Upper Missouri River Basin Forecast Runoff Well Below Normal

Reservoir inflows in the Missouri River basin above Sioux City, Iowa, were well-below average in March. The March runoff of 1.5 million acre-feet was 48 percent of average for the month. The updated 2022 upper Basin runoff forecast is 17.8 million acre-feet, 69 percent of average, approximately 2.6 million acre-feet less than the March 1 forecast. John Remus of the U.S. Army corps of Engineers says, “Due to the lack of plains snowpack in 2022, below-average mountain snowpack, and dry upper Basin conditions, we expect upper Missouri River Basin runoff to be below average.” The runoff forecast is based on soil moisture conditions, plains snowpack, mountain snowpack, and long-term precipitation and temperature outlooks. System storage is currently 48.4 million acre-feet, which is 7.7 million acre-feet below the top of the carryover multiple use zone. Conservation measures, such as minimum winter releases and reduced flow support for navigation, are implemented as the amount of water in the reservoir system declines.

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