Phillip H. Brown, operations manager at Rathbun Lake and Dam, said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Rathbun Lake has begun the process to update the 1980 version of the Chariton River Water Regulation manual, which is the guiding document for managing lake level conditions and water releases.
“Our official notification to begin the process to update the water manual started with a public workshop back in May 2013,” Brown said. “At this forum the public was provided Chariton River channel capacity data downstream of the dam that was collected during the high water releases back in the year 2010.”
The dam at Rathbun Lake during the late summer and early fall of 2010, was releasing water at a
record high rate of 3,000 cubic feet per second, Brown said, which caused a backwater effect into adjoining streams and drainage ditches.
“Our desire is to determine the maximum sustained water releases we can incorporate in the updated manual, while having minimal backwater effects,” Brown said.
Brown said based upon the data collected in 2010, they are confident that water flows at a discharge rate of 2,500 cfs will remain below existing river banks. However, for the process to update the water manual they need to acquire as much physical data as conceivably possible to make the best informed decisions with respect to the backwater influence.
To achieve this goal they intend to survey and document backwater influence during a 48-hour, 2,500 cfs water release exercise which will begin at approximately noon on Tuesday, Aug. 27 and end by noon on Thursday, Aug. 29.
This water release exercise is contingent upon dry weather conditions continuing through the week of Aug. 26.