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Missouri River Drought Conditions Persist

July runoff in the Missouri River Basin runoff was near or above average in all reaches except the Fort Peck reach, which was 68 percent of average.

Above Sioux City, Iowa, runoff was 3.3 million acrefeet, 99 percent of average.

“Soil moisture conditions deteriorated in Montana, North Dakota and northern South Dakota over the last month and improved across southern South Dakota and into the lower basin,” said John Remus, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division.

Precipitation was below normal over most of the upper Missouri River basin last month except for small areas in Wyoming and southern South Dakota. The lower basin saw a mix of above- and below-normal precipitation.

The annual runoff forecast above Sioux City, Iowa, is 28.5 MAF, 111 percent of average.

System storage peaked July 22 at 56.6 MAF. System storage on Aug. 1 was 56.3 MAF, 0.2 MAF above the base of the annual flood control and multiple use zone.

Average releases at Fort Peck Dam past month was 8,800 cfs. The current release rate is 9,000 cfs. Forecast average release rate is 7,500 cfs with an end-of-July reservoir level at 2230.4 feet (down 0.2 feet from June 30). The forecast end-of-August reservoir level is 2229.0 feet. Releases will be maintained at 7,500 cfs through mid-September.

The forecast reservoir releases and elevations discussed above are not definitive. Additional precipitation, lack of precipitation or other circumstances could cause adjustments to release rates.

The six mainstem power plants generated 877 million kWh of electricity in July. Typical energy generation for July is 956 million kWh. The power plants are expected to generate 7.8 billion kWh this year, compared to the longterm average of 9.4 billion kWh.

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