Dry conditions expected to persist through winter in upper Missouri River Basin

PIERRE, S.D.(DRGNews)- September 2021 precipitation was below average in the Missouri River Basin.

John Remus is the chief of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. He sums the year up in one word– drought.

Remus doesn’t anticipate the weather this winter will alleviate the drought stress in the Missouri River basin.

Whether in a drought, a flood or somewhere in between, Remus says the Corps has to operate the Missouri River Dam System according to its Congressionally authorized purposes of flood control, navigation, water supply, irrigation, water quality control, hydropower generation, recreation and fish and wildlife– including threatened and endangered species.

The Corps of Engineers says September runoff above Sioux City, Iowa, was 67% of the long-term average (was 0.8 million acre-feet).  The 2021 calendar year runoff forecast for the upper Basin, updated on Oct. 1, 2021, is 57% of average (14.8 MAF vs the average of 25.8 MAF).