MILLS, Wyo. – Residents are cautioned to be alert for changing water levels at Guernsey Reservoir next month as the Bureau of Reclamation gears up for the annual Silt Run.
Water flows from Glendo Reservoir will be reduced beginning on the morning of July 7, according to a release from the agency’s Wyoming Area Office in Mills. Releases will be curtailed, from the normal 4,500 cubic feet per second to about 1,500 cfs. As a result, the levels in Guernsey Reservoir will begin to rapidly decline, eventually dropping by about 25 feet, starting July 8 and continuing through July 11, at which time boat ramps at Guernsey will be unusable due to the decreased levels.
Water will continue to be released from Glendo Reservoir, though at the decreased levels, washing silt from Guernsey into irrigation canals downstream, beginning July 12. The annual silt run is expected to last through July 25, at which time water release from Glendo will be rapidly increased to refill the reservoir at Guernsey.
Guernsey Reservoir is expected to be usable again for boating by the morning of July 27. But water levels in Guernsey will continue to increase about 6-feet per day until reaching normal operational levels, expected by the evening of July 30.
“The silt run is an operation which provides silt-laden water to Goshen, Gering-Fort Laramie and Pathfinder irrigation districts," said Wyoming Area Manager Carlie Ronca.
It’s also important to maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the irrigation system, said Mahonri Williams, chief of the Resource Management Division in Mills.
“Essentially, as the silty water flows down the canals, some of the silt tends to settle out on the sides and bottoms,” he said. “That creates a seal on the canals and reduces the seepage into the canals.
“That allows the districts to get more water to the end of their system,” Williams said. “That allows the districts to be more efficient with water delivery.”