Minidoka Dam Spillway Open For Business


By Joey Martin

Minidoka County, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Friday afternoon, the water began to flow from the newly constructed Minidoka dam spillway, located at Lake Walcott State Park.

The original spillway was completed in 1913, and with well over 100 years of service, it was time to shut the book on the old facility and open a new one for the future.

The original Minidoka dam began construction way back in 1909; the spillway section was completed in 1913.

Consisting of only piers and stop log, which were basically wooden boards that were hand lifted into place to hold back the water.

So it was clear that a new spillway was a much needed necessity.

"It's a very old dam, and we’re modernizing it. As you can see here... there's the new spillway section. There's all of these gates that we can control remotely to control the water in the reservoir here," explains Roland Springer, Bureau of Reclamation.

At a price tag of over 30 million dollars, this new spillway is a big improvement to the old facility.

And also for those who control the water and water users downstream...

"There is no comparison... it's a huge improvement for everybody. It makes the dam operator easier; it makes our job easier. We’ll have better gates to work with, more measurable flow... it just makes our operations easier," points out Dan Davidson, GM, Minidoka Irrigation District.

Once all of the 12 gates are open, the amount of water flowing though totals 10s of thousands of cubic feet per second.

And with that much water flowing all at once, the design of this new spillway is really what sets it apart from others.

A big improvement for the Mini-Cassia region, bringing the ag community the resources needed to excel in the coming years.

Now the project isn't completely done yet.

There are still minor finishing touches to be done.

But the water is flowing and should be completely done within the year.

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