Scientific Information for Policymaking
|Integrating scientific data and findings into river management decisions represents scientific and public policy challenges. At Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River [view report] in the western U.S., the U.S. Department of the Interior operates a science and adaptive management center charged with integrating scientific findings with dam operations decisions. The State of Washington must consider a large body of knowledge regarding relationships between Columbia River salmon and instream flows [view report] when making decisions regarding water withdrawal applications for Columbia River water. The International Joint Commission, a Canadian-U.S. organization that oversees water level and flow regulations on Lake Ontario-St.Lawrence River sponsored a 5-year study to formulate, evaluate, and provide bases to select water regulations plans to replace its outdated water level plans (Plan 1958DD). The study encompassed critical considerations from species at risk to commercial navigation, from wetlands to hydropower and municipal use. The NRC working with the Royal Society of Canada reviewed a subset of this study [view report]. A large body of Missouri River ecosystem science [view report] must be considered by the Corps of Engineers and other agencies in setting reservoir release schedules. The Corps faces similar challenges on the Upper Mississippi River [view reports: Inland Navigation System Planning: The Upper Mississippi River - Illinois Waterway, Review of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Retructured Draft Feasibility Study for the Upper Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway Restructured Feasibility Study: Interim Report, and Review of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Restructured Upper Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway Feasibility Study: Second Report], where the Corps is integrating scientific knowledge of Upper Mississippi River ecology into an ecosystem restoration program.||
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