Drought still impacting Missouri River management

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The Army Corps of Engineers says it expects higher-than-usual runoff in the Missouri River basin next year, but the system of dams along the river will still have minimum flows to recover from drought last year.

The Capital Journal reports that the corps says wet soil conditions from abnormally high precipitation in the upper basin this fall are expected to cause monthly runoff records for the Oahe  and Fort Randall areas this October. Total runoff for this year above Sioux City, Iowa, is expected to rank among the top five wettest years.

But despite the wet conditions, reservoirs still are below desired levels due to the 2012 drought, and the system is still expected to support less than full-service navigation downstream next year.