Managing sediment accumulation in lakes and reservoirs

CEMS Webinar – Managing Sediment Accumulation in Lakes and Reservoirs: Challenges and Solutions for Colorado and Across the U.S. – is set to take place on November 9, 2021.

Reservoirs are essential for maintaining a reliable system of water supply, while providing additional benefits such as hydropower, flood protection, recreation, and habitat. Most were constructed by the construction of dams decades ago, which trap sediment instead of allowing it to continue downstream.

The results of this process include reduced water storage capacity and lessened flood protections, and degradation of the downstream riverbed, dam infrastructure, navigation depths, shoreline recreational facilities, and habitat areas.

According to CEMS, each has problematic repercussions on established water supply and flood control obligations, and while multiple measures exist for sediment removal, each faces significant cost drivers and numerous environmental regulations applicable both to the sediment removal process and to the placement location(s) or re-use of the material after removal.

This presentation will provide a brief overview of how the challenges of reservoir sediment management are being faced in Colorado and at a national level. National collaborations of experts, regulators, and researchers are underway, led in part by the Bureau of Reclamation, who is also sponsoring a series of innovation award challenges focused on reservoir sediment management.

The presentation will also review permit processes, environmental regulations, and grant programs applicable to water providers who are considering sediment removal efforts.