated by the Water for Energy in the Northern Great Plains Study, a surplus of 1. 8 maf per year results. If instrearn flow uses of approximately 2.4 maf are added, a deficit of about 0. 6 maf is noted. Add to this the wide flow variation in the basin (about 25 percent of the time the flows are only about 40 percent of the mean) and it is apparent that plans for expanded irrigation development will be dependent upon importation of water from the main stem reservoirs. Platte -Niobrara Rivers

The average annual flow of the Platte-Niobrara River Basin is about 3. 6 maf. Deducting from this the maximum projected use (19 75-2000) of 2. 2 maf, leaves an annual surplus of about 1. 4 maf. If instreaxn uses are deducted, substantial deficiency of 3. 7 maf is noted. Add to this the dimension of flow variability (about 10 percent of the time the flow is less than or equal to about 64 percent of the mean; in 1940 it was 1. 9 maf) and it is evident that this basin faces serious water problems, especially if instream flow requirements are imposed.


Kansas River

The average annual flow in the Kansas River Basin is about 4. 5 maf. Deducting 19 70-2000 level depletions of 0. 6 maf gives a surplus of 3. 9 maf.







1-10



Once mainstream flow uses are imposed, the result is a deficit of about 0. 9 maf per year. The flow variability in the basin is such that about 10 percent of the time the annual flow will be only about 37 percent or less of the mean annual now. On the average annual flow basis, problems to the year 2000 do not appear to be severe although projected mainstream uses would not be completely satisfied.



Middle Missouri River Tributaries

This subbasin includes the main stem of the Missouri River from Sioux City to Kansas City. The water supply will barely meet projected consumptive uses especially during July and August by the year 2000. According to the WRC, flows will be inadequate for navigational purposes about 2 months each year in 1985 and 2000 under normal conditions. During a dry year (once in 20 years) the entire navigation season would be lost at the 1985 level of development.



Lower Missouri River Tributaries

Current average annual water supplies appear to be adequate to meet projected consumptive requirements for the year 2000 although mainstream flow uses might be restricted especially during the month of August. Other mainstream flow shortages could result from trade-offs involving the diversion of water for other purposes.






1-11


C. Depletion Estimates Above Sioux City Iowa and for the Total Missouri River Basin

Sioux City, Iowa separates the upper basin from the lower basin and is the demarcation point between the head of navigation and the bottom of main-stem storage (Figure 1-2). The average annual flow of the Missouri River at Sioux City is about 19. 5 maf at the 1975 level of development. This flow is enhanced by 74. 7 million acre -feet of storage in the six main stem reservoirs. Between Sioux City and the mouth of the Missouri River, l/
an average annual accretion of about 31.4 maf can be expected.Most water for energy development will likely be supplied from sources at and upstream from Lake Sakakawea. This lake, behind Garrison Dam, is the largest of the six main-stem storage facilities, and has an average annual inflow of about 17 maf.

A practical limit of depletions in the upper basin has been tentatively set at 9. 9 maf per year above the 1970 level of development (total depletion 2/
in the upper basin of about 16. 4 maf). This additional increment will more than satisfy all future depletion estimates (1976) although mainstream flow requirements at the levels noted in Table 1 -1 could not be maintained simultaneously. Even with the entire 9. 9 maf consumed, there could still be partial service to navigation, a viable hydropower generating facility, and minimum flows throughout a ten year drought (similar to 1930-1941), 3/
of 6, 000 cubic feet per second between and from all main-stem reservoirs.


11 U.S. Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, "Northern Great Plains
Resources Program, Water Work Group Report", Washington, D. C.,
December 1974.

2/ ibid.

3/ ibid.
U.S. Army Corps I of Engineers, "Missouri River Main Stem Reservoir
Regulation Studies', Series 1-74, Omaha, Nebraska, April 1974.






1-12


This minimum level of release would satisfy water quality purposes but would not support navigation.

The first basin-wide prediction of future depletions appeared in a 1951 Missouri River Basin Inter-Agency Committee report on adequacy of flows. It was estimated that eventual developments above Sioux City, Iowa, would 4/
deplete 9. 5 maf above 1949 levels_ The 1969 Comprehensive Framework Plan for the Missouri River Basin projected future depletions of 11. 6 rnaf 5/
beyond 1949 and 8. 8 maf beyond the 1970 level of development.

More recent estimates of future streamnflow depletions have been made by the Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Northern Great Plains Resource Program Study, and the WRC. These are summarized on Figures 1-3 to 1-5. Figure 1-3 shows Bureau of Reclamation estimated depletions above Sioux City to the year 2060. At the year 2000, the estimated depletions total about 10 maf or about 6.4 maf less than the designated practical limit of development. The diagram also depicts potentialities for industrial water marketing from the main stem system during the period over which irrigation development would expand.

Figure 1-4 shows projected total streamnfiow depletions to the year 2000 above Sioux City. Of interest is the significant variation in estimated depletion levels. The average of the six reported figures is about 11. 2 maf or about 4. 7 maf above the 1970 level of development. The maximum estimate (13. 5 maf) is about 7. 0 maf above the 1970 level of development. This value was based on localized regional and State viewpoints (State-re4/-U. S. Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, "Nrhr Great Plains
Resources Program, Water Work Group Report", Washington, D. C.,
December 1974.

5/ MissouriBasin Interagency Committee, "The Missouri River Basin Comprehensive Framework Study, Volume 6, Hydrologic Analysis, U. S.
Govt. Printing Office, Washington, D. C., December 1971. -







1-13


gional futures) and reflects a strong bias toward expanded irrigated agriculture. The wide range in estimated depletions of 3. 5 maf supports the need for careful evaluation of future water use and suggests that a greater degree of coordination between Federal and State planning programs might be useful in narrowing differences.

Figure 1-5 summarizes the trends of water supply and streamfiow depletions in the entire Missouri River Basin. Again the significant difference between the State -regional futures and other projections is evident.

On the basis of this assessment, it is clear that current (1976) projections of streamfiow depletions to the year 2000 could be met during "average years" for all eight subbasins providing that instream flow requirements were not imposed. For years with flows significantly below average (once in ten years for example), some problems would be encountered in meeting even the projected depletions. If instream flow requirements were established and imposed, serious conflicts between uses could occur and tradeoff s would have to be made.






MISSOURI RIVER AT SIOUX CITY

30r
Average Annual Flow with Zero Depletions
28.4 Million Acre -Feet



125





Ico

S0



,!5 153 Million Acre-Feet Determined Available for
Industrial Use by Ad Hoc Committee
C

1983 ssume Years = 2- maf Available
Starting Date
0 for IndustrialI- -~ 10 Water Use





HistoriciDepleionsetoi1970aLeveleofDDevelopment






oil I I I I I I I IIII
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050'2060 Year

Figure 1-3 Depletion Estimates by Ithe Bureau of

Reclamation Ifor! the Missouri River

Basin Above Sioux City, Iowa







- 14 13.5 maf State Regional Futures
o 11.8 Missouri River Basin Comprehensive

12 Average Projection Based 0/ Framework Study
12On Year 2000 Estimates 11.4 Water Resources Council
of Six Studies for which Preliminary for 1975 Assessment
E Data Points are Shown 10.5 Water for Energy Study (USDI)
W 10.4 Northern Great Plains Resource
0)
Program Study
8 -10.0 U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (1975)
000

= 6 \eI' 1970 (6.53 maf)


'-4
1949 (3.76 maf)


0
2


0 1 I1 .. I 1 .. ... I I
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
Years

Figure 1-4 Streamflow Depletion Estimates above Sioux City, Iowa 1950-2000






70



Approximate Average Annual Flow Prior to Development (65.3 maf)
60



Remaining Water Supply

45.0 maf
50 \



44.2 maf

E 40
U_ 38.0 maf
LEGEND
C-)
Missouri River Comprehensive .2 30 Framework Study
27.0 maf
Water Resources Council
Preliminary for 1975 Assessment
State-Regional Futures2 21.5

20 Ol


21.1 maf


10 Depletions


0\



1960 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000
Year

Figure 1-5 Average Annual Water Supply

and Depletions Total Missouri

Basin 1865-2000






1-17

D. Groundwater



Detailed information on the groundwater resources of the Missouri River Basin has been obtained for some locations but only a general knowledge of the resource exists in many areas.

Subsurface geohydrologic conditions are known in detail for the first few hundred feet below the ground surface, in parts of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, and southeastern Wyoming. For the remainder of the basin, however, detailed information on sources of groundwater within 500 feet of the surface is available only for scattered areas or for point locations.

Artesian aquifers at somewhat greater depths have been studied in many areas, and detailed information is available for several localities in the two Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming.

Groundwater quality in the basin is variable, ranging from less than 100 milligrams per liter (mg/1) total dissolved solids to several thousand. Waters having quality in the upper range may be used, however, depending on the type of use intended and the economics of water treatment.

The lack of detailed information on groundwater resources in shallow, unconsolidated deposits is critical because such resources vary from locality to locality. Bedrock aquifers tend to be more extensive geographically although they can vary from State to State and within States.

Groundwater resources in bedrock and in consolidated deposits in the Missouri River Basin are substantial but more information on the extent and quality of these resources is needed. The fact that groundwater and surface-water systems are often interconnected amplifies the urgency for adequate quantification.







1-18



E. Water Resources Issues in the Missouri River Basin



Development trends in the Missouri River Basin are shaped by emerging policies related to water and other natural resources. As demands for water by various sectors increase, the competition stiffens and the need for a thorough understanding of the implications of various development and management options becomes more important. Major water resources issues include: industrial water use; hydroelectric power generation; navigation; irrigation; Indian water use and rights; and mainstream flows.






1-19


Industrial Water Marketing


The issue of marketing water from the main stem reservoirs is fundamentally related to concern over the legality of an agency of the Federal Government to act as a marketing agent, and the question of State water rights. The water under consideration is ultimately scheduled for agricultural use at such time as various water development projects are constructed or completed. In the interim, it is contended that the water should be used for other beneficial purposes-namely energy development in the Northern Great Plains. Agricultural interests are concerned that industrial water contracts, once let, would set a precedent and that the use of the water would not revert back to agriculture at the appropriate point in time.

To minimize this hazard, the Federal Government has proposed that States in which main stem reservoirs are located would be preferred customers in marketing of water from those reservoirs and that they would have the first option on the reservoir water. States could then retail the water to industries under their own procedures.

