Because you asked.....Big Johnson Reservoir not so big right now?
Last updated 10/5/2020 at 4:32pm
Several readers have asked why the water levels in Big Johnson Reservoir seem to have gone down significantly over the last couple of weeks. After sitting empty for a few years, locals were excited to see the reservoir fill back up earlier this year, and many have enjoyed walking the trails and bird watching.
We asked Gary Steen, manager of Fountain Mutual Irrigation Co. (FMIC), to explain what's happening. He said FMIC, which operates the reservoir, only diverted a portion of their water this past winter into the reservoir in an attempt to remove some of the silt material that has been deposited into the reservoir over the past 100-plus years. The company had several contractors assist with this removal process in recent years.
"Due to this process and the extremely dry year we have experienced this year, the water levels in the reservoir have dropped in the reservoir this summer due to normal operations of irrigation and augmentation releases to our shareholders," Steen said. "The company will start to refill the reservoir and start this process all over once again later this year."
-Story and photo by Karin Hill
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