Aging Reservoirs, Climate, Operations, and Potential Cumulative Impacts to Water Quality, Clarity and Fisheries and Recreation

Project ID: 19080
Principal Investigator: Mike Horn
Research Topic: Water Operation Models and Decision Support Systems
Funded Fiscal Years: 2019 and 2020
Keywords: None

Research Question

Can Reclamation develop a set of tools and techniques that will allow researchers to gain a better understanding of benthic turbidity layers, their composition, what causes them, and why in some areas have they only recently been observed? If this is potentially becoming a bigger problem, and if we can describe the cause, can we identify other reservoirs that are likely susceptible to this same phenomenon over time, and through mechanistic and modelling approaches provide solutions for Clark Canyon and other reservoirs?

Need and Benefit

The proposed research addresses priority areas EN (Environmental Issues for water Delivery and
Management)/Water Quality-Water Delivery Reliability, Water Operations and Planning (WP)/ Climate Change and
Variability, Water Operations Models, and is focused on a greater understanding of some poorly understood reservoir
processes. This is a new problem for Clark Canyon reservoir with as of yet little understanding of why it has occurred.
If we can come up with a solution or viable set of alternatives addressing the problem, this could have broad
applicability across a suite of Reclamation reservoirs, particularity in areas where eutrohication rates are accelerating
and likely to lead to greater deposition of autochthanous production. The impacts of this problem are well documented
by local communities which have tied a dollar amount loss to the turbidity problem. Without this funding research
would still proceed, but with a much narrower scope, and possibly not as successful an outcome.

Contributing Partners

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Research Products

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Last Updated: 6/22/20