The authority of the Bureau of Reclamation to act as water marketing agent has been challenged but a July 22, 1976 decision by the U. S. District Court in Montana (Envirom-nental Defense Fund vs. Rogers C. B. Morton, Civil No. 1220) appears to support the premise that this authority exists. Although the specific case involved the Yellowstone aj- d Boysen Reservoirs in Montana and Wyoming rather than the main stem reservoirs, the analogy is direct. this statement from the Court's decision summarizes the findings.






1-20

"The particular provisions of the Reclamation Act of 1902 (32 Stat. 388, 43 U.S. C. 391, et seq.) relied upon by plaintiffs are not applicable to the industrial water option contracts. Furthermore, the Flood Control Act of 1944 (58 Stat. 887, 33 U. S. C. 701 -1, t seq. ) authorizes use of project waterfor industrial purposes and also expressly authorizes the marketing thereof under federal reclamation law. The Court also concludes that the Bureau of Reclamation and Secretary of the Interior legally proceeded to process, approve and execute the water option contracts pursuant to the authority contained in Section 9(c) of the Reclamation Project Act of 1939 (53 Stat. 1194, 43 U.S. C. 485th (0). "

The amount of water which can be put to industrial purposes is controversial in the Upper Missouri River Basin but the Bureau of Reclamation and Corps of Engineers contend that three million acre-feet of water could be provided annually as an assured supply while continuing to meet all other anticipated beneficial requirements (Figure 1-3).

In hearings before the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Interior made the following statement with regard to the availability of water for commitment 6/
pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding.

"Using the Framework Plan, Corps of Engineers operation studies, and Bureau of Reclamation Rate and Repayment Studies, the Bureau of Reclamation determined in what quantities and during what time frame waters allotted to future irrigation use could be committed to interim nonirrigation uses. Reclamation studies show that up to 2 million acre-feet of mainstem reservoir storage will not be utilized for agricultural purposes before 6/ U. S. Congress, Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, 94th
Congress, lst Session, Hearings on The Sale of Water from the Upper Missouri River Basin by the Federal Goverrument for the Development
of Energy, Part I, Washington, D.C., July 18, 1975.






1-21


the year 2023. Of this available supply, we are proposing that 1 million acre-feet annually could be considered as available initially for the interim industrial water marketing'program. This determination has been a joint endeavor by the Departments of the Interior and the Army, and it has been discussed with officials of the Upper Missouri River Basin States. "

On the strength of the analyses made herein and studies by the Bureau of Reclamation and Corps of Engineers, it appears that the marketing of 1 maf per year of water for industrial purposes is feasible in the Upper Missouri River Basin. Principal conflicts would be in low flow years, particularly if mainstream flow reservations are made and adhered to. The Corps of Engineers "Umbrella Study" scheduled for completion in February 1977 should provide a better quantification of the amount of water available for energy uses and its impact on other uses.

On October 4, 1976, a block contract between the Bureau of Reclaxnation and the State of Montana involving 300,000 acre-feet of water fro' m Fort Peck Reservoir was signed. A similar document was being ne gotiated with South Dakota. North Dakota, on the other hand, appears inclined to issue permits to acceptable industrial water applicants and have them contract directly with the Bureau. The course this action is following would result in about I maf of water being allocated for industrial purposes for 40 years or less from the contracting date.



Navigation

The 1944 Flood Control Act, which authorized the Pick-Sloan Missouri River Basin Program states that:







1-22


"The use for navigation of waters arising in States lying wholly or partly west of the Ninety-eighth Meridian shall be only such use as does not conflict with any beneficial use, present or future * of such waters for domestic, municipal, stock water, irrigation, mining, or industrial purposes. "

The impact of depletions resulting from water uses in the upstream States needs evaluation, especially in light of increasing interests in energy development and pressures for expanded irrigated agriculture.

The Corps of Engineers addressed this issue for four possible streamflow depletion futures. On the basis of these studies, it was concluded that at the year 2000 level of water resource development, full 8-month navigation seasons were possible for 54 of 78 years of recorded streamflows. During the other years (coinciding with the drought periods of the 1930's and the late 19501s, and early 19601s) it would be necessary to reduce navigation season lengths, in some cases to a minimum of 4 months. Navigation was suspended for one complete year in two of the studies and one additional year in another. For the most severe case, (corresponding to depletions above the 1970 level of 6. 8 maf) navigation service was provided during 66 years of the 78 year record period. The navigation function was not served during the years 1933 through 1942 and during 1961 and 1962. Full 8-month navigation seasons were provided during 42 of the 78 years of record.

Barge tow transportation of farm products below Sioux City depends on storage of water behind the Missouri River main stem dams. From Corps of Engineers analyses, the maximum season length of 8 months will be met about 70 percent of the time for total annual depletions above Sioux City of about 10 maf (corresponds to lowest projected value on Figure







1-23


1-4). If depletion levels on the order of those specified by the StateRegional Futures Analysis (13.5 maf, Figure 1-4) occur, a maximum season length of 8 months would prevail only about 54 percent of the time and there would be no navigation season about 15 percent of the time. The Bureau of Reclamation and others have estimated that total depletions upstream could reach about 16.6 maf total and still meet essential water quality and municipal needs downstream in the main stem Missouri River
7/
system.- At this "practical limit of depletion, 'I navigation and power generation would be affected significantly and only a minimum level of power and navigation service could be maintained. The economic and social significance of this needs clarification if valid decisions are to be made regarding future water allocation policies.


Hydroelectric Power

Hydroelectric power generated in the Missouri River Basin is centered around the main stem reservoirs above Sioux City. If no further capacity is installed, (additional potential exists) the amount of power generated annually will decrease about proportionately to added streamflow depletions. On the other hand, the peaking capacity of the plants Would not be significantly altered.

A study by the U. S. D. L Water for Energy Management Team (19 7 5) developed the following data on the impact of projected depletions on hy8/
dropower generation in the main stem reservoirs.


7/ U. S. Dept. of Interior. Bureau of Reclamation, Northem Great Plains
Resources Program, Water Work Group Report". Washington, D.C.,
December 1974.

8/ U.S. Dept. of Interior, Water for Energy Management Team, "Report
on Water for Energy in the Northern Great Plains Area with Emphasis on the Yellowstone River Basin, "Washington, D.C., January 1975.







1-24


Average Annual Reduction in Generation
Generation Due to Coal Development
Kw-hr Kw-hr
Year millions millions

1970 9,346 0

1980 9,028 27

2000 8,158 171


These figures reflect an overall reduction in hydropower generation of about 13 percent from 1970 to 2000 with about 2 percent of this being attributed to coal development in the Northern Great Plains.

The Corps of Engineers in its main stem reservoir regulation 9/
studies also explored this issue. Considering four alternative futures, their data show that the total reduction in hydropower by the year 2000 (below the 1970 level) would range from about 8 percent to about 30 percent. The reduction due to coal development ranges from about 1. 8 percent to about 3. "t percent.

Using an average annual flow above Sioux City adjusted to the 1970 level of development of approximately 21. 8 maf, and assuming 1 maf of water to be used for energy development by the year 2000, a reduction in average annual hydropower from this depletion would be about 4.6 percent. In contrast, a reduction in hydropower generation of about 11. 5 percent would result from increased irrigation depletions of about 2. 5 maf projected by the Bureau of Reclamation (Figure 1-3). Irrigation is still the major water depletion in the Upper Missouri River Basin and measures taken to reduce or more efficiently use water in that sector could have significant impact on hydroelectric generating capabilities.

-9/ U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, "Missouri River Main Stem Reservoir
Regulation Studies", Series 12-75, Omaha, Nebraska, February 1976.






I 24a


It is also important to recognize that water flowing in a stream is available for use at more than one hydroelectric facility. For the Missouri River main stem, the point at which a unit of depletion occurs affects its impact on electrical generating capacity. That is to say, one unit of water withdrawn above Fort Peck Reservoir would reduce the power capabilities at all downstream dams while the same unit withdrawn above Gavins Point would only affect the generating capability at that facility. This suggests that the centering of heavy water depleting developments in the upper reaches of the Missouri River would have a more serious effect on hydroelectric power generation than similar developments downstream. Future plans for water resources development in the basin should take this into consideration.







1-25

Irrigated Agriculture

Irrigation is the largest single use of water in the Missouri River Basin. Year 2000 estimates of depletions by irrigated agriculture range from about 14 maf per year to approximately 23 maf per year or from about 70 to 80 percent of the total depletions in the basin (U.S. D. I. Missouri River Basin Planning Office). In contrast, even the most extreme estimates of streamflow depletions from energy resource development constitute less than 5 percent of the total.

Because of the large quantities of water used by agriculture it is important to carefully evaluate the potential for practices which can reduce the quantity of water required for a given level of output. The potential for water conservation in the Missouri River Basin appears to be significant.

The fact that more emphasis should be placed on implementation of new and emerging irrigation technology as a means to reduce water requirements is supported by the following studies. In 1973, the Bureau of Reclamation found that by converting from a gravity system to a sprinkler irrigation system for the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project could effect 10/
water savings of about 9 percent. A similar study (1974) by GAO of the Garrison Diversion Project in North Dakota indicated potential reductions 11/
in diversion requirements of about 23 percent. In their study the GAO concluded the following:

"In total, we estimated, and the Bureau agreed, that under the revised plan, the average annual diversion requirement (871, 000 acre-feet 10/ U. S. Dept. of Interior. Bureau of Reclamation. Navajo Indian
ligation Project-New Mexico-All Sprinkler Irrigation System. Washington, D. C., 1973.

11/ Comptroller General of the United States, "Congress Needs More
Information on Plains for Constructing The Garrison Diversion Unit
In North Dakota", Nov. 25, 1974.






1-26


of water) could be reduced by 200, 000 acre-feet of water annually. Bureau officials said that such a reduction could give the Bureau previously unavailable options for (1) reducing the capacity of canals and other construction required to deliver project waters where they are needed or (2) using the water supply to irrigate more land or generate more power than originally anticipated.

On the basis of studies such as the foregoing, it appears that a potential for reducing irrigation water requirements in the year 2000 by at least 10 percent is technically feasible. For the Missouri River Basin this could mean a reduction in use of about 1. 4 to 2. 3 maf annually without adverse impact on crop yield for currently projected levels of irrigated acreage. A reduction of even 1 maf would be significant (this is about the level of water use projected for energy development from the main stem reservoirs) and the potential for achieving this suggests that planning and development processes for the Missouri River Basin should incorporate and emphasize evaluation of conservation practice alternatives.


