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Drought conditions driving lowered runoff forecast for Upper Missouri River Basin

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UNDATED (KTIV) - This planting season is off to a dry start, following a very dry year in parts of the midwest.

Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said this year's runoff from the Upper Missouri River Basin was one of the driest on record. Runoff was 44-percent of the average, making it the 9th driest April in 123 years.

As a result, the updated 2021 Upper Missouri River Basin runoff forecast is projected to be the 22nd lowest calendar year runoff.

John Remus, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said the extremely dry month, along with below-normal mountain snowpack and current drought conditions, have taken their toll. "The Corps of Engineers understands the importance of the Missouri River for providing water for irrigation, municipal and industrial uses throughout the basin," said Remus. "There will be adequate water in the reservoirs and the river region to serve all of the water supply needs. However the Corps of Engineers does not provide or guarantee access to the water."

Remus said water users, particularly intake owners, should begin preparing for lower river levels this year.

Blake Branch

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