Reservoirs play a critically important role in supplying water for human uses. However, sedimentation limits storage capabilities and increases risk for aging infrastructure. Many large reservoirs were designed to accommodate 100 years of sediment accumulation and can store centuries worth of incoming sediment before filling up completely. However, such long sedimentation horizons are rarely the case in areas with high sediment yields, including some basins in the US. The sediment yields in Taiwan are among the highest in the world, resulting in rapid filling of reservoirs, motivating Taiwan to implement sediment management measures sooner than elsewhere. This recent paper provides insights into sediment management strategies globally and experience with sediment management efforts in Taiwan, where high erosion rates have forced the issue earlier than elsewhere, thereby providing early insights into management challenges that are emerging worldwide.
Wang, H-W, GM Kondolf, D Tullos, and W-C Kuo. Sediment management in Taiwan’s reservoirs and barriers to implementation. Water 10(8), 1034; doi:10.3390/w10081034