Missouri River basin project, comprehensive plan authorized in 1944 for the coordinated development of water resources of the Missouri River and its tributaries, draining an area of c.513,300 sq mi (1,329,400 sq km) in Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Iowa, and Minnesota. The program provided for the construction of 112 dams with a storage capacity of almost 35 million gal/132 million liters; 4,300,000 acres (1,740,000 hectares) of irrigated land; 2.6 million kilowatts of hydroelectric generating capacity; a 9-ft (2.7-m) navigable channel on the Missouri River from Sioux City to its mouth; control of floods and sedimentation; protection of fish and wildlife; and development of recreational facilities and industrial and municipal water supplies. Seven main-stem dams on the Missouri were completed (Fort Peck, Garrison, Oahe, Big Bend, Fort Randall, Gavins Point, and Canyon Ferry), and 80 other dams were built on tributaries. The program has been modified and expanded over the years and is integrated with other projects for the region, including the Colorado–Big Thompson project, the Shoshone project, and the North Platte project. Although the project created a navigation channel on the lower Missouri, the fish and wildlife there were greatly reduced.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.