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Water 2018, 10(2), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020190

Examining Storage Capacity Loss and Sedimentation Rate of Large Reservoirs in the Central U.S. Great Plains

1
Kansas Biological Survey, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66407, USA
2
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
3
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
4
Environmental Studies Program, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
5
Reservoir Operations and Planning, Kansas Water Office, Topeka, KS 66612, USA
6
Eastern Colorado Area Office, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Loveland, CO 80537, USA
7
FLO Analytics, Portland, OR 97209, USA
8
Watershed Planning, Monitoring, and Assessment Section, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Bureau of Water, Topeka, KS 66612, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 7 February 2018 / Accepted: 8 February 2018 / Published: 11 February 2018
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Abstract

Reservoirs created by impounding sediment-laden streams infill over time, reducing storage capacity and altering water quality. Increasing freshwater demand on a limited supply is adding pressure on reservoir water storage and management across much of the western and central U.S. Determining sedimentation rates is helpful to ensure a reliable and sustainable clean water supply for drinking, irrigation and recreation purposes. In the state of Kansas, located in the central Great Plains, bathymetric surveys have been completed recently for many major state and federally constructed reservoirs. In this paper, we examine sediment infill rate and storage capacity loss for all 24 federally operated reservoirs in Kansas. As of 2016, these reservoirs have an average age of 52 years and collectively have lost approximately 17% of their original capacity, with the highest single-reservoir loss of 45%, the highest annual loss rate of 0.84%, and the highest annual sediment yield of 1688 m3/km2/year. Results from this paper provide baseline information pertinent to the development, prioritization and assessment of remediation and mitigation strategies for addressing the sediment infill problem in Kansas, with general implications for other large reservoirs across the Great Plains as well as other climatologically and ecologically similar regions around the world. View Full-Text
Keywords: bathymetry; flood control; Great Plains; impoundment; Kansas; reservoir half-life; sediment management; sediment yield; soil erosion; water supply bathymetry; flood control; Great Plains; impoundment; Kansas; reservoir half-life; sediment management; sediment yield; soil erosion; water supply
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Rahmani, V.; Kastens, J.H.; deNoyelles, F.; Jakubauskas, M.E.; Martinko, E.A.; Huggins, D.H.; Gnau, C.; Liechti, P.M.; Campbell, S.W.; Callihan, R.A.; Blackwood, A.J. Examining Storage Capacity Loss and Sedimentation Rate of Large Reservoirs in the Central U.S. Great Plains. Water 2018, 10, 190.

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