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Old 12-06-2007, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest
2,835 posts, read 6,806,924 times
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With Falls lake so low and so much land exposed that is normally underwater, I wonder why no one talks about dredging Falls lake to create more capacity when it finally does rain and fill back up. Would this not be the time to do it?

I know there has to be a reason as it sounds to simplistic of a solution. I'm sure the cost is great but how much will it cost be build another Falls Lake and where? How much will it cost to bring water into the area if we start to run out?

Sure seems like a lot of capacity could be added by dredging around the lake to allow for future growth and droughts.

Anybody have any opinions on this or know of specific reason this would not work?
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Old 12-06-2007, 09:36 PM
 
9,677 posts, read 28,057,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dansdrive View Post
With Falls lake so low and so much land exposed that is normally underwater, I wonder why no one talks about dredging Falls lake to create more capacity when it finally does rain and fill back up. Would this not be the time to do it?

I know there has to be a reason as it sounds to simplistic of a solution. I'm sure the cost is great but how much will it cost be build another Falls Lake and where? How much will it cost to bring water into the area if we start to run out?

Sure seems like a lot of capacity could be added by dredging around the lake to allow for future growth and droughts.

Anybody have any opinions on this or know of specific reason this would not work?
The economic and ecological implications of such an undertaking would be astronomical. Besides, there are already plans for other water sources in the area.

City of Raleigh | New Water Treatment Plant and Reservoir
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Ellicott City MD
2,270 posts, read 8,548,741 times
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From this article: Army Engineers Manage Lakes, Dams During Drought :: WRAL.com

"Dredging Falls Lake is not a practical short-term solution, Brown. Although the drought has lowered lake levels, getting approval to dredge is a years-long process. A government representative must ask Congress to fund an environmental study, which also usually requires local funds and typically takes five years.

"Dredging would only lower the total water level and not add water to storage. Or, as you might put it more bluntly: If we dug a deeper hole right now, all we'd have would be a deeper hole," the Corps said in a statement. "In the long term, dredging could potentially increase storage.""
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest
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Thanks for the input. I truly understand the economic impact of such an undertaking and it only has long term benefits. Short term may actually be negative. Just trying to "dig up" some ideas on increasing our water storage capacity for future droughts. Eventually if we keep damming our rivers up the down stream ramification will also be environmentally disastrous. One only needs to look west at the Colorado river and its basisin to see the harmful downstream effects of taking water out of the upstream water shed.

NRG thanks for article I was not aware of those plans! Good news for the future! :0
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Old 12-07-2007, 06:56 AM
 
5,541 posts, read 16,119,648 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dansdrive View Post
With Falls lake so low and so much land exposed that is normally underwater, I wonder why no one talks about dredging Falls lake to create more capacity when it finally does rain and fill back up. Would this not be the time to do it?
I used to work for a company with an office that bordered a canal. One summer, they decided to dredge this canal. The canal was about 50 yards wide and a few hundred yards long. It took them probably 2 months. Then they were left with this mountain of sludge alongside the canal. It then took them an extra month, using a bulldozer, to flatten this sludge pile out and make it look pretty again.

I imagine that the equipment used would be much different - larger scale - but still, this would take months and months.

I'd like to see them just go out and pull up all of the tree stumps that they can find sticking out of the water. This would make it safer for boaters.
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:50 AM
 
207 posts, read 1,026,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dansdrive View Post
With Falls lake so low and so much land exposed that is normally underwater, I wonder why no one talks about dredging Falls lake to create more capacity when it finally does rain and fill back up. Would this not be the time to do it?

I know there has to be a reason as it sounds to simplistic of a solution. I'm sure the cost is great but how much will it cost be build another Falls Lake and where? How much will it cost to bring water into the area if we start to run out?

Sure seems like a lot of capacity could be added by dredging around the lake to allow for future growth and droughts.

Anybody have any opinions on this or know of specific reason this would not work?

It's going to take a lot of rain to restore Falls Lake to what it was before this drought. Maybe we will luck out and have record setting rain amounts next year but I believe that some of the areas where the water has vacated will never have water in them again (unless they are somehow filled in with water from another source other than mother nature)...
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest
2,835 posts, read 6,806,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALT-X View Post
It's going to take a lot of rain to restore Falls Lake to what it was before this drought. Maybe we will luck out and have record setting rain amounts next year but I believe that some of the areas where the water has vacated will never have water in them again (unless they are somehow filled in with water from another source other than mother nature)...
ALT-X I hope not. I believe the weather is cyclic and the rain will come back one day to the area. Until then we will have to conserve our way through this. Anything, albeit dredging or building more reservoirs will all be for future droughts.

I think once Raleigh goes to the next drought stage consumption should drop off enough to allow our water supply a few more months. Up until they do that its anyones guess.
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:51 PM
 
1,887 posts, read 5,478,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALT-X View Post
It's going to take a lot of rain to restore Falls Lake to what it was before this drought. Maybe we will luck out and have record setting rain amounts next year but I believe that some of the areas where the water has vacated will never have water in them again (unless they are somehow filled in with water from another source other than mother nature)...
Last drought we had (2002) it took about 2 months to refill. We got about 5" of rain in a week in late august/early september, which refilled Lake Michie and Little river reservoir. Then we had a big 3.5" rain in October which refilled Falls lake in a day (from 244' to 252'). Things are drier now, but the leaves are off the trees, so there's alot more runoff. If we can get a few decent weeks with a 2-3" of rain, things will start to refill. So it won't take record rainfall to get reservoir levels back, but it will take alot of rainfall to get groundwater/base streamflows back.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:46 AM
 
9,677 posts, read 28,057,535 times
Reputation: 10034
Quote:
Originally Posted by dansdrive View Post
With Falls lake so low and so much land exposed that is normally underwater, I wonder why no one talks about dredging Falls lake to create more capacity when it finally does rain and fill back up. Would this not be the time to do it?

I know there has to be a reason as it sounds to simplistic of a solution. I'm sure the cost is great but how much will it cost be build another Falls Lake and where? How much will it cost to bring water into the area if we start to run out?

Sure seems like a lot of capacity could be added by dredging around the lake to allow for future growth and droughts.

Anybody have any opinions on this or know of specific reason this would not work?
Here is a great recent article explaining why dredging the lake to increase capacity isn't the obvious solution it might seem to be:

newsobserver.com | Cost high to dredge Falls Lake (http://www.newsobserver.com/weather/drought/story/931993.html - broken link)
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:03 AM
 
5,541 posts, read 16,119,648 times
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Man! You are fast NRG! I just read the same article and was ready to post the link.
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