Time for a plan.

At some point in time all the Missouri River main stem reservoirs will cease to provide the authorized purposes. At present time there are no plans in place to address operations once the projects fill with sediment or to take action to sustain the reservoirs and benefits. Click on the button
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Time for a Plan

The dams and reservoirs of the Missouri River mainstem system are a national resource, which must be sustained for the future. Accumulating sediment in the reservoirs reduces capacity for storing water and negatively impacts system benefits. Currently, there are no plans in place to sustain the Missouri River reservoirs or address the impacts of sedimentation. MSAC believes this needs to change.

Since 2018, MSAC has been working with stakeholders and the US Army Corps of Engineers to develop a Sediment Management Plan for Lewis and Clark Lake. MSAC anticipates this process will assist the other Missouri River reservoirs in future planning.

Read the latest draft of the Project Management Plan (September 4, 2020)

Learn more about MSAC and its mission below. Find more testimonial videos.

Watch Mission on the Missouri

System benefits include flood control, hydropower, navigation, water supply & water quality, fish & wildlife and recreation The US Army Corps of Engineers estimates that 75,545 acre feet of sediment enters the reservoirs annually. Without sustainability plans for the reservoirs these already diminishing benefits will wither away.

MSAC – 2020

Building a Plan

With the US Army Corps of Engineers technical assistance, MSAC & stakeholders are developing a sediment management plan for Lewis and Clark Lake. A sediment management plan provides a framework to prevent sediment from reducing water storage capacity at a reservoir and increasing water storage capacity through sediment removal at a reservoir. Lewis and Clark Lake has already lost nearly 35% of its water storage capacity to sediment.

MSAC’s goal is to educate & promote action to address sedimentation.

Sustaining our nation’s reservoirs for future generations takes a shift in thinking. MSAC wants to join stakeholders & river managers in building a broad, holistic plan that looks upstream & downstream taking into account a truer picture of actual costs & benefits.

Late1950sSpringfield Marina

Years of Research Available

Volumes of information exist regarding the sediment conditions at Lewis and Clark Lake and the delta. A sediment management plan (SMP) is more than another study. The goal for a SMP is to bring past research together with new information building an action plan.

Shift in Thinking

One challenge is the economic model federal planners use to determine how a project’s benefits compare to its costs. The current model nearly makes maintaining water storage capacity at L&C Lake impossible. Stakeholders hope to illustrate this early on in planning. This could benefit planning at other Missouri River reservoirs and elsewhere.

Stop the Damage

Damages due to lack of sediment management at Lewis & Clark Lake account for 70 percent of the actual construction costs and would likely exceed construction costs if damage information was available. (Source: Reservoir Sustainability & Sediment Management/Journal of Water Resources and Planning Management – M. George, R. Hotchkiss & R. Huffaker)

By 2045 – 50% full

If nothing changes, Lewis and Clark Lake will be half full of sediment by the year 2045. More than 75,000 acre feet of sediment enter the six Missouri River main stem projects annually. Gavins Point Dam traps 2,700 acre feet annually in the system’s smallest reservoir. Sedimentation problems in the Missouri River reservoirs may not be visible to the naked eye in all locations, but they are occurring in all the reservoirs, including near tributary confluences. As sediment continues to accumulate it can, and will, result in the loss of hydropower production, negatively affect recreation, including fishing and boating, cause a reduction in flood control capability, and negatively impact public drinking water and agricultural water intakes, plus have many other negative impacts.