The Bureau of Reclamation is gradually starting to refill the 27-mile-long Banks Lake reservoir after drawing the lake down nearly 30’ in elevation for maintenance.
The refill timeline estimates a maximum reservoir elevation of 1550’ by the end of the year which will allow crews to continue with scheduled maintenance on the Dry Falls Dam and the Feeder Canal at the North Dam.
The $2 million maintenance project began in July and will be completed this spring just in time for the start of the Columbia Basinirrigation season.
The normal operating range of 1565 feet to 1570 feet is targeted for sometime late February or early March.
Located between Electric City and Coulee City, Banks Lake is an off-stream storage facility completed by Reclamation in 1951. It is filled with water from Lake Roosevelt behind Grand Coulee Dam. The last maintenance drawdown at Banks Lake was about 17 years ago.
Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States and also provides substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits.