Reservoir Sediment Management: Building a Legacy of Sustainable Water Storage Reservoirs

The National Reservoir Sedimentation and Sustainability Team (NRSST) has produced this white paper, which explores the vital need to implement long-term sediment management strategies to preserve our nation’s water infrastructure. Woolpert Senior Strategic Consultant David Wegner is a member of the NRSST board.

“Without active management, the continual accumulation of sediments gradually displaces the storage volume in a reservoir, which risks ultimately rendering the reservoir useless for capturing and storing water,” the paper notes. “In addition, long before the reservoir has lost its water storage capacity, numerous problematic sedimentation impacts can occur, including reduction in the reliability of water supply, burial of dam outlets and intakes for water supply and power production, damage to hydropower and pumping equipment, burial of boat ramps or marinas, impairment to navigation, reduction in the surface area for lake recreation, increased flood levels upstream, downstream channel degradation, and other environmental impacts.”