River Basin Plan

Platte River Basin
Wyoming

Services Provided

Market

Regulatory Agency Involved
Wyoming Water Development Commission

The Platte River Basin Plan was completed by the Wyoming Water Development Commission (WWDC) to:

  • Provide accurate, contemporary water information to enable State and local decision makers to manage water resources efficiently
  • Maintain an inventory of water data for use by state agencies such as the Business Council, Agriculture, Game and Fish, State Lands, Environmental Quality, Attorney General, Commerce, and the State Engineer
  • Assist the Legislature and the Governor in developing effective state water policies to protect Wyoming’s water and promote responsible development
  • Give Wyoming citizens access to the water information they need to deal with water issues at the grassroots level
  • Project future water demands so the State can prepare for the effects of growth
  • Provide the State with information to assist in responding to the mandates of federal legislation and regulation

Trihydro was the prime consultant on this project. In addition to project coordination and management, Trihydro was responsible for developing the following components:

  • Quantifying the water resources within the basin
  • Determining water profiles for agricultural, municipal/domestic, industrial,recreational, and environmental uses
  • Completing extensive consumptive use of irrigation water calculations
  • Projecting water demand for each of the profiled uses
  • Identifying future structural and non-structural water management opportunities
  • Identifying opportunities to enhance and protect water quality at the basin level
  • Coordinating and assisting a local Basin Advisory Group with the planning effort
  • Developing a web-based “educational tool” to facilitate information management and public outreach

The settlement of litigation and implementation of the Modified North Platte Decree as well as activities pursuant to The Cooperative Agreement for Platte River Research and Other Efforts Relating to Endangered Species Habitats Along the Central Platte River, Nebraska were important considerations during the planning study. A key element of the project was the design of a web-based educational tool that is useful, comprehensive, compatible with existing water plan reports, and accessible to the general public. This tool illustrates the general ground and surface water hydrology and existing water-related facilities and features in the Platte River Basin; current water uses in the basin; and basin decree allocations.Information accessibility was a particularly important consideration since methods of digital data manipulation have proliferated and become more complex. Water plan accessibility by many groups and individuals was an important design value for the educational tool. A basin water plan that was overly complex, disorganized, or comprised primarily of tabular data and graphs would be of limited use to all but a small number of professionals who have the time and training to assess the plan in detail. Trihydro worked with the WWDC to develop an interactive, visually-based GIS database that is well-organized, well-documented, thorough, and useful for a wide variety of interested groups and individuals.

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A key element of the project was the design of an educational tool that was useful, comprehensive, compatible with existing water plan reports, and accessible to the general public.