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Posted 5/18/2016

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By Brannen Parrish


The Kansas Water Office officially opened dredging operations to recover water supply storage during a ceremony at the lake, May 17.

More than three million yards of sediment will be removed from John Redmond Reservoir’s conservation pool to restore some of the lake’s water supply storage capacity. Dredging will also allow aquatic habitats for the benefit of public recreation and the lake’s ecosystem.

John Redmond Reservoir is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District project, and was completed in 1964 for the purpose of flood risk management. More than 75 percent of the lake is allocated for water supply storage to the Kansas Water Office, a state agency charged with managing the state’s water resources.

The start of dredging is the culmination of four years of studying and planning the feasibility of sedimentation removal. The Kansas Water Office worked with the Tulsa District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to gain approval for the operation.

"The Kansas Water Office's data indicated sedimentation would hinder our ability to meet the demand for water in the region," said Col. Richard A. Pratt, commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District. "We are pleased with the cooperation between our agencies as we are committed to delivering enduring and essential water resource solutions to meet demand."

Dredging the conservation pool will restore water supply storage for the benefit of the regional water users and recover lost aquatic habitat for the benefit of public recreation and the lake’s ecosystem.

According to the Kansas Water Office the John Redmond Reservoir is experiencing sedimentation at a faster rate than other water supply reservoirs in the state.

"The water stored in John Redmond Reservoir is provided, through a contract with the KWO, to 19 communities, six industrial users and the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Station," said KWO Director Tracy Streeter. "It is our job to ensure water supply is provided for our communities and businesses. As we looked forward to the future demand, we saw we fell short making this a top priority project for the past several years."

Dredging operations are expected to continue through December 2016.