Instream, Flows

Instream flow maintenance is intended to protect the aquatic, biologic, benthic, and esthetic values of a stream and preserve the existing fishery. While the concept has merit, the quantification of such flows is extremely difficult because of the wide variety of habitats and streamflow conditions encountered and the lack of research and data related to this issue. There is also the conflict with prior filings on water which in many streams are already greater than natural flows can supply in dry periods.

The Water Resources Council, the U. S. D. I. Water for Energy Management Team and the Northern Great Plains Resource Program Study







1-27


have all addressed this issue. In developing the Plan of'Study for the 1975 National Water Assessment, it was determined that a quantification of instream flow requirements would be made. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service was assigned this task. In their analyses they agreed that conservative estimates would be most practical based on the available capability for making such estimates. It was understood that future studies might reveal lesser needs than those identified for the 1975 assessment. Accordingly, the values presented in Sections IV through XI should be interpreted with this qualification.


Although current (1976) estimates of instream flow needs are crude, their magnitude suggests substantial conflict with other uses, notably irrigation and energy resource development. In general, the amount of water available for storage or for new use will be reduced by about 30 to 60 percent for any one selected storage volume and location if designated 12/
instream flow rates are adhered to. The large quantities of water involved create an urgency in the need to thoroughly evaluate the implications of instream flow requirements. Such requirements might well be the most critical water development issue in the basin.











12/ Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation Commission, Report on the
Framework Study", State Water Plan Publication 101, Lincoln, Nebraska, May 1971.






1-28

Weather Modification

Precipitation augmentation is a feasible approach to increasing water supplies and there appears to be a favorable outlook for results in the 13/
Fort Union-Powder River Basin Coal Region.

Studies sponsored by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1973 of the potential increase in water supply from operational weather modification in the upper basin indicate that seeding winter orographic storms in head-water areas could provide as much as 1. 8 million acre-feet of new water annually to the Missouri River Basin. In the Yellowstone subbasin, the estimated potential is 536, 000 acre-feet per year.

The potential benefits from increased precipitation are significant and suggest that further study of the sociological, legal, and environmental implications of weather modification is needed and should be accelerated. An increase in water supply on the order of 1. 8 maf annually would offset projected water depletions from energy resource development and ease the burden on expanded irrigation development. Water Rights

Water rights issues may be classified as: (1) State and Federal,

(2) Interstate, and (3) Indian. International issues are not serious in the Missouri River Basin although the use of waters from the St. Mary and Milk Rivers is covered by a 1910 treaty between Great Britain (Canada) and the United States.


13/ U.S. Dept. of Interior, Water for Energy Management T-eam, "Report
on Water for Energy in the Northern Great Plains Area with Emphasis on the Yellowstone River Basin, "Washington, D.C., January 1975.

U. S. Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, "Northern Great Plains Resources Program, Water Work Group Report", Washington, D. C.,
December 1974.






1-29




1. State and Federal Water Rights --One currently troublesome issue affecting the Missouri Region and other public land States, is the Federal reserved water doctrine. This doctrine provides that where lands were reserved from the public domain, the United States implicitly reserved water sufficient for use in accordance with the purposes for which the lands were reserved. The Federal reserved water doctrine grew partially from a dispute over the authority of the States to exercise control over the appropriation and use of water on Federal lands. In the Missouri River Basin, Federal lands comprise about 13. 5 percent of the total.

Whether or not water administration should be subject to the Federal reserved water doctrine is an important policy issue. According to the WRC, there is merit in this issue being addressed by the Congress.

"Advantages of a Congressional determination include: The legal.ly supportable authority of the Congress to make a policy determination; the dispatch with which a determination could be made as opposed to prolonged litigation; the comprehensiveness with which a solution could be fashioned; the ability and effectiveness of the Congress, through its hearing procedure, to hear and weigh all view points; the advantage of a court review of the Congressional product, as opposed to piecemeal judicial legislation and Congressional response thereto; and finally and foremost, avoidance of protracted friction which otherwise could continue between the Federal Government and the States.







1-30



Unfortunately there are numerous court suits underway and pending on this issue. If Congressional action is not taken, it is likely that the problem will be resolved only through an indeterminable number of suits at great expense of time and funds. At any rate, the water requirements of lands reserved from the public domain need quantification so that other water rights can be firmly established. This procedure is in progress on some reserved lands.


2. Interstate Water Rights--There are no current major litigation problems between the States of the Region but as water supplies reach fuller development, interstate apportionment by compacting or other means will likely be given more consideration. Informal discussions have taken place relative to apportionment of Missouri River mainstern waters among the affected States, but it has been concluded that formal action is premature. Terms of the Yellowstone River Compact show constraints in exporting water to other areas such as the Tongue and Powder Rivers--the latter being among those currently considered for major coal development and needing substantial water supplies not locally available. It is possible that this constraint could be overcome by interstate consideration.


3. Indian Water Rights- -Historically, State law has accommodated establishment of water rights related to diversion of a watercourse for beneficial use. The central feature of this appropriate right is the right to obtain water in periods of reduced supply before others having rights established later in time are served. First in time, first in right describes the process. Presently, permits are issued by States as evidence of rights and on the basis that unappropriated waters are available.















78-913 0 77 4






1-31

14/
Indian watei rights are independent of the State law systeni. They arise in Federal law and generally are established at the time a reservation is created. When the reservation is on lands aboriginally owned by the Indian tribe, the water rights may be considered to exist from time immemorial. Ordinary appropriated waters have a priority in time dating to the time of first use or from the date of a permit while Indian rights have a priority in time dating at least to the date the reservation was established. Indian reservations considered to have aboriginal water rights would have first priority on the body of water serving their supply.

The legal basis for Indian water rights was established by the U. S.
15 /
Supreme Court in the case of Winters v. United States._---The finding of the Court was that the Government, in creating a reservation, intended to reserve waters for Indian lands so that they could be put to use. Arizona v. California decided the question of quantifying Indian water rights by concluding that the only reasonable way to measure water to be reserved for the reservation was by way of acreage of irrigable land. Although this premise serves those areas engaged in farming and ranching, it is likely that Indian reservations created for other types of occupations may have water rights measured in different terms. This relates to the statement in Winters which implies that interpretation of agreements with Indian Na16/
tions should support the purpose of the agreement.



147 National Water Commission. "Water Policies for the Future",
Washington, D. C., 1973.

15/ Winters v. United States, 207 U.S. 564 (1908). 16/ MBLAC, "Hydrologic Analyses and Projections": Appendix to Vol. 6
of Comprehensive Framework Study, Missouri River Basin, June,
1969; Chapter 7, Ground Water Availability, p. 91-102.







1-32


The competition between Indian and non-Indian water rights poses some extraordinary problems. Most Indian reservations predate extensive water development projects in the western U. S. although the use of water in significant quantities by the Indians has generally developed only in recent years. In many water critical areas of the west, the development of water projects by the Indians could preempt the use of water and facilities already established at the cost of billions of dollars. The resolution of such conflicts will be difficult.

Resource potentials of Indian reservations in the Upper Missouri Ri17/
ver Basin are enormous-. There are 23 reservations wholly or partly in the basin encompassing over 12 million acres or about 3. 6 percent of the region's area. Most Indian lands are underlain with large reserves of coal and other valuable minerals and many possess outstanding recreation features and contain large surface areas suitable for agricultural development.

Preliminary surveys indicate that Indian economic development requirements for water may involve a significant portion of the existing an18/
nual flows of the Missouri River and its tributaries.- To aid in resolving questions of Indian water rights and requirements, the Office of Indian Water Rights has about 80 studies underway.

The U.S. D. I. Water for Energy Management Team commented as follows on this subject.



17/ U.S. Dept. of Interior, Water for Energy Management Team, "Report
on Water for Energy in the Northern Great Plains Area with Emphasis on the Yellowstone River Basin, Washington, D. C. January
1975.

18/ ibid.






1-33


"Initial estimates based on studies underway in the States of Montana and Wyoming, suggest that Indian requirements in the Yellowstone subbasin and theUpper Missouri above the confluence of the Yellowstone River could reach an annual level of 2.6 million acre-feet of consumptive use by the year 2020. This would represent about 45 percent of the average annual undepleted flow of the rivers at the North Dakota-Montana State line. These estimates were predicated on the assumption that, ultimately, increasing demands for goods and services in the domestic as well as the world markets will encourage full development of the Indian resource base. The increasing demands for energy coupled with pending shortages and the Government's reluctance to become solely dependent on foreign sources has stimulated an interest in mineral exploration on Indian lands and has spurred the demand to have Indian resources developed as quickly as possible. Another factor which may influence further irrigation development on the reservations is the current world food and fiber situation. World pressures for these products have severely narrowed the expansion capabilities of present domestic acreages. As a viable alternative it may be necessary to bring all or part of those western Indian lands which are potentially irrigable, into production to help absorb the excess demand that is likely to occur in the not too distant future. Notwithstanding the other functional needs -domestic consumption, recreation, fire protection, fish and wildlife needs, other industrial uses, etc. there are enough economic forces at work today, that one can reasonably visualize total development on the reservations with accompanying increasing needs and requirements for waters.







1-34


Similar development demands are anticipated in other Upper Missouri River Basin States, but the scale of activity which might occur has not been evaluated and the water requirements needed to support potential activities are unknown. Without this information it is difficult to dimension water uses and to determine the impact of proposals for Indian water use on other projected requirements in the basin.

The tribes are concerned that water used for energy development will adversely affect their water rights and lead to depletions of supplies critical for sustaining future economic developments on their reservations. They are looking for assurances that their water requirements will be properly accounted for in all planning scenarios.

Rational water planning in the Missouri River Basin is dependent upon quantification of all existing and proposed water uses. Because the claims to water by the Indians are substantial, quantification of these is urgently needed and should be assigned a high order of priority. Current studies of future water uses in the Missouri River Basin have addressed the issue to greater or lesser degrees but the fact remains that the 19/
quantities involvedare generally unknown or indispute. Until this matter is resolved, estimates of future streamflow depletions will be biased accordingly, and decisions on tradeoffs with other users will be clouded.








