Water Control and Environmental Objectives,
ARMY ENGINEER DIV OHIO RIVER CINCINNATI
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All reservoir and reservoir system regulation strategies induce multiple environmental impacts. These impacts range from subtle to dramatic, vary from short-range to long-range in both time and space, and may be positive or negative. All habitats and all water uses, reservoir and downstream, are affected. The criteria for evaluating each impact may be unique, may overlap with other criteria, may be site specific, and often change in relation to other factors such as time or season. Thus, water control elements make hundreds of decisions each year that enhance or degrade reservoir and stream habitats to some degree and tend to promote or diminish the value of water for different water uses. Reservoir regulation objectives are legally defined by authorized project purposes. In practice, structural integrity, threat to human life, and economic loss, or property damage, are prevailing concerns. Obviously, multipurpose reservoirs increase the number of regulation targets, constraints, and criteria, as well as conflicts between uses, the degree of coordination and the amount of data and information required to risk analysis. It is appropriate to stress that these factors tend to change. New interests evolve, old interests modify criteria, priorities change and even authorized project purposes are subject to modification.