News | April 19, 2021

Reclamation Awards $14.5M To Increase Water Storage At Big Sandy Dam And Reservoir

The Bureau of Reclamation announced today that EWS-RSCI, LLC of Gillette, Wyoming, was awarded a $14.5M contract to make improvements to Big Sandy Dam and Reservoir. The project will help meet a portion of the existing irrigation demand and help secure the water supply in the Farson/Eden areas of the Eden Project by raising the spillway crest of the dam and increasing the water storage.

The additional storage will improve the operation of Big Sandy Reservoir as it will allow for more consistent water delivers throughout the irrigation season. Currently, the storage capacity at Big Sandy Reservoir is 38,600 acre-feet. A 5-foot raise of the spillway crest will allow a total storage capacity of 52,300 acre-feet for an increase of 13,700 acre-feet.

—As water is such an important resource in this part of West, the reliability of water supply is a major priority,— said Upper Colorado Basin Regional Director Wayne Pullan. —This added storage capacity will allow for more carryover water from wet years into future drier years, improving the availability of irrigation water in dry years—particularly at the end of the irrigation season.—

The project was proposed and sponsored by the Wyoming Water Development Commission. In addition to the spillway crest, this project will include excavation and rehabilitation of existing dam and dike embankments with modifications to the outlet works, toe drain, filter trench, and feeder canal.

Big Sandy Dam is a major storage facility of the Eden Project. Big Sandy Dam, Dike and Reservoir are located on Big Sandy Creek, approximately 45 miles northwest of Rock Springs and approximately 10 miles north of Farson, Wyoming. The reservoir provides storage for irrigation, flood control and recreation. It is typically operated to maintain as much storage as possible for irrigation use. Irrigation flows are released directly into the Means Canal for irrigation of Eden Project lands.

Source: Bureau of Reclamation