Evaluating Need for Adaptation for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District Reservoirs

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Date

2016-04-29

Authors

Tchamkina, Mary

Advisors

Doyle, Martin
Patterson, Lauren

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Abstract

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns and operates over 500 reservoirs in the U.S., the majority of which are 50 years old. As the agency looks to the future, it is crucial for it to understand which reservoirs continue to meet design and operational goals. This report examines the Corps’ reservoir policy and historic operations to assess the reservoirs’ need for adaptation, focusing on the Wilmington District in Southeastern U.S. Four metrics are developed using Corps data and documentation. The metrics are synthesized via a model that presents 5 Wilmington reservoirs as a system. The model helps visualize concepts of operational flexibility and thresholds of adaptation, though reliable estimates of the latter could not be gleaned from Corps documentation. The report concludes that the agency's wide discretion is at odds with the establishment of thresholds for adaptation. This disincentive may undermine the Corps' ability to prepare for climate challenges of the 21st century.

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Citation

Tchamkina, Mary (2016). Evaluating Need for Adaptation for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District Reservoirs. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11912.


Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.