Barren River, Kentucky

Identifying floodplain constraints to increase operational flexibility

The Barren River Dam, located in Allen County Kentucky initially had a maximum release rate of 6,000 cubic feet per second. Over time, the impacts of releases above 4,000 cfs have become less certain. 

Models initially designed for the Green River Basin through the Sustainable Rivers Program using the HEC-ResSim and HEC-RAS models were applied to locations downstream of the Barren River Dam to identify and evaluate potentially impacted locations. 

Barren River

Collapse All Expand All


Barren River Dam is located in Allen County in south central Kentucky. The reservoir has the largest drainage area in the Louisville District (940 square miles) and relatively low maximum seasonal release rates compared to other projects within the district (crop season - 3,200 cfs and non-crop season – 4,000 cfs). When the project was initially impounded the normal maximum release rate was 6,000 cfs. Over time, this maximum release rate has been reduced to 4,000 cfs, a 33% loss in release capacity. A maximum release of 4,000 cfs has been use for many years with uncertainty about the impacts of releasing above 4,000 cfs and up to 6,000 cfs. Additionally, the schedule of regulation gives authorization to release up to 6,000 cfs and states “when conditions dictate the need for depletion of reservoir storage at a faster rate, it may be possible to discharge up to the maximum design rate of 6,000 cfs. This decision would involve consideration of time of year, current and forecasted weather conditions, and percentage of flood control storage utilized. The decision would be dependent on the notification of downstream interests.” Project personnel have identified potentially impacted areas during higher releases, and the CWMS model could help address the benefits and downstream impacts of going to a higher maximum release rate.









Browse records in Title that    Search     

Click any column header to sort table data.
Barren - Evaluation of operationsBarren River2017
Page 1 of 1First   Previous   Next   Last