Reclamation is conducting pilot studies to identify possible improvements to reservoir operations by incorporating improved scientific information and enhancing operational flexibility to maximize benefits from the existing system. Reclamation's reservoirs are operated using criteria to meet a number of different water management priorities, including reliable water deliveries, power generation, environmental requirements, navigation, and flood control management. Reservoir management practices are being evaluated to determine if there are opportunities to update these criteria to optimize reservoir operations.
In 2015, Reclamation selected five pilot studies to evaluate potential improvements to reservoir operations. Regional pilots were initiated and work began on the pilot studies in January 2016. The studies will be conducted from January 2016 through December 2017.
The five regional pilot studies identified include the following:
- Great Plains: Upper Washita, Fort Cobb and Foss Reservoirs
- Mid-Pacific: Klamath River Basin, Klamath Project
- Pacific Northwest: Ochoco Creek and Crooked River
- Upper Colorado: Upper Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan, Climate and Operations Assessment Methodology
- Lower Colorado: Salt River Project, Salt and Verde Rivers