19/ U.S. Dept. of Interior, Water for Energy Management Team "R-eport
on Water for Energy in the Northern Great Plains Area with Emphasis on the Yellowstone River Basin," Washington, D. C, January
1975.






1 -34a


Water Quality

Water quality problems in the Missouri River Basin relate to both surface and groundwater. The fate of farm chemicals and fertilizers is considered an important problem by most States. Other water quality problems relate to erosion, sediments, logging operations, cattle grazing and various coal and other mining operations. To meet the requirements of PL 92500 there is a need for information on the use of sewage effluent for crop irrigation, and for land disposal of both urban and agricultural (livestock) organic waste residues. Research on the fate and control of pollutants related to the use of agricultural lands should be accelerated and emphasis placed on the development of practical and enforceable methods of control. Alternative Futures Planning

The studies of the Missouri River Basin reviewed in this report have. one thread in common they all assume a particular future. For example, the 1975 Assessment being developed by the Water Resources Council focuses on a Modified Central Case that future considered most likely to occur by Federal agency representatives. By analyzing this scenario, useful insights to policy oriented issues can be gained. However, a more informative approach would evaluate several feasible scenarios so that the price to be paid by emphasizing one use over another can be made more explicit and the nature of tradeoffs more clearly defined. With this extended outlook, better decisions regarding the direction of water resources development should result.







1-34b


Since the human mind has limited ability to assimilate more than a few options, it is suggested that a display of alternative futures emphasizing irrigation development, energy resource development (primarily coal development), mainstream flow needs (includes hydroelectric generation) and Indian water use respectively would be most informative. For each of these four major categories, the impacts of several levels of water development for other purposes could be presented. For example, assume that it is desired to explore alternatives which provide an optimal level of mainstream flow for fish and wildlife preservation, navigation and hydroelectric power generation. Within this constraint, the remaining available water could be apportioned in several ways to satisfy other uses namely irrigation, energy resource development and municipal and industrial water supply. Analysis of these futures would show the impact of the tradeoffs required by each sector and would provide the basis for a reasonable compromise. In like manner, the mainstream flow optimizing alternatives could be compared with those stressing irrigation, Indian water use and energy resource development. By considering display of feasible scenarios, the design of policy for future water resources development should be enhanced and its implications made more explicit.

The number of options which could be explored within each of the four principal categories is unlimited and must be controlled. The agency conducting the analysis would therefore have to develop a plan of study w1iich included enough diversity in scenarios to permit an adequate assessment of options without becoming unwieldy. To illustrate the nature of 6,-(--h a process, four possible futures which might be studied for the Yellowstone







1-34c



River Basin are outlined in Table 3-1. Other scenarios constituting a more complete analysis could be constructed in a similar manner.

Scenario I represents a future where all but mainstream, water uses are being exerted at their maximum projected level. The other scenarios include features such as the implementation of conservation practices and most probable levels of development. In general, the maximizing future should be one of these explored since it will determine whether or not there will be a deficiency in water supply by the target date. If all uses can be satisfied at their maximum projected levels, then decisions on development will be independent of water supply.

In analyzing the alternative futures given in Table 3-1, the relative merits of existing and potential water sources (new reservoirs such as Moorhead and Allenspur, imports etc.) for the purposes indicated should be displayed. For example, the impact on hydroelectric generation of withdrawals above Boysen Reservoir vs. withdrawals above Yellowtail Reservoir should be noted (Figure 1-2). Alternative sources of water for coal development should alsobe analyzed to determine the impact of that use on other potential uses which could be met from the same source. For each option, the implications for navigation, hydroelectric generation, fish and wildlife enhancement, energy resource development, Indian self determination, water quality, and environmental quality should be presented. Such displays would clearly define conflicts which might result. For example in the alternative which maximizes irrigation water use, maintenance of acceptable levels of mainstream, flows might be ruled out. By systematically exploring a range of pre-determined options, tradeoffs necessary to achieve a practical optimum







1-34d

Table 1-3 Example Scenarios for Year 2000 Water Resource Development in the Yellowstone River Basin




Non-Indian Indian Water Use for Municipal Instream*
Irrigation Water Use Non-Indian and Flow
Scenario Water Use (Irrigation Energy Re- Industrial Maintenance
and source De- Water Use
Energy) velopment


Maximum Maximum Maximum Maximum Maximum
level of projected level of level of attainable
1. development level of development development level
based on development
1976 water
use efficiencies


Maximum Most Most Most Maximum
level of probable probable probable attainable
development level of level of level of level
2. but with development development development
maximum
increase in
water use efficiency


Most pro- Most Most Most Maximum
bable level probable probable probable attainable
3. of develop- level of level of level of level
ment based development development development
on 1976 water
use efficiencies


Most pro Most Maximum Maximum Maximum
bable level probable level of level of attainable
of develop- level of development development level
ment but development
4. with maximum
increase in
water use efficiency

*The maximum attainable level after all other uses have been met is indicated in these options. Other scenarios setting mainstream flows at their maximum desirable level should also be explored. Note however, that the maximum attainable level could be sufficient to meet maximum mainstream flow requirements.






1 34e



for multiple objective water resources development can be identified. Armed with such knowledge, decision makers should be in a better position to reach an acceptable compromise.

The projection of a single future is an inadequate approach to water resources planning. The impacts of several levels of development for each major water use should be presented in the context of their relationship to other uses so that interactions can be identified and tradeoffs explicitly defined.






1-35

Conclusions


The major water resources issues to be dealt with in the Missouri River Basin are mainstream, flow requirements. water use efficiency in irrigated agriculture, energy resource development, navigation, Indian water requirements and hydroelectric power generation. These issues are all interrelated and decisions made affecting one will have implications for the others. If future emphasis is placed on satisfying mainstream flow requirements forte protection of aquatic, biologic and esthetic values of streams, serious conflicts with major depleting uses such as irrigated agriculture and energy resource development wi-11- result. Priority should be given to studies of the efficacy of conservation practices or technologic change for reducing irrigation water requirements and the mechanics for implementing such changes should be explored.

At the 1975 level of development, the major depleting use of water in the Missouri River Basin was irrigated agriculture (about 78 percent), followed by evaporation from man-made reservoirs (about 15 percent). All other depletions totaled about 7 percent with those from domestic use and manufacturing and minerals production, each representing about 1. 5 percent. Projections to the year 2000 do not indicate any significant change in this distribution.

The important observation is that irrigated agriculture is, and will continue to be, the major depletor of the basin's water resources. Measures taken to conserve or reduce water use in that sector will have far greater impact than similar efforts relative to any other water use.







II. INTRODUCTION


The Missouri River Basin is the largest of the principal water resources regions in the contiguous United States. It includes all or part of ten states and ranges in climate from semi-humid to semi-arid. All manner of water problems and uses are encountered. The nature of these problems ranges from mild to severe. Their solution depends upon a knowledge of the current state of development of the water resource, an understanding of the development futures which have been proposed, and an assessment of the implications of these alternative futures.

This study was undertaken to provide a basis for more informed decision-making relative to water resources development in the Missouri River Basin. Analyses focus on the eight-subbasin configuration used in the Missouri River Basin Comprehensive Framework Study (Figure 1-1). Thissubdivision was selected over the current (1975) VVRC configuration (Fig. 2-2) because it was used or partly-used in most other studies and comparisons were thus facilitated. The previous (1968) WRC subbasin configuration is shown on Figure 2-1.

The 1968 subdivision is at considerable variance with Figure 1 -1 in the region of the Dakotas while the 1975 configuration is similar to the Missouri River Basin Comprehensive Framework Study subdivision once several of the "aggregated sub areas (ASAY' are combined. It is anticipated that future studies by Federal agencies will conform to the configuration given in Figure 2-2. This move toward standardization of basin boundaries by WRC is to be commended and should result in more efficient use of data generated by various investigating bodies.






CANADA Figure 2-1 TWELVE SUBBASIN
UNITED STATES
0oR T H CONFIGURATION USED
N A-- I., IN THE WATER
RESOURCES COUNCIL'S T MINNESOTA 1968 ASSESSMENT



7N 8
--- y. 0 -f N \ IOWA

y R BASIN BOUNDARY
) o,) 1 1 SUBBASIN BOUNDARY ..

K ANS-A S IS







Figure 2-2 ELEVEN SUBBASIN CONFIGURATION
-USED BY THE WATER RESOURCES COUNCIL IN IT'S 1975 NATIONAL NORH ASSESSMENT OF WATER AND
MKN E RELATED LAND RESOURCES
1005 MINNESOTA



0L 1DO 0 010 ,
SOUTH 0
DAKOTA

WYOMINGlOWA 007: NE8 SK-A 0



S . 1011
KANSAS







3-1



III. THE MI1SSOURI RIVER BASIN GENERAL SETTING



The Missouri River Basin encompasses approximately 513, 000 square miles or about one-sixth of the contiguous United States. In this Section the principal physical, economic and demographic features of the eight major subbasins are presented.






3-2



A. The Upper Missouri River Tributaries Topography


The Upper Missouri River Tributaries subbasin drains about 82, 800 square miles and is contained almost entire within Montana. An additional 9, 700 square miles is in Canada.

The subbasin is bounded on the west by the continental divide. This area is characterized in the north by moderately sloping lands with areas of level and undulating glacial drift. In the south, high mountains are interspersed with valleys. In one such valley, the flows of the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin Rivers join together forming the headwaters of the Missouri River. The remainder of the subbasin lies within the interior plains. The Missouri River divides the plain into the Missouri glaciated and nonglaciated plateaus. The glaciated plateau lies north of the River. Level and undulating glacial drift lands dominate the area, although some hilly areas are present. The unglaciated plateau lies south of the River. The western section of the unglaciated plateau is characterized by moderately sloping lands with some mountainous and hilly contours. The eastern section exhibits badlands interspersed with areas of moderately sloping and mountainous terrain.


Population


The population of the subbasin in 1950 totaled 255, 584. Of this, the urban population comprised 4716, the nonfarming rural population 3216, and the farming population 211%. By 1959, the population increased by 16%/ to 295,643. The urban population grew by 13%6 to comprise 52%6 of the total







3-3


population. The nonfarming rural population increased by 5% but still accounted for 32% of the total population. The farming population declined by 216, comprising 1616 of the population. By 1969 the population increased by less than one percent to 297,678. The urban population experienced a 416 rise to account for 5616 of the total population. The farming population declined by 40/6 to 1216 of the total. The nonfarming rural population remained stable at 3216.


