Agriculture
5:16 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

Army Corps of Engineers to Change Approach to Managing Missouri River

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Monday that it’s changing its short-term approach to managing water levels on the Missouri River, following devastating flooding this summer in Missouri, Iowa and North Dakota. 

Jody Farhat is chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management office in Omaha.  She said the Corps of Engineers will be more flexible this fall and winter in evacuating as much water as possible along the Missouri ahead of next year’s runoff season.

“If we see that the snow and the runoff is ahead of schedule, then we will take action to increase releases through the winter, as long as we can do so in a safe and effective manner, ” she said.

The change follows a series of public meetings in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and Montana. 

Farhat said, though, that there have been no changes to the long-term approach for managing the Missouri River, and that federal laws protecting the Pallid Sturgeon and other species remain in effect.  The Corps still plans to hold two releases of water on the Missouri River next year to benefit the endangered fish.