MWCD plans numerous watershed projects in 2010

January 8, 2010

Numerous projects are planned by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) during the upcoming year to support the performance of the system of reservoirs and dams in the Muskingum River Watershed.

 

The MWCD will partner with the federal government, state government and local entities, and plans to invest more than $4.2 million in the various programs, said Boris E. Slogar, MWCD’s chief engineer.

 

“Our partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will focus on the maintenance and rehabilitation of the dams in the Muskingum Basin,” Slogar said. “And there are a number of other worthwhile projects and programs that the MWCD will participate in during 2010 that maintain our focus on flood reduction and water conservation in the basin.”

 

The Muskingum Basin is the state’s largest wholly contained watershed, covering all or portions of 27 counties – an area of more than 8,000 square miles.

 

The MWCD will provide more than $1.6 million during 2010 to the USACE as a portion of its share of the costs associated with upgrades at Dover and Bolivar dams. The MWCD is the committed local sponsor as required by federal law for the projects that will be designed and managed by the USACE, which owns and operates the 16 dams in the Muskingum system. As the local cost-share partner, the MWCD will invest just under 25 percent of the total cost for each project with the exception of Dover Dam, where MWCD’s cost share is 3.45 percent.

 

The USACE has projected that it could spend in excess of $600 million for maintenance and rehabilitation of the dams, with the MWCD’s share as the local sponsor exceeding $100 million.

 

“This represents an investment of more than $700 million in infrastructure projects in our region which provide economic and flood reduction benefits,” Slogar said.

 

The MWCD also will spend an estimated $765,000 for maintenance projects at its reservoirs, including a major slope stabilization project at Pleasant Hill Reservoir.

 

The MWCD’s “Partners In Watershed Management” program – in which the MWCD serves as a partner with other entities in documented improvement and rehabilitation projects in the watershed – will provide more than $900,000 throughout the watershed in 2010. In 2009, the MWCD participated in programs in Belmont, Carroll and Stark counties that reduced sediment loads in Piedmont Reservoir, assisted several homeowners in a federal project to be relocated from a flood-prone allotment near Malvern, and reduced storm flows and improved water quality in a growing nature preserve managed by the City of Canton.

 

Other programs for watershed maintenance and conservation education are expected to cost nearly $950,000 this year, Slogar said. Included are partnership projects with local Soil and Water Conservation District offices.

 

“This is a very ambitious and exciting program for 2010 that will build and protect the benefits that the dams and reservoirs were constructed to provide,” Slogar said. “The Muskingum Basin is a large area that is diverse in its geography and in its individual needs by reservoir and by region, but we all share the same watershed. The developing program to maintain and rehabilitate the system in the Muskingum Watershed is designed to address those needs.”

 

The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses in the Muskingum River Basin. Since their construction, the reservoirs and dams in the MWCD region have been credited for saving more than $7 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government.

 

For more information about the MWCD, visit www.mwcd.org.

 

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