Economy


The personal income for the Upper Missouri subbasin in 1950 totaled $630, 331, 000. Per capita income averaged $2, 505. Relative to the national figure (U. S. =1. 00). this amounted to 1. 21. Earnings for the same year totaled $548,978, 000. Earnings per worker averaged $5, 586. Compared to the national average (U. S. =1. 00), this amounted to 1. 22. The agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries produced 430/6 of the total subbasin earnings.

By 1959, personal income increased by 816 to $679, 981, 000. Per capita income averaged $2, 300, or 94 compared to the national average. Earnings decreased by less than 10/6 to $545, 116, 000. Earnings per worker averaged $5,202; or .95 compared to the national earnings averaged. Agricultural, forestry, and fisheries earnings declined to comprise 230/6 of the total subbasin earnings.

Personal income and industrial earnings experienced large increases during the 1960-1969 decade. Personal income increased by 330/6 to $906, 739000. Per capita income averaged $3,013, but dropped to 0. 88 compared to the national average. Earnings rose by 2916 to $709, 587, 000. Earnings




















78-913 0 77 5







3-4

per worker increased to $6, 441 or 94 compared to the national figure. Although earnings rose, the agricultural, forestry, and fisheries indusries comprised 221% of the total sub-basin earnings and came second to Government earnings in amount. Government earnings comprised 2516 of the total.

B. Yellowstone River

Topography


The Yellowstone River subbasin drains approximately 70, 622 square miles of southeastern Montana and Northern Wyoming. Major rivers of the basin are the Yellowstone, Shoshone, Bighorn, Wind, Tongue, and Powder.

The subbasin includes all of the middle Rocky Mountain province. The remainder of the subbasin lies in the unglaciated Missouri plateau of the interior plains. The middle Rocky Mountain province lies almost entirely within the State of Wyoming. High mountains encircle a large area of rough lands and badlands with some interspersed valleys. The unglaciated Missouri plateau is characterized by rough lands and badlands with regions of hilly and moderately sloping contours.


Population


In 1950, the population of the Yellowstone subbasin totaled 238, 719. Of the total, the urban population accounted for 4316, the nonfarming rural population accounted for 29%/, and the farming population accounted for 2816. During the 1950-1959 decade, the population grew by 13%6 to 269,817. The urban population increased by 17% to comprise 53% of the total. The nonfarming population gained 4%6, but still comprised 29%/ of the total. By




3-5


farming population gained 40/6, but still comprised 29/6 of the total. The farming population declined by 8%, now comprising 180/6 of the total. By 1969, the population rose by 30/6 to 278,910. The urban population increased by 616 to account for 58% of the total. The nonfarming rural population increased by 20/6, but remained 2916 of the total. The farming population declined by 5016, now comprising 131 of the total population. Economy

Total personal income for the subbasin in 1950 was $468, 210, 000. Per capita income averaged $1, 962, or .95 compared to the national percapita income (U. S. = 1. 00). Earnings totaled $396, 096, 000, while earnings per worker averaged $4,450. Compared to the national figure (U.S. = 1. 00), this amounted to .99. Contributing the largest amount, the agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries supplied 2616 of the total earnings.

By 1959 personal income increased by 2676 to $591, 677, 000. Per capita income increased to $2, 193, but had an index of .90 relative to the national average. Earnings rose by 21% to $479, 217, 000. Earnings per worker rose to $4,906, but declined to .92 relative to the national figure. The agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries declined in earnings but still led other industries with 180/6 of the total.

By 1969, personal income increased by 270/6 to $805, 32 1, 000. Per capita income averaged $2, 887, or .85 relative to the national figure. Earnings rose by 310/6 totaled $629, 942, 000. Earnings per worker increased to $6,125, but declined relative to the national figure to .89. Government surpassed the agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries in total







3-6


earnings by $23, 000, 000, contributing 1616 of the total while the latter contributed 1316.


C. The Western Dakota Tributaries

Topography


Located in the heart of the Missouri River Basin, the Western Dakota Triburaries subbasin drains 44,119 square miles of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The Little Missouri and Cheyenne Rivers are major tributaries.

Situated entirely within the unglaciated Missouri plateau, the subbasin features moderately sloping areas interspersed with hilly contours and rough and bad lands. The subbasin also includes the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming.


Population


In 1950, the population of the Western Dakota subbasin totaled 283, 683. The urban population accounted for 27%6, the non-farming population accounted for 3416, and the farming population accounted for 39%6. By 1959 the total increased by less than 10/ to 285, 539. The subbasin had'experienced a 7%6 increase in the urban population to 340% of the total, a 2%6 increase in the nonfarming rural population to 37% of the total, and a 1016 decrease in the farming population to 29%/ of the total. During the 1960-1969 decade the population again increased but by less than 11% to 285, 790. Specifically. urban population increased by 316 and accounted for 37%, nonfarming rural population increased by 2%6 and accounted for 39%, while farming declined by 516 and accounted for 24% of the total.






3-7


Economy


Personal income for the subbasin in 1950 totaled $741, 741, 000, while per capita income averaged $1, 6 86 or 82 relative to the national per capita income (U. . = 1. 00). Earnings for 1950 totaled $535, 725, 000. Earnings per worker averaged $3, 309, or 74 relative to the national figure (U.S.

1.00).

By 1959, personal income had risen by 916 to $806,135, 000. The per capita income rose to $1, 76 8, but dropped to 72 compared to the national figure. Earnings rose by 2116 to $649, 280, 000. Earning per worker now averaged $3, 990 or .74 compared with the national figure.

Personal income jumped by 49% to $1, 204, 776, 000 by 1969. Per capita income averaged $2, 717, with an index of .80. Total earnings rose by 4316 to $927. 639, 000 or $5, 592 per worker representing 82 of the national average.

The agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries comprised 4916 of the total earnings for 1950. By 1959, earnings had declined but industry was still the major constituent of the earnings total with 2116. The wholesale and retail industry followed closely with 20% of the total. The agricultural, forestry and fisheries industry recovered to comprise 2816 of the total by 1969. Goverm-nent earnings followed with 2416.


D. Eastern Dakota Tributaries

Topography


The Eastern Dakota Tributaries subbasin drains 58, 288 square miles of North Dakota, South Dakota, and lesser parts of Minnesota and Iowa. The







3-8



subbasin is comprised of areas in two provinces of the interior plains. in the north, the subbasin lies on the Missouri glaciated plateau. This area is characterized by level and undulating lands interspersed with hilly terrain. A small area of dunes is also located in this region. The southern part of the subbasin lies in the central lowlands. This area exhibits a large region of level and undulating glacial drift lands west of the James River and moderately sloping land east of the James River.


Population


The population for the Eastern Dakota subbasin for 1950 totaled 536, 807. Specifically the total was 31%/ urban, 2716 nonfarming rural, and 42% farming population. By 1959 the population rose by 4% to 559, 018. The urban population increased by 8%6 to 37% of the total, the nonfarming population increased by 376 to 29%6 of the total, and the farming population decreased by 7% to 34% of the total. The population had declined 2% by 1969 to 546, 857. The urban population increased by 5%6 to 43% of the total,'the nonfarming rural population declined 1% to constitute 29% and the farming population declined 6% to 28%6.


Economy


In 1950, the personal income for the Eastern Dakota subbasin totaled $1,017,974,000. Per capPa income averaged $1,696, or .82 compared to national figure (U.S. = 1.00). Earnings totaled $859, 240, 000. Earnings per worker averaged $3, 837, or 85 relative to the national average (U. S. = 1. 00). The agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries comprised 47% of the total earnings figure.






3-9


By 1959 personal income decreased by 11% to $906, 619, 000. Per capita income averaged $1, 538 or .63 relative to the national figure. Earnings declined by 1816 to $705, 608, 000. Earnings per worker averaged $3, 314 or .62 relative to the national figure. The agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries declined substantially to 19jo of the total.

By 1969, personal income increased by 75jo to $1, 584, 936, 000. Per capita income averaged $2, 712 or 79 compared to the national figure. Earnings increased by 69% to $1, 194, 878. Earnings per worker averaged $5, 3 32 or. 78 relative to the national figure. The agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries rebounded to contribute 28jo of the total earnings for 1969.


E. Platte -Niobrara

Topography


The Platte-Niobrara Rivers subbasin drains 99,462 square miles of Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska. The subbasin features a very diverse topography. In the west, the southern Rocky Mountain province is characterized by mountainous terrain interspersed with some valleys, rough lands and badlands. The center of the basin shows moderately sloping lands with some hilly contours. Dominating this area are the dune lands of central Nebraska. East of the dune lands are hilly contours with some areas of level and undulating glacial drift near the Platte River. Population


The population of the subbasin in 1950 totaled 1, 559, 570. The urban population accounted for 46jo of the total, the nonfarming rural population







3-10



270/, and the farming population 2776. By 1959 the population increased by 2316 to 1, 923, 694. The urban population increased by 28%6 and now comprised 60%6 of the population, the nonfarming population increased by 3% to 2416 and the farming population declined by 816 to 16%/. In 1969 the subbasin's population increased by 19%6 to 2,295, 121. The urban population increased by23%6 to account for 70%6 of the total, the nonfarming population increased by less than 1%/ to 20%6 and the farming population declined by 4%/ to 10%6.


Economy


Personal income of the basin for 1950 totaled $3,419,424,000. Per capita income averaged $2, 239 or 1. 08 relative to the national figure (U. S. 1. 00). Earnings totaled $2, 847, 277, 000. Earnings per worker averaged $4, 660 or 1. 03 compared to the national figure (U. S. = 1. 00).

By 1959 personal income had increased by 39%6 to $4, 845, 628, 000. Per capita income averaged $2,125 or .87 compared to the national figure. Earnings increased by 36%/ to $3, 879, 720, 000. Earnings per worker averaged $5, 126 or 96 compared to the national figure.

Personal income had increased by 58%6 by1969 to $7, 678, 662, 000. Per capita income averaged $3, 346 or 98 relative to the national figure. Earnings increased by 58%6 also, to $6, 117, 146, 000. Earnings per worker averaged $ 6, 52 0 or 95 relative to the national figure.

