Gavins Point Winter Releases Will be at Minimum Rates

Drought conditions along the Missouri River Basin mean winter releases from Gavins Point Dam will be at a minimum 12,000 cubic feet per second this winter. While July brought much-needed moisture to the Missouri River Basin, August returned to the warm and dry conditions seen over the last two seasons. August runoff was 0.9-million-acre-feet, 62 percent of average above Sioux City, and 0.6 million-acre-feet, or 49 percent of average above Gavins Point Dam. The 2022 calendar year forecast for the upper basin, updated on September 1, is 20.2 million acre-feet, 78 percent of average. The average annual runoff for the upper basin is 25.8-million-acre-feet. According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, drought conditions in the basin have worsened over the past month. Seventy-four percent of the basin is experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions, with seven percent of that being extreme or exceptional drought.