Institute for Water Resources

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Value to the Nation

Water Supply: Environmental Benefits

The Corps undertakes numerous water supply studies each year designed to protect and restore the environment. Many of these efforts involve improving fish and wildlife habitats by reallocating water supplies or revising dam operating plans.

For instance, on rivers that experience periods of low natural water flow, the Corps can temporarily store water in its reservoirs and selectively release it to increase flow, significantly improving habitats and enhancing overall water quality.

The Corps also has a number of other ongoing water studies and projects aimed at improving environmental conditions. For example, the Corps currently is including in the water supply business program budget money to pay for Endangered Species Act – Biological Options to be used for Fish Mitigation in the Columbia River and for a temperature control facility in the Willamette River in Oregon.

Environmental considerations are a top priority for all of the Corps water supply projects. The Corps always carefully evaluates ways to minimize any negative environmental impact and to maximize the environmental benefits of every activity.

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