The agricultural, forestry, and fisheries industries countributed the largest amount of earnings, 22%6 to the subbasin total in 1950. During the following decade, the industry suffered a decline accounting for 10%/ of the total earnings for 1959. The wholesale and retail industry now comprised the largest amount with 22%o of the total. Government earnings had







3-11



increased to the largest constitutent or 19.2% of the total by 1969. The wholesale and retail industry was second with 18.7% of the total.


F. Middle Missouri River Tributaries


Topography

The Middle Miss ouri River Tributaries subbasin drains 24,602 square miles of Iowa and smaller parts of Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. The Little Saoux and Nodaway Rivers are the major tributaries.

The subbasin is located entirely with the central lowlands province. The area is characterized by moderately sloping lands. Hilly contours are found paralleling the course of the Missouri River. Population

The population of the subbasin in 1950 totaled 1, 106, 632. Of the total, the urban population represented 53%, the nonfarming rural population represented 21%, and the farming population 26%. During the following decade, the population increased by 4% to 1,146,365. The urban population increased by 11% to comprise 62% of the total. The nonfarming rural population declined by less than 1% to constitute 20% of the total. The farming population declined by 7% to comprise 18% of the total. By 1969, the population again increased by 4% to 1,197,824. The urban population rose by 8% to 67% of the total. The nonfarming rural population declined by less than 1% to constitute 19% of the total. The decline in farming population slowed to 4%, comprising 14% of the total. Economy

In 1950, the personal income of the subbasin totaled $2, 316, 299, 000.







3-12


Per capita income averaged $2, 093 or 1. 01 relative to the national figure (U. S. = 1. 00). Earnings totaled $1, 966, 876, 000. Earnings per worker averaged $4, 602 or 1. 01 relative to the national figure (U. S. =1. 00). The agricultural, forestry, and fisheries industries constituted 2816 of the total.

By 1959 personal income had risen by 10% to $2, 615, 585, 000. However, per capita income rose to $2, 282 or .93 relative to the national figure. Total earnings increased by 9% to $2, 144,183, 000, but earnings per worker averaged $4,905 or .92 relative to the national figure. The agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries still led in earnings although the total declined to 1216. By 1969 personal income increased by 50016 to $3, 916, 181, 000, while per capita income rose to $3, 269 or .96 relative to the national figure. Earnings per worker averaged $6, 323, or again .92 of the national figure. Earnings now totaled $3, 109, 206, 000. The wholesale and retail industry contributed 180/6 of the total earnings of while the agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries contributed 1476.


G. Kansas River


Topography

The Kansas River subbasin drains 60, 744 square miles of Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado. The majority of the subbasin lies in the interior plains. This region is subdivided into three areas which are the south central Loess hills, the high plains, and the central Kansas rolling plains. The south central loess hills are located mainly in Nebraska and exhibit hilly and moderately sloping lands with level and undulating contours in the







3-13


Platte River basin. The dune lands of Nebraska reach down across the Platte River into Colorado, making the topography of this area more diverse. The high plains of Colorado characterized by moderately sloping lands with some areas of level and dune lands. The central Kansas rolling plains also contain a diverse topography. The region is characterized by moderately sloping land with areas of level and hilly to mountainous terrain.


Population


In 1950 the population of the subbasin totaled 886, 848. Of the total, 37% was urban, 3116 nonfarming rural, and 32%6 farming. By 1959 the population rose by 1%Y to 895, 285. The urban population rose by 8% to represent 450% of the total, the nonfarming population rose by 2%6 to 33%6, and the farming population declined by 9% to 23%. The population increased by 1% to 905, 699 by 1969. Of the total, the urban population rose by 7%6 to represent 52%, the nonfarming rural population declined by 2%6 to represent 31%/, and the farming population declined by 6%/ to represent 17%. Economy

In 1950, the personal income of the Kansas River subbasin totaled $1, 630, 02 7, 000. Per capita income averaged $1, 880 or 91 compared with the national figure (U. S. = 1. 00). Earnings totaled $1, 349, 741, 000. Earnings per worker averaged $4, 082 or 91 of the national figure (U. S. = 1. 00). By 1959, personalincome rose by 1616 to $1, 897, 703, 000. Per capita income rose to $2, 122, but declined in relation to the national figure to 87. Earnings increased byl10% to $1,483,809,000. Earnings per worker increased to $4, 315, but fell in comparison with the national figure to .81. By 1969







3-14


personal income increased by 500/% to $2, 841, 610, 000. Per capita income rose to $3, 137 or 92 of the national figure. Earnings rose by 45%6 to $2,145,639, 000. Earnings per worker increased to $5,620 but was .82 of the national figure.

The agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries had the greatest earnings in 1950, contributing 36%6 of the total. However, by 1959, the earnings total of the industry declined while government earnings grew to 25%6 of the subbasin total. The agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries comprised 21%6.

In 1969, Government still led in total earnings comprising 28%6 of the subbasin's total. The agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries contributed 20%6.


H. Lower Missouri River Tributaries Subbasin Topography


The Lower Missouri River Tributaries Subbasin drains 39, 673 square miles of Missouri and small areas of Kansas and Iowa. The subbasin consists of part of the central lowlands and the entire interior highlands. The central lowlands area is characterized by moderately sloping land with level and undulating terrain. The interior highlands consist of the Ozark Platteaus. This is the only area of rough terrain between the Appalachian and Rocky Mountain Ranges. It is a result of a dome-uplift that has been subjected to erosion processes creating a hilly to mountainous terrain.







3-15


Population


In 1950, the population of the Lower Missouri River Tributaries Subbasin totaled 1, 921, 06 3. The urban population comprised 54% of the total, the nonfarming rural population 22%, and the farming population 2516. By 1959, the population had risen by 12% to 2,150, 713. Urban population increased by 1816 to comprise 64% of the total. The nonfar-ining rural population increased by 3% to comprise 2216 of the total. The farming population declined by 916 to comprise 1416 of the total. By 1969, the population again increased by 120/6 to 2, 402, 126. The urban population increased by 1316 to constitute 6816 of the total. The nonfarming population rose by 2% to comprise 22% of the total and the farming population continued to decline by 3% to comprise 1016 of the total.


Economy


In 1950 the personal income of the subbasin totaled 3, 586, 810, 000. Per capita income averaged $1, 867 or .90 relative to the national average (U. S. = 1. 00). Earnings totaled $2, 958, 691, 000 for 1950. Earnings per worker averaged $3, 972 or .88 compared to the national figure (U. S. =1. 00).

By 1959 personal income for the subbasin rose by 3 816 to $4, 9 36, 946, 000. Per capita income also rose to $2, 295, and improved to .94 relative to the national figure. Earnings increased by 26% to $3, 990, 223, 000. Earnings per worker rose to $4, 781 or .89 relative to the national figure.

By 1969 personal income rose by 56% to $7, 682, 872, 000. Per capita income increased to $3,198, but remained as .94 in comparison to the national figure. Earnings increased by 5416 to $6, 133, 650, 000. Earnings per worker averaged $6, 208 or 91 relative to the national figure.







3-16



By 1969, personal income rose by 56% to $7, 682, 872, 000. Per capita income increased to $3,198, but remained as .94 in comparison to the national figure. Earnings increased by 540/6 to $6, 133, 650, 000. Earnings per worker averaged $6,208 or .91 relative to the national figure.

Earnings in the subbasin are dominated by the urban flavor of the Kansas City, Missouri area. In 1950, the wholesale and retail industry comprised the largest amount, 2116, of the subbasin's total. The agricultural, forestryand fisheries industries contributed 18%, while manufacturing was a close third comprising 170/6. By 1959, manufacturing earnings had risen to comprise 2216 of the total. Wholesale and retail industrial earnings were second comprising 2016, while Government earnings were third with 150/0. In 1969, manufacturing earnings remained the largest with 2316 of the total. Wholesale and retail earnings comprised 1916 for second and Government was third with 1816.


I. Data Sources


Topographical descriptions for each subbasin were derived from The Missouri River Basin Comprehensive Framework Study, volume 1, pages 5-9, 14, and 15.

Population data were obtained from the 1972 Obers Projections, U. S. Water Resources Council, volume 4, pages 64-120. Totals were obtained by adding appropriate water resources subareas contained within each subbasin. The following combinations were used:







3-17


1002-1006 =Upper Missouri River Tributaries
1007-1010 = Yellowstone River
1011-1014 = Western Dakotas Tributaries 1016-1017 = Eastern Dakotas Tributaries
1015, 1018-1022 = Platte-Niobrara Rivers
1023-1024 = Middle Missouri River Tributaries
1025-1027 = Kansas River
1028-1030 = Lower Missouri River Tributaries


Population totals were figured on the basis of the subbasin boundary lines of Figure 1 -1. Descrepancies between Figure 1 -1 and the aggregated water resources subareas (Fig. 2-2), notably between subbasin 3 and 4, were rectified by subtracting the appropriate county populations from subbasin 3 and adding them to subbasin 4.

Percentages for urban, nonfarming rural, and farming populations were derived from the County and City Data Book; U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, for the years 1950, 1962, and 1972. By adding the populations of counties contained in the subbasins of Figure 1 -1 and divid ing the subtotals for urban, nonfarming rural, and farming populations, these percentages were obtained.


All figures for the economy were obtained from the 1972 Obers projections, pages 64-120. The subbasins of Figure 2-2 were used to calculate these figures.


Personal income is described by the 1972 Obers projections as having many uses. It directly measures the size of the consumer market and indirectly the industrial market. In indicates the quality of a given market and the economic welfare of an area's residents. lIt provides a measure of an area's eonomic health and serves as the principal component of an aggregate designed to assess the fiscal ability of an area to support public







3-18

service expenditures. Finally, personal income, in its analytical detail furnishes a statistical framework which can be used to explain the way in which an area economy functions and through which the impact of alternative developmental programs can be evaluated.

Past and present water requirements can be analyzed in terms of personal income and its components, and water use coefficients can be established. That is, municipal water use can be related to total personal income. Water requirements in a given industry can be related to earnings (or to earnings adjusted to represent production) in that industry. These relationships can be projected and applied to the projections of personal income to derive projected water use.

