Engineering-Based New Reservoir Design and Environmental Suitability Analysis with Geospatial Technology

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Fitzgerald, James
Panda, Sudhanshu S.
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As a follow up to the 2007 drought and water scarcity in Georgia and especially in North Georgia, there is a greater need of creating new water reservoirs. The main goal of this study is to use geospatial technology, engineering and environmental knowhow to find suitable locations in North GA for building a reservoir to serve primarily for drinking water supply and irrigation. Another objective is to design the reservoir with proper engineering applications and conduct an environmental impact analysis due to its construction. In order to determine reservoir suitable sites in North Georgia, a geospatial model was created with ArcGIS 9.3 Model Builder based on land use, DEM (Digital Elevation Model), Census Data, and orthoimagery. Buffers of different distances were created based on airport sites, population density, landfill and industrial waste sites, U.S forestry and national parks, railroads, and major roadways of North Georgia, which were designated as unsuitable areas for probable reservoir locations for environmental concerns. Peck’s Mill Watershed, located in Lumpkin County was chosen as the most suitable location for building the reservoir. Then the suitable areas were surveyed using a DEM to find the best location to build a dam for the reservoir. The dam height was determined based on the amount of direct runoff coming from the above catchment area to the dam location and keeping in prospective to have the reservoir filled in four years maximum. A geospatial model was developed to calculate the runoff using the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) method (average intensity of rainfall and Curve Number). Based on the dam height, the reservoir impounding volume was calculated. The total runoff was divided with the proposed impounding volume to determine the years it will take to fill in the reservoir. Annual stream discharge of the Chestatee River (One mile downstream of the proposed dam) was also calculated to pump water from the river to fill the reservoir. The reservoir pool line of 405 meter was chosen with a probable filling time of 2.14 years by watershed runoff and water pumped from Chestatee River. After the reservoir design, flood pool line was calculated based on 100-year flood to find the environmental impact due to the reservoir.
Sponsored by: Georgia Environmental Protection Division U.S. Geological Survey, Georgia Water Science Center U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Water Resources Institute The University of Georgia, Water Resources Faculty
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