US Army Corps of Engineers
Louisville District

Barren River and Nolin River reservoirs engineering report

Engineering Report PR May 2016.pdf

FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)


1.  Did the Corps look into raising the winter pools higher than 2 feet (Nolin) or 3 feet (Barren)?  What were the results?  If not, why not?

The Corps did not evaluate higher pool raises.  A study of this magnitude would require what the Corps refers to as a Section 216 Study.  These studies are expensive and require funds far in excess of our normal operating and maintenance budget.  We are willing to perform such a study, if the necessary funding can be obtained.  Until funding becomes available, studies of this magnitude cannot be initiated.

The Engineering Report was not an evaluation of how high the Corps could raise the winter pools at these projects.  The Engineering Report was actually an evaluation of whether the Corps should return the winter pools to their lower (authorized) elevations or adopt the current winter pools.  Discussion between the Louisville District, our Division Office and our Headquarters Office allowed the Louisville District to assess the impacts of these actions in an Engineering Report.  This effort was conducted using annual operating and maintenance funds.         


2.  Why is Barren going up 3 feet but Nolin is only going up 2 feet?

Although the increases in winter pool elevations are different, the reason behind them is the same.  Both pools were raised the least amount that would address the problems associated with sedimentation.


3.  Will the Corps raise these reservoir pools 2 or 3 feet again, sometime in the future, if sedimentation problems persist?

No.  Since these winter pools were raised 15 to 20 years ago, there have been a lot of changes to the Corps’ policy with regard to such an action.  Any future changes will require a Section 216 Study.