Earning account for about 8016 of the personal income and "is the element that is affected most directly by water resources development. "

Per capita income is found by dividing the personal income by total population. Earnings per worker are calculated by dividing total earnings by total employment. Per capita income and earnings per worker indicate the economic activity in the area. These figures are also compared to the national figure by equating the latter to 1. 00. This is useful in determining the level of economic activity relative to the' national level. Figures for the national averages are:

Personal Income Earnings per worker


1950 $2,065 $4,502

1960 $2,441 $5,360

1970 $3,416 $6,853


The national figures are found in the 1972 Obers projections, volume 1, page 38. All dollar figures are in 1967 dollars.







4-1

IV. YELLOWSTONE RIVER


The drainage area of the Yellowstone River lies mainly within the boundaries of Montana and Wyoming (see Figure 4-1). The principal tributaries are the Clarks Fork Yellowstone, Wind-Bighorn, Shoshone, Tongue and Powder. From its headwaters in Yellowstone Park, the Yellowstone River flows northeasterly for about 600 miles to its confluence with the Missouri River near Williston, North Dakota. Approximately fifty percent of the flow at Oahe Dam is contributed by the Yellowstone River.

Precipitation ranges from a maximum of about 50 inches in the western mountainous areas of the basin to less than 12 inches in the Great Plains. During the critical low-flow period of 1931 to 1940, the mean annual precipitation at Glendive, Montana was 11. 74 inches while the average value at Sheridan, Wyoming was 14.33 inches. The average annual precipitation through 1966 for the Yellowstone River Basin was 16. 1 inches.


A. WATER SUPPLY


1. Surface Water

Historic Flows. The surface water resource of the Yellowstone River Basin is summarized in Table 4-1. Shown are estimates of average annual flows from various studies. All significant current estimates (1976) are included although some studies are not listed (USDI Water For Energy in the Northern Great Plains, for example) because they made use of flow data from one of the sources shown.

A study of Table 1 shows that the average annual flows are sensitive to the length of hydrologic record available or used. For example, the value of 6. 87 million acre -feet (maf) presented in Senate Document 191 is based on only 10 years of record which spanned a critical drought period. In

















78-913 0 77 6








Figure 4-1


YELLOWSTONE RIVER







MONTANA /



NORTH
R I VE5R DAKOTA



SOUTH
DAKOTA ~\x~\i~ YELLOWSTONE





WYOMINGI NEB.



LEGEND BASIN BOUNDARY
SUBBASIN BOUNDARY
STATE BOUNDARY
PERENNIAL STREAMS LAKE OR RESERVOIR







4-3


Table 4-1 Average Annual Flow of Yellowstone River Near Month



Source of Data Average Annual Period of Remarks
Flow(Acre-Ft.) Record



1. Senate Document 6,870,000 1931-1940 This was one of the
No. 191-1944 most critical lowflow periods of
history. Reflects
regulation and
diversions during
that period.


2. Northern Great 8,800,000 1939-1970 Adjusted for 1970
Plains Resource level of developProgram Study ment.


3. Missouri River 8,800,000 1929-1963 Adjusted for 1970
Basin Comprehen- level of developsive Framework ment.
Study


4. U. S. Geological 9,353,000 1910-1970 Flow reflects some
Survey regulation and
diversions.


5. Westwide Study 9,431,000 Wyoming Adjusted for 1975
Report 1948-1968 level of development.
Montana not Determined from
known Wyoming and Montana Data.


6. Water Resources 91980,000 not given Given as average
Council 1968 annual natural runAssessment off (does not reflect depletions).


7. Water Resources 8,690,000 1934-1972 Present Modified
Council 1975 Flow 1975 (Amount
(unpublished) actually flowing
out of basin).






4-4

contrast, an average of 9. 35 maf was calculated from a sixty year record of flows by the U. S. G. S. (Water Supply Paper No. 2116). The longer the record, the more likely the estimated average-will be to the "true" average, provided that conditions do not change significantly.

In general, streamflow gaging records represent flow during a changing level of water resource development. Up until the very early 1900's, water resource developments were few and depletions to the natural water supply were generally of little consequence. In more recent periods however, substantial development has occurred and streamow depletions have rapidly increased. Such changes obviate direct comparative interpretation of annual streamfiow records since they do not have the same year to year base. To provide a consistent series of flow records equivalent to examined levels of development, historical flows are often adjusted to represent flows which would have occurred had the examined level of development existed during the entire period of record. Several of the mean annual values reported in Table 4-1 reflect such adjustments either on the basis of 1970 or 1975 conditions. Once the adjustment has been made, the flow presented is theoretically representative of the actual amount available for instream and other uses beyond the stated level of development. For example, the value of 8.8 maf given by the Northern Great Plains Resource Program Study (NGPRPS) reflects depletions existing as of 1970 from all uses including reservoir evaporation.

Exclusive of the values of 6. 87 maf given in Senate Document 191, 9. 98 maf (estimated natural streamfiow) by the Water Resources Council (WRC) and 9. 35 maf from U. S. G. S. records, the remaining values are adjusted







4-5


to reflect 1970 or 1975 levels of depletions. Most of the adjusted flows are on the order of 8. 8 maf except that determined from the Westwide Study which is 9. 43 maf. It appears that part of this difference can be explained by the use of a 1948-1968 period of record by Wyoming which does not reflect several drought periods. This is an additional example of the impact of record length or selection of record period on evaluation of average annual flows. Unfortunately, many reports do not include the length of gaging record or a discussion of how adjustments in the record were made. This makes use of reported values hazardous unless qualifying information is provided.

On the basis of this evaluation of current assessments of water availability in the Yellowstone Basin, it is concluded that the average annual flow of the Yellowstone (available for use beyond 1975) is approximately 8. 7 maf (WRC, 1975). This value is slightly less than the 1970 base value of 8.8 which was determined through extensive analyses by the Missouri River Basin Interagency Committee. Increased depletions during the 1970 to 1975 period support the slightly lower figure, however.


Regulation Wherever streams are impounded for water resource development, a change in regime of the flows downstream of the control structure (usually a dam) results. The degree of regulation at a given location depends uponthe proximityto a control structure or structures and the capacity of the reservoir or reservoirs for storing streamflow. In the Yellowstone Basin there are a number of reservoirs and the potential for additional







4-6


storage development exists. The major reservoirs in the.basin are identified in Table 4-2. The largest of these are the Boysen and Bighorn (Yellowtail) with total storage capacities of 0. 952 maf and 375 maf re,spectively.

Regulation by reservoirs dampens out extremes of flow which would occur under natural conditions and in the limit permits development of the average annual level of flow (approached but not actually achieved in prac,7, tice).

Uncertainty and Flow Variability The long-term potential for water resource development is predicated on the average annual flow of the basin. While this value is representative of the volume of water which can be generated annually, it does not indicate the variability of natural flows from year to year. With a highly regulated stream, it would be possible to approach the average annual flow as a safe or dependable yield but in most river basins this condition is not met and there are sometimes extreme variances in flows generated from one year to the next. Unfortunately, the greatest flow variations are usuallv encountered in those regions where precipitation and hence water supply is most limited.

To understand the water supply situation in the Yellowstone Basin it is important to review past histories of flow variability. Variability at selected locations in the basin is indicated in Table 4-3 and on Figures 4-2 to 4-5 where the location numbers refer to the numbers shown on Figure 4-1. In addition to annual flow, variability there is also the problem of variability on daily, monthly, and other bases. Many of the streams in the basin experience wide variation in flow, with some reaching zero at times. This situation is depicted in Table 4-4.






Table 4-2


Existing Major Reservoirs in Yellowstone River Basin*




Storage in Thousand Acre-Feet
River Basin Reservoir
Inactive Active Flood Total Uses
and Dead Space


Clarks Fork Cooney 0 24.4 24.4 R, Irr.

Wind-Bighorn Bull Lake 0.7 151.8 152.5 R, Irr.
Pilot Butte 5.4 31.5 36.9 P, Irr.
Boysen 252.1 549.9 150.4 952.4 R, FC, Irr., P, M. I
Anchor 0.1 17.3 17.4 Irr.
Buffalo Bill 48.2 373.1 421.3 R, Irr., P.
Bighorn 502.3 613.7 259.0 1,375.0 R, FC, Irr., P, M, I
Upper Sunshine 1.0 52.0 53.0 Irr., S, D, I
Lower Sunshine 1.9 54.9 56.8 Irr., D, S, P, I

Powder Lake DeSmet 0 239.0 239.0 R, Future Industry

Tongue Tongue Reservoir 5.9 68.0 73.9 R, Irr., M, I






R Recreation FC Flood Control Irr. Irrigation N Navigation P Power M Municipal I Industrial S Stockwater D Domestic


*Water for Energy in the Northern Great Plains Area U.S.D.I. Water for Energy Management Team.







Table 4-3

Flow Variability At Selected Locations in the Yellowstone Basin*



River and Location Maximum Annual Critical Year Average Annual
Flow (Acre-Feet) Flow (Acre-Feet) Flow (Acre-Feet)


Yellowstone Basin:

Yellowstone near Sidney 1 12, 690, 000 3, 720, 000 8, 800, 000
Powder near mouth -2 1,154,000 43,000 416,000
Tongue near mouth -3 569.,000 32, 000 304, 000
Wind-Bighorn near mouth 4 3, 607,000 1,429,000 2, 550, 000
Clarks Fork Yellowstone 5 1,124,000 538,000 767,000



Mean Annual Flow of
Yellowstone River Near Sidney, Montana 1960-1969


Year Average Annual Flow(Acre-Feet)

1960 5,001,000
1961 4,797,000
1962 10,560,000
1963 9,407,000
1964 9,787,000
1965 12, 940, 000
1966 5,397,000
1967 11,700,000
1968 11,010,000
1969 9,381,000



*Norther. Great Plains Resource Program, Water Work Groupi Report, December 1974 and U.S.G.S. Water Supply Papers No. 1916 (1969)and 2116 (1974 )







Table 4-4

Short Period Flow Variability in the Yellowstone Basin*



Recorded Recorded Computed
Minimum Flow Maximum Flow Average Flow River and Location (c. f. s. (c. f. S.) (c. f. s.

Yellowstone at:
Corwin Springs 389 32,000 3,110
Livingston 590 3,740
Billings 430 66,100 6,860
Miles City 996 96,300 11,330
Sidney 470 159,000 13,030

Clarks Fork Yellowstone at:
Edgar 36 10,900 1,060

Wind-Bighorn at:
Riverton 10 13,300 940
St. Xavier 228 37.400 3,550
Bighorn 275 3,850

Tongue River at:
Decker 4 7,480 450
Miles City 0 13,300 420

Powder River at:
Arvada 0 100,000 270
Locate 0 620







Note that flows are either instantaneous minimums where there is little or no regulation, or minimum daily where regulation exists.

