MWCD presents 'story of watershed' at Ohio River seminar

November 4, 2008

Environmental experts were able to learn about the issues facing the Muskingum River Watershed and the plans of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) to help maintain the system of reservoirs and dams that protect people and property in the watershed during a recent multi-state conference at Pittsburgh.

The MWCD presented information to attendees at the 24th Annual Scientific Symposium of the Ohio River Basin Consortium for Research and Education (ORBCRE) hosted recently by Carnegie-Mellon University. The theme for the symposium was "Urban Water and Watersheds in the Ohio River Basin."

"The MWCD is very pleased and humbled that the planners of this important educational program in the Ohio River Basin selected the conservancy district to discuss the Muskingum River Watershed and its future," said John M. Hoopingarner, MWCD executive director/secretary. "Some of the leading researchers in watershed and environmental education from Ohio, the Midwest and the country attend this annual session to exchange ideas and information."

The MWCD's program was presented by Boris Slogar, MWCD chief engineer, and Darrin Lautenschleger, MWCD public affairs manager.

ORBCRE is an association of universities, colleges, governmental agencies, industries and individuals with the mission to promote inter-institutional research, education and information exchange in water-related concerns and other environmental issues in the Ohio River Basin. OBRCRE provides a mechanism for communication and cooperation among its members and others interested in addressing current water-related or environmental issues and helps stimulate better solutions.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has reported that four dams and one levee in the flood-reduction system in the Muskingum River Watershed are in urgent need of safety repairs and maintenance and that it could spend up to $621 million on those projects. The MWCD will serve as the local sponsor for the work, with its share ranging from an estimated $93.2 million to $123.1 million.

The system of 16 dams and reservoirs located in the Muskingum River Watershed has saved property owners more than $7 billion worth of potential damage from flooding since its original construction in the 1930s, according to the federal government. The USACE owns and operates the dams in the system, while the MWCD manages much of the reservoir areas where floodwaters are stored behind the dams. The Muskingum River, where all stormwater in the Muskingum River Watershed eventually drains to, empties into the Ohio River at Marietta in Washington County.

More detail about the MWCD is available at

Darrin Lautenschleger
Public Information Administrator
Toll-free: (877) 363-8500


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