Granger Lake Sedimentation and Watershed Conservation Implementation Assessment
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Sedimentation rates for many Texas reservoirs may be skewed by overstated estimates of design capacity and assumptions perpetuated through subsequent volumetric surveys. Multi-frequency reservoir surveys offer the means by which we may improve existing reservoir data and validate historic sedimentation rate estimates. To demonstrate application of this technology and value of its data derivatives, a multi-year, multi-frequency acoustic survey of Granger Lake, located in Williamson County, Texas was undertaken. Objectives of the study were to use hydro-acoustic survey techniques to verify assumptions of original reservoir capacity, examine the general accuracy of previously derived sedimentation rate, and document conservation implementation effectiveness. The intended benefit of these pre and post-watershed conservation implementation project surveys was to provide a temporal snapshot of sediment flux. Specifically, these data would be used as a tool to quantitatively estimate project success or non-success in annual sediment delivery reduction to the reservoir. During the course of the Granger Lake Watershed Implementation project, Granger Lake lost on average 343 acre feet of water storage annually to watershed sediment contribution. Sediment profiling results indicate pre-impoundment design estimates were overstated, thus skewing subsequent sediment deliver estimates. Since the mid-1990's, an accelerating sedimentation trend is apparent. Conservation implementation is not plainly responsible for the decrease in sediment delivery, and in fact may be undetectable for the foreseeable future. The study illustrates the value of examining previously established reservoir sedimentation estimates and assumptions of reservoir life based on design capacity estimates and routine volumetric surveys. Insights from this research highlight the importance of validating historic reservoir survey data and significance regarding its use in quantifying historic and future conservation effects, or other reservoir sustaining strategies.
McAlister, Jason (2011). Granger Lake Sedimentation and Watershed Conservation Implementation Assessment. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from