Muskingum River Basin Optimization Study for the US Army Corps of Engineers

Case Study Under:  Policy & Planning Solutions         Location:  Huntington District
The Case Study

Muskingum Basin Optimization Study for the US Army Corps of Engineers

Situation

The Huntington, West Virginia District of the US Army Corps of Engineers were facing two challenges. First, they discovered some of the 15 reservoirs they operate in the Muskingum River Basin for uses such as flood control, water supply, recreation, and minimum instream flow were at risk of geotechnical failure at high water levels – threatening loss of life and significant expense. Second, several communities in the Muskingum River Basin are considering economic development opportunities that would increase demand for water supply and whitewater releases.

The Corps selected GKY to recommend river basin operating strategies that address both current geotechnical conditions and future economic development.

The Solution

GKY developed a river basin model capable of simulating complex operating rules and demonstrating their economic consequences. For example, we used the model to develop rules that would keep the reservoirs below their geotechnical failure threshold and determined that such operations would cost millions of dollars in downstream flooding damage annually, on average. Testing various scenarios, we used the model to rapidly develop sound operating strategies for the Muskingum River Basin.