Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Reservoir Sedimentation Management: Big deal! Why should we even care about it?

by Dr. George W. Annandale, P.E.

Dams and reservoirs constitute a critical component of civil infrastructure, ensuring the stability of water and energy supplies and flood risk management. However, reservoir storage capacity, essential to meeting these purposes, has been filling with sediment (clay, silt, sand, gravel, and cobble) in a process known as reservoir sedimentation. Since the late 1990s, the global rate of storage loss to sedimentation has outpaced the rate of new storage construction. This trend will severely limit future amounts of water storage for domestic and industrial use and our ability to produce enough food. Globally, per capita reservoir storage has declined to levels not seen since in the mid-1960’s. Dr. Annandale will review the current state of affairs, and provide guidance on how these problems can be resolved.

Dr. Annandale is a civil engineer with more than 40 years of experience in water resources engineering. He is the author of over 100 articles and several popular books on reservoir sedimentation. One of his greatest concerns is that we will not be able to reliably supply fresh water in the future because of a global net loss of storage in water supply reservoirs caused by reservoir sedimentation. 

This event is part of a series of webinars on reservoir sedimentation, sponsored in part by the CIRES Education & Outreach group and the CIRES Western Water Assessment group, focused on reservoir sedimentation and sustainability. Organizers are part of the Subcommittee on Sedimentation’s National Reservoir Sedimentation and Sustainability Team, presenting sustainable solutions to reservoir sediment management.

The full list of upcoming and recorded webinars as well as professional development hour certificates can be found at this link: Announcing the Reservoir Sedimentation Management Webinar Series.


Thursday, January 18, 2018
11:00am to 12:00pm

Event Type




J. Toby Minear