Green River, Utah - The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF), have released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed rehabilitation of the Green River/Tusher Diversion in Green River, Utah.
The plan for rebuilding the Green River Diversions Sturucture, includes downstream boat passage, and upstream signage warning boaters of the Diversion. Boat passage and public safety are design elements that American Whitewater has worked to include, and we are pleased that the NRCS and UDAF has incorporated these elements into the project's final plan. Additionally, the NRCS lists 147cfs as water allocated for downstream boat passage as part of the project.
What this means for paddlers, is:
1) the dam will be re-built so as to eliminate the "keeper hydraulic" formed immediately downstream of the dam. This will improve downstream boat passage at high flows.
2) the new structure will include a boat chute in the center of the dam, that will allow for downstream boat passage at low flows.
3) signs upstream, will inform paddlers of the dam and the boat chute option.
Additionally, the NRCS's 147cfs water allocation will keep enough water in the boat chute to float a large raft at low flows. Think of that as 147 basketballs flowing through the center of the dam.
Public comments on the Draft EIS were strongly supportive of boat passage as well. From energy companies, to the Governor's office, to paddlers from across the region, nearly every one of the 83 comments submitted on the project advocated for boat passage and public safety.
Thank you for sending your comments - we did it!
The Proposed Action includes a list of components that were favored by the public, cooperating and participating agencies, including American Whitewater:
- Replace existing diversion structure, rather than restore the existing one.
- Move sediment through the system and maintain floodwater conveyance.
- Replace existing gate and bridge at west raceway and provide sufficient water for bypass flows at fish protection systems.
- Dredge the large deposition area at the mouth of Tusher Wash for a source of cobble and gravel during construction.
- Install deflection log booms at the east and west ends for public safety and structure protection.
- Provide upstream fish passage past diversion structure.
- Provide downstream fish passage via notches in the diversion structure.
- Provide passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag detectors to sense and record fish movement over and around the diversion.
- Install fish screen and bypass at the east side canal.
- Provide both dry and wet downstream boat passage past the diversion structure.
- Install boater warning signs upstream of the diversion for public safety.
The following lists the water rights and flow allocations associated with the Proposed Action
Hydropower – 600 cfs
Irrigation – 219 cfs
Downstream Boat Passage – 147 cfs
Downstream Fish Passage – 40 cfs
Upstream Fish Passage – 30 cfs
Fish Screen Return Flow – 20 cfs
Fish Barrier Return Flow – 50 cfs
The Final EIS is available for review from June 20 - July 19, 2014.
Hard copies of the Final EIS are available for public review at:
NRCS Price Field Office - 540 W Price River Drive, Price
Grand County Public Library - 257 E Center St, Moab
Green River City Hall - 460 E Main St, Green River
John Wesley Powell River History Museum - 1765 E Main St, Green River
An electronic copy of the Final EIS may be obtained from the NRCS Utah website at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/ut/programs/planning/ewpp or by searching for “NRCS Utah EWP” and selecting the Green River/Tusher Diversion Rehabilitation link.
Mail: Green River Diversion Rehabilitation Project
125 S. State Street, Room 4010
Salt Lake City, Utah 84138-1100
Phone: (801) 524-4555