USACE’s Innovative WID Project Aims to Save Tuttle Creek Reservoir from Sediment Overload and Prolong Its Functional Life

By Trish Svoboda

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is implementing a first-time strategy to rescue the Tuttle Creek reservoir from escalating sediment issues. Laura Totten, a planner with the USACE’s Kansas City District, spoke to KSNT 27 News about the project and its potential impacts. The Water Injection Dredging (WID) project is designed to reduce sediment accumulation in the reservoir, which currently occupies about half of the water body. If the project is successful, it will prolong the reservoir’s functional life and prevent it from eventually being overwhelmed by mud.

The USACE predicts that Tuttle Creek Reservoir will be 75% filled with mud by 2049 and have less than 10% water storage by 2074, according to the WID project’s website. This is negatively impacting recreational activities and the daily lives of those dependent on the reservoir.

The reservoir, serving about 40% of the state’s population including major cities like Manhattan, Topeka, and Lawrence, is facing issues like mud-engulfed boat ramps, loss of wildlife habitats, and abandoned water intakes due to increasing sediment levels. These problems are expected to continue unless the WID project is implemented or another solution is found.

A public meeting is set to take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, at the Peace Auditorium in Manhattan. Representatives from the USACE will be present to discuss the project and provide explanations about its operations. For more information about the WID project, click here.

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