News Releases

Rogue River Basin seeing poor water year - Corps holds virtual meeting

Portland District
Published May 24, 2021
Southern Oregon and the Rogue River Basin are experiencing another dry spring as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District struggles to refill two reservoirs for the recreation season.

Corps operated reservoirs in the Rogue depend on spring and early summer rainfall to refill and a severe lack of precipitation is hampering those efforts.

This is how Lost Creek Lake looked on April 21, 2021.

Southern Oregon and the Rogue River Basin are experiencing another dry spring as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District struggles to refill two reservoirs for the recreation season. Corps operated reservoirs in the Rogue depend on spring and early summer rainfall to refill and a severe lack of precipitation is hampering those efforts. This is how Lost Creek Lake looked on April 21, 2021.

Southern Oregon and the Rogue River Basin are experiencing another dry spring as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District struggles to refill two reservoirs for the recreation season.

Corps operated reservoirs in the Rogue depend on spring and early summer rainfall to refill and a severe lack of precipitation is hampering those efforts. To help explain the situation, Corps staff will host a virtual public information session, Wednesday, May 26th from 2-3 p.m.

The Corps invites the public to attend the session to learn more about current operations, future forecasts and impacts to the Rogue River Basin.

Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2-3 p.m.

Link: https://usace1.webex.com/meet/kevin.b.mcallister

Call: 1-844-800-2712 (US) (Call-in toll-free number)

Access Code: 199 085 8582 #

The Corps encourages questions but asks participants to send any questions in through the “chat” function in the WebEx during the call.

Year-to-date precipitation across the Rogue was 60% of normal, as of May 24. The snowpack is 29% of median for the Rogue. Snowmelt helps keep reservoir elevations up in the summer if it lasts and matches outflows – but it only accounts for roughly 10% of the system’s storage.

The Corps manages reservoir inflows based on a “rule curve,” or the authorized maximum elevation on a given day to balance flood risk and storage for authorized purposes.  The Corps keeps the Rogue Basin’s reservoirs lower in the winter to reduce downstream flooding and refills them in the spring to prepare for recreation and adequate flows for fish.

Portland District encourages the public to visit its “teacup diagrams” before heading out to recreate. Rogue River Basin teacup diagram: https://www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/nwp/teacup/rogue/ or http://pweb.crohms.org/nwp/teacup/rogue/.

Rogue River Basin Project: The Rogue River Basin Project’s two reservoirs are currently 78% full. Year-to-date precipitation in the basin is 60% of normal. Rogue Basin snowpack is currently 29% of median.

– 30 –

Portland District’s 150th Birthday: Portland District is one of the nation’s most comprehensive and diverse civil works programs and has been supporting the people of Oregon and southwest Washington since 1871. Throughout its 150-year history, the District has been operating locks and dams along the Columbia River, managing flood risks in the Willamette Valley and Rogue River Basin, maintaining Oregon's coastal waterways for navigation, and leading the Nation in hydropower generation. The team of more than 1,400 civil servants manage these missions all while ensuring equal attention is paid to environmental protection and restoration, fish and wildlife enhancement, and world-class recreation opportunities.


Contact
Tom Conning
503-808-4516
edward.t.conning@usace.army.mil

Release no. 21-024

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