After weeks of lobbying, the Army Corps of Engineers now plans to release extra water from reservoirs upstream on the Missouri River. But the releases are not for the benefit of downstream navigation on the Mississippi.
Jody Farhat is with the U.S. Army Corps Northwest District. She says the extra water is needed to compensate for water locked up in ice for the winter months: "We have a number of cities and also coal-fire and nuclear power plants that use the river," says Farhat. "The cities use it for drinking water, and the power plants use it for cooling the plant." Farhat says the releases are authorized according to the corps' master manual because the water will be used within the Missouri River basin. She says the extra water likely won't make it to the Mississippi River until the spring thaw.