Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Research Project #441473

Research Project: Development of a Monitoring Network, Engineering Tools, and Guidelines for the Design, Analysis, and Rehabilitation of Embankment Dams, Hydraulic Structures, and Channels

Location: Agroclimate and Hydraulics Research

Project Number: 3070-13000-014-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jan 20, 2022
End Date: Jan 19, 2027

Objective:
1. Develop new and/or improve cloud-based technologies and engineering tools for data acquisition for dam, hydraulic structure, and channel monitoring and reservoir management that allow data to be used in off-site decision support systems and integrated into watershed modeling tools. 2. Develop new and/or enhance design guidance, engineering tools, software, and best management practice standards to monitor and assess the performance of dams and hydraulic structures as erosion control measures. 3. Enhance dam and/or spillway erosion prediction models through real-time monitoring and/or physical modeling of embankment dam and/or spillway erosion processes and breach. 4. Engage Missouri River Basin stakeholders through our University of Missouri Research and Extension partners to characterize water resource managers’ and producers’ behavior, attitudes, and economic considerations with respect to irrigation water use, conservation, and flood mitigation; and to introduce them to analytical based decision aides for evaluating new technologies, best management practices, and cost-benefit assessment. 5. Develop holistic stochastic optimization models, risk assessment, and decision support tools to improve sustainable agriculture production water management practices, while enhancing long-term landscape health in temperate environments. These models will focus on water availability, water storage, and flood mitigation with dynamic economic assessments. This objective will be met through a collaborative effort between HERU and University of Missouri partners.

Approach:
Global environmental change and human activities are threatening water and land resources and economic growth. Further, water resources infrastructure is experiencing structural deterioration due to anthropogenic changes, which subsequently affect the water cycle and sediment and pollutant delivery to downstream waterbodies. Increasing occurrences of extreme weather exacerbate vulnerability of water infrastructure and threaten public health and safety. These challenges are acknowledged by bipartisan declarations to modernize water resources management and water infrastructure for a sustainable economy, advancements in agriculture and conservation, protection of public health, and support of healthy ecosystems. USDA plays an integral role in water resources management and availability across America and is equipped to meet the challenges through scientific discovery and engineering know-how. This project will focus a holistic approach to 1) develop new and/or improved cloud-based technologies and engineering tools for data acquisition for water resources infrastructure monitoring and reservoir management, which will allow data to be used in off-site decision support systems and integrated into watershed modeling tools, 2) expand hydrologic and hydraulic prediction models through real-time monitoring and/or physical modeling of water resources infrastructure through the implementation of a dam monitoring and inspection network, 3) develop new and/or enhanced designs, engineering tools, models, and best management practice standards to monitor and assess the performance of water resources infrastructure, 4) engage stakeholders through extension and outreach activities to assess the economic benefits of new and/or rehabilitated water resources infrastructure and conservation practices, and 5) develop stochastic optimization models and risk assessments to improve sustainable agriculture production and water management practices, while enhancing long-term landscape health in temperate environments. Federal and state agencies, agricultural producers and farmers, tribal organizations, emergency and floodplain managers, lending institutions, insurance agents, policy makers, and the international scientific community will reap the benefits of these advancements.