*Northern Great Plains Resource Program, Water Work Group Report, December 1974, p. 17.








10.0 __ ___ _ _1_ ___



0
__ _ - -1.56 __CL of __i__ flw lssta _rqa

to 67% of average annual flow
0.1 1_____ 1 1 1 1
1 5 10 2030 4050 60 7080 90 95 99
Percentage of Time Row is Equal To or Less Than Stated Percentage of Average Annual Row

Figure 4-2 YELLOWSTONE RIVER NEAR SIDNEY, MONTANA 1912-1963 (location 1)








10.0 _






0~


0.1
'1 5 10 20 30 40 506070 80 90 95 99
Percentage of Time Row is Equal To or Less Than
State Percentage of Average Annual Row

Figure 4-3 YELLOWSTONE RIVER AT BILLINGS,
MONTANA 1929-1963
(location 6)








10.0 1.0 1_ -o I_ w1 ~-069 ----_0.11
15 10 20 30 4050 6070 80 90 95 99
Percentage of Time Flow is Equal To or Les Than
Stated Percentage of Average Annual Flo

Figure 4-4 BIGHORN RIVER NEAR ST. XAVIER,
MONTANA 1935-1963
(location 7)











1 173' .0 _... __"" 1.7

-, I 0.53-__
0.1

1 5 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 95 99
Peet- e of Tne Row is Equal To or Less Than
Stated Percentage of Average Annual Flow
Figure 4-5 POWDER RIVER AT MOORHEAD, MONTANA 1930-1963 (location 8)







4-14

From Table 4-3 it is seen that the critical annual low now of record for the Yellowstone River at Sidney, Montana, is about 42 percent of the average annual flow. Figure 4-2 shows that 10 percent of the time the annual flows at that location can be expected to be less than or equal,.to about 67 percent of the average annual flow. This would mean that, on the average, once every 10 years the annual flow could be expected to be less than or equal to about 5.8 maf. Figure 4-5 shows that for the less regulated Powder River at Moorhead, Montana, the annual flow will be less than or equal to about 53 percent of the mean annual flow once in 10 years (on the average). Such flow variability must be considered in planning to use and/ or develop the basin's water resources. It is clearly erroneous to plan on even approaching the availability of the average annual flow on a year to year basis unless a high degree of regulation is in effect. Some risk is associated with any level of water resources development and unless the probability of not meeting targets is calculated, serious shortages or conflicts are likely to result. There is always some uncertainty but if this is recognized and planned for, difficulties can be minimized. Plans for future development of the Yellowstone's water resources should incorporate risk analyses and provide operating policies which recognize the nature of water supply variability. Unless this is done, rational decisions will be impeded or precluded.

Viewed at Sidney, Montana, the average annual flow of the Yellowstone adjusted to the 1975 depletion level is approximately 8. 7 maf. About 10 percerft of the time, i. e., one year in 10, the annual flow can be expected to be about 5. 8 maf. or less under the 1975 level of regulation. On the same basis, the annual Row can be expected to about 7 maf. or less about 25 percent of the time.







4-15

2. Water Quality

Surface Water. Water quality within the basin is generally satisfactory for irrigation, livestock watering, recreation, fish and wildlife, and municipal and industrial purposes.

A principal water quality parameter which relates to the suitability of water for these uses is salinity concentration measured as total dissolved solids (TDS). Waters with TDS less than about 500 parts per million (ppm) are used for irrigation without salinity problems under normal conditions. Waters with TDS of about 5, 000 ppm normally have little value for irrigation unless used as an alternate supply. Within these limits, the value of the water generally decreases as the salinity increases. Table 4-5 shows data for several locations for which concentrations have been weighted to give average salinity concentration under the 1970 level of water resources development.

Another important measure of water quality is the relationship of dissolved oxygen (DO) to biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) concentrations in the water. Although few data on DO and BOD concentrations are available, indications are that under the 1970 level of development, few serious problems of dissolved oxygen depletion exist in the Upper Missouri River 4/
basin.

Excessive suspended sediment is generally undesirable for municipal, industrial, recreational, and fish and wfl- dlife uses. Concentration of suspended sediment varies widely throughout the basin and is also dependent on time of the year. Average sediment loads at the mouths of the Powder and 47 U.S. Dept. of Interior, Wafer for Energy Management Team, '"Report on Water for Energy in the Northern Great Plains Area with Emphasis
on the Yellowstone River Basin, "Washington, D. C., January 1975.







Table 4- 5



Average Concentration of Total Dissolved Solids
(With 1970 Level of Water Resources Development)*



Average Average
Annual TDS
Stream and Station Flow Concentration
Number and Location (Acre-Feet) (ppm)




Yellowstone River
Sidney, MT 8,800,000 444
Miles City, MT 8,102,000 396

Powder River
Moorhead, MT 321, 800 1,226

Tongue River
Miles City, MT 304,400 496

Bighorn River
St. Xavier, MT 2, 406, 900 613



-i'Report on Water for Energy in the Northern Great Plains Area with emphasis on the Yellowstone River Basin," U. S. D. L. Water for Energy Management Team, January, 1975.







4-17


and Yellowstone River are reported to be 0. 40 and 0. 27 acre -feet per 5/
square mile per year, respectively.

Ground Water. Chemical quality of ground water in the shallow sandstone aquifers and alluvial aquifers along major streams ranges from about 1, 000 ppm to about 5. 000 ppm of dissolved solids. This range appears to be characteristic of shallow-bedrock and alluvial aquifers, with no apparent pattern of greater concentrations with increased depth in existing wells.

The chemicalquality of water in the deep Madison formation is variable. Dissolved solids content ranges from less than 1, 000 ppm near the Black Hills to about 2, 000 ppm in the Powder River basin, but is known to exceed 100, 000 ppm in some areas of western North Dakota. This quality range represents sampling from a limited number of wells and the data are not considered adequate for a general water quality appraisal.

It appears that, without treatment, most of the ground water in the Northern Great Plains Area is of marginal or unsuitable chemical quality for 6/
human consumption and many industrial processes.


3. Water Supply Augmentation Prospects

Weather Modification. In 1973, the Bureau of Reclamation undertook studies to assess the potential increase in water supply which could result from weather modification in the Upper Missouri River Basin. The studies indicatethat seeding winter orographic storms in the headwater region could




57 U. S. Dept. of Interior, Water for Energy Management Team, "Report
on Water for Energy in the Northern Great Plains Area with Emphasis
on the Yellowstone River Basin, "Washington, D. C., January 1975.

6 / ibid.



















78-913 0 77 7








Table 4 6

Potential Additional Water to the Upper Missouri Basin by Weather Modification* Weather Modification

Drainage Avg. annual Area Incremental
area runoff affected runoff
S q mi 1, U00 acre-ft Sq MI 1, 000 ac-re-I-t UPPER MISSOURI TRIBUTARIES

Milk River at Milk
River, Alberta 1,036 278 157 6

Marias River near
Shelby 3,242 728 491 74

Teton River near
Dalton 1,308 118 212 22

Sun River near
Vaughn 1,854 579 736 85

Missouri River at
Canyon Ferry Res. 15, 904 3, 663 9,973 767

Subtotal 954

YE LLOWSTONE

Yellowstone River
at Billings 11, 795 5, 311 5, 161 536

Wind River at
Boysen Res. 7,701 997 1,964 126

Greybull River at
Meeteetse 681 237 512 46

Shoshone River at
Buffalo Bill Res. 1, 538 797 1, 501 126

Subtotal 834

Other 49

Total Upper Missouri (above Sioux City, Iowa) 1,837

Source of Data: Twelve Basin Investigation, prepared for USBR by North
American Weather Consultants, Vol. 2. December 31, 1973. :1U. S. Dept. of Interior, Water for Energy Management Team, "Water for Energy in the Northern Great Plains Area with Emphasis with Yellowstone River Basin.







4-19


yield up to 1. 8 maf of additional water annually. In the Yellowstone, an additional 0. 83 maf per year could be generated according to the Bureau's assessment (Table 4-6). This determination was based on an October through April cloud seeding period. If extended through the months of May and June, a further increment of 20 to 35 percent could be developed. The realities of this are not yet upon us and many legal, environmental and social issues related to weather modification are yet unresolved but it appears that the potential for increased precipitation through weather 7/
modification practices is feasible for the Yellowstone Basin.- Increases of the order of magnitude estimated by the Bureau would be significant.


Importation of Water. It is feasible to augment the water supply of the Yellowstone Basin by importation of water from the main stem of the Missouri River. Questions related to legality of such transfers and other issues would need resolution before such transfers could be implemented, however.



















7/ U.S. Dept. of Interior, Water for Energy Management Team, II Report
on Water for Energy in the Northern Great Plains Area with Emphasis on the Yellowstone River Basin, Washington, D. C., January 1975.







4-20


B. EXISTING WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT AND USE

1. Surface Water

The principal categories of water use requiring withdrawal are domestic, industrial, irrigation, minerals, steam-electric and livestock. Other uses are principally instream, and relate to water requirements for hydro-power production, navigation, recreation, fish and wildlife preservation and water quality control.

It is important to distinguish between quantities of water which are withdrawn for various purposes and quantities of water which are consumed in satisfyingthese uses. Waters withdrawn may be returned totally or partially to their source for further use downstream. Of particular interest, therefore, is the fraction of water which is consumed by the use, i. e., no longer available for any other purpose.

A summary of estimated annual streamflow depletions or total annual consumptive use by several categories for the Yellowstone Basin is given in Table 4-7. These figures indicate that the 1975 level of streamflow depletions is approximately 2. 5 maf per year. If the average annual undepleted streamflow level is 8. 7 maf per year, the estimated undepleted outflow from the basin on an average annual basis would be about 11. 2 maf. This figure is academic in that it will not be realized under current or future levels of development but it is not a technical impossibility. for current levels of depletions to actually be reduced or for added future depletions to be minimized by the application of current or emerging technology. Considering that on the order of 80 to 85 percent of all consumptive use in the Yellowstone Basin is related to irrigated agriculture, it is easy to see that even a 10 percent reduction in this figure could free about 2 50, 000 acre feet of water -per