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Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2012

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releasing water from three lakes to aid Missouri River navigation

July 12, 2012

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun releasing water from Perry, Tuttle Creek and Milford lakes.

Water from the multi-purpose pools of the lakes is being released to support navigation on the Missouri River.

The last time this was done was in November 2009, the Corps said.

Comments

riverdrifter 2 years, 5 months ago

Pure foolishness in this time of drought.

Bill Griffith 2 years, 5 months ago

Releasing our precious water for the phantom barges on the river. Ridiculous.

hujiko 2 years, 5 months ago

This will cause little to no noticeable rise in the Missouri River, and will only exacerbate the situation in Kansas should this drought continue. Great.

riverdrifter 2 years, 5 months ago

Are you a hydrologist? Anyway, combined with all the other releases from other lakes it does make a difference. The Corps of Engineers has always had this weird, one-way, symbiotic relationship with the barge industry -which tells it what to do with the water. Also, all those downstream states have politicians wanting that water. Kansas can keep that water -for a price.

hujiko 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm actually a geographer, but it doesn't take a hydrologist to realize that under drought conditions our reservoirs will be hard pressed to keep up the normal pool if we release water simply for barge traffic. The other lakes you are speaking of are several orders of magnitude larger than the combined Perry, Tuttle, Milford volume being released. There really is no comparing three reservoirs along 7th order streams to those on the main branch of a 9th order stream.

To put this into perspective, at multipurpose pool - Perry ~12,000 acres -Tuttle ~12,000 acres - Milford ~16,000 acres, while the three largest reservoirs along the Missouri - Fort Peck ~18,500,000 acres - Oahe ~23,500,000 acres, -Sakakawea ~23,800,000 acres. That's ~65,000,000/ 40,000 = ~1,600 times smaller.

riverdrifter 2 years, 5 months ago

These lakes will not be kept at what you call "normal" pool. They will be drained to a minimum pool as determinded by the COE and as gaged by the USGS. Then, the gate releases will be reduced to the minimum to keep the streams flowing. I agree with you, though: I despise it.

hujiko 2 years, 5 months ago

I should clarify, I have used surface area as a measure of volume and realize my mistake.

However, Ft Peck has a water volume of roughly 23 cubic kilometers, while both Sakakawea & Oahe have ~29 cubic km. Tuttle Creek is the only reservoir with volume listed, at .41 cubic km, so I can infer Perry would be about the same while Milford would be a bit larger. A conservative guess would be something like 2 cubic km combined. Even if when together they totaled 5 cubic km, that's still ~80/ 5=16 times less volume.

No comparison, still.

riverdrifter 2 years, 5 months ago

They measure lake capactiy in in acre-feet and discharge in cubic feet per second.

riverdrifter 2 years, 5 months ago

"it doesn't take a hydrologist to realize that under drought conditions our reservoirs will be hard pressed to keep up the normal pool if we release water simply for barge traffic." That's not the point. The lakes will be drained to their individual minimum pool levels not their "normal" levels. As in Perry's is 891.40. They may take it to six feet below that, IDK. When it hits their determined minimum, they'll shut the gates to a minimum discharge. The lakes will not be run dry. Anyway, I agree: it's disgusting -and a seemingly PR disaster for the COE, 'cept they've seen it before and they know how to deal with it.

hujiko 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm not arguing with you, as I think we are in fair agreement. I would just hate to see unintended consequences from these actions. As I'm sure you know, lowering a lake can interrupt local base flow and upset marginal ecosystems, and if continued through drought can cause municipal intakes to rise above the pool. I know the lakes will not run dry, but they don't have to in order to cause major problems.

Here's to rain!

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 5 months ago

Should have made them sell KU liscense plates for the water. Lets see how bad they want the water! :)

Steve Jacob 2 years, 5 months ago

The Kansas river is as low as I have ever seen it.

Joe Hyde 2 years, 5 months ago

According to the numbers posted on the KC District's 3-day Lake Forecast site (public information available online) MIlford, Tuttle Creek and Perry lakes all three presently have a surplus of water -- each lake standing about one foot above multi-purpose pool.

This modest excess means the Corps does have a bit of wiggle room in terms of contributing water to authorized recipients located downstream outside Kansas.

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