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Posted 7/24/2009

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By Carol Labashosky


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting a reconnaissance study of the Ohio River Basin, including the Cumberland and Tennessee River basins. Using a collaborative watershed approach, the study will identify current and future water resource issues within the basin.

"The study enables the Corps along with other organizations to collectively identify the most pressing problems and future water resource needs while collaborating," said Louisville District Planning Branch Chief Sharon Bond.

The Corps is seeking input from local, state and federal agencies on their most pressing water resource priorities for the future. The Corps encourages input from environmental non-profit agencies and groups, too.

All water resource categories are being considered, including:

  • Flood damage reduction
  • Environmental degradation/ecosystem restoration/fish and wildlife habitat
  • Water supply/water quality
  • Hydropower
  • Navigation

Water resources issues being considered include existing aging water resources infrastructure ranging from small flood reduction projects to large reservoirs.

Products of the study include:

  • GIS database of existing water resource projects in the study area
  • Web site for information exchange and collaboration with stakeholders
  • Report including identification of the greatest water resource problems, needs and opportunities
  • Formulating a framework to establish a collaborative partnership to champion the water resource issues in the basin
  • Potential outcomes of the study are:
  • Recommendations for planning to develop solutions to problems and needs
  • Basin-wide water management plan and reinvestment strategy
  • Formation of multi-state Ohio River Basin collaborative partnership

The study is expected to be completed in December 2009 with a draft report available through the website for public comment at the end of October 2009. The preliminary information gathering phase is underway. The Corps requests interested parties to provide input by Sept. 30, 2009, through the study Web site at: www.orboutreach.com.