U.S. Water News Online
WACO, Texas -- Improved farming techniques appear to have
reduced sedimentation rates in the Brazos River Basin of central Texas,
resulting in an additional 40,000 acre feet to the region's long-term water
"It's like adding three new small lakes to our water supply
Wayne Hughes, general manager of the Brazos River Authority. Sedimentation
surveys, utilizing satellite imagery and sonar technology, recently have
determined that several reservoirs in the basin are receiving less sediment
than was predicted by previous engineering studies. The amount of water
afforded by each reservoir gradually is reduced over the years as the amount
of naturally occurring sediments increases. When a water supply project is
designed, the rate of sedimentation is estimated as causing a direct impact
on the amount of water afforded by an individual water supply reservoir. Each
reservoir accumulates sediment at a different rate.
"Improved farming techniques, converting row crops to grazing
constructing soil conservation storage reservoirs throughout the basin appear
to have significantly reduced sedimentation rates in the basin," said Hughes.
At the same time, computerized surveys have enabled the authority to maintain
closer estimates of the available water supplies, he added.
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