Corps of Engineers Drought Management Experiences

by Earl E. Eiker, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Supplying Water and Saving the Environment for Six Billion People


The drought of 1988-89 was one of the most severe on record for many regions of the United States. Its severity can be measured in terms of the areal extent of hydrologic impact, the record low streamflows, and the earliness in the year of the drought's onset. Problems with navigation in the open water portions of the Mississippi River for example, began to surface in early June 1988 and reached their peak in July 1988 with numerous closures at several different locations. Because of the limited amount of reservoir storage in the basin relative to its size, man's ability to deal with the effects of such extremely low water are greatly limited. When low water conditions arise in the Mississippi, lower basin states look longingly at the available storage in tributary reservoirs, particularly in the Ohio and Missouri Basins. Increased releases from the mainstem Missouri River Dams were studied. In the Ohio River basin, reservoir operations provided significant flow throughout the summer and fall.

Subject Headings: Droughts | United States Army Corps of Engineers | Personnel management | Water shortage | Water resources | Rivers and streams | Reservoirs | Water storage | United States | Mississippi River | Mississippi | Ohio | Missouri | Missouri River | Ohio River

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