“Evaluating the Economic Implications of Low Flow Augmentation on the Ohio River"

Department of Defense Dept. of the Army -- Corps of Engineers
Posted on:

Application Deadline:

Expired

Type

Fellowships

Reference Number

W81EWF-22-SOI-0022

Background:The United States Army Corps of Engineers operates and maintains more than 80 flood risk management (FRM) reservoirs within the Ohio River Basin. While the primary purpose of these projects is to prevent flood damages, in the course of normal operation these projects make regular releases that augment the flow of downstream rivers and provide ancillary benefits to adjacent communities and transient users. Because of this augmentation, at certain times the flows on the Ohio River are actually higher than would have occurred naturally. These higher flows possibly provide benefits in the form of reduced treatment costs for dischargers, more hours of hydropower generation, fewer navigation delays, a more reliable water supply and other benefits that are not currently understood or captured.This effort seeks to identify and, when practicable, monetize ancillary benefits resulting from augmented flows associated with releases from multi-purpose reservoir projects. Its focus will be on the impacts and benefits associated with projects operating within the borders of the Ohio River Basin on flows and benefits located along the mainstem of the Ohio River. However, the methodologies identified should be generally applicable to augmented flows from reservoirs across the United States.At a minimum, benefits to municipal wastewater treatment plants and to water supply will be examined. Additional consideration of benefits to other industrial dischargers, navigation, hydropower and recreation are a plus, as is some discussion and consideration of the overall impacts of climate change on the benefit potential in the future. Brief description of Anticipated Work:The proposed project will describe how much of an influence the reservoir releases are having on the flows in the mainstem Ohio River and whether those increased flows are providing an economic benefit. This effort will involve the gathering of existing flow information, data reconciliation (developing processes for the filling of data gaps) and comparing observed flows and natural flows for each Ohio River mainstem lock and dam over the period of 1990 to present. This comparison will include a reporting of commonly used flow statistics which will serve as the basis for the economic analysis. The economic analysis will determine whether or not the difference between observed and natural flows is significant enough to result in positive benefits to wastewater treatment plants, water supplies and other river users. The overall effort should result in the development of repeatable analytical processes that can be applied to other reservoir influenced riverine systems across the United States. The results of the study will be presented in the form of a final report and the development of manuscripts for peer review should also be considered as appropriate.
Categories: Science and Technology and other Research and Development.

More Information

Posted on:

Application Deadline:

Expired

Type

Fellowships

Reference Number

W81EWF-22-SOI-0022

Basin%2C%20United%20States

Basin , United States