The Bureau of Reclamation has selected five projects to each receive $75,000 through phase one of the Guardians of the Reservoir Challenge. The contest seeks new ways to effectively and continually manage sediment in reservoirs.
The five winning projects move to phase two, where solvers continue developing their solutions and perform a laboratory-scale demonstration of their ideas.
Sedimentation occurs when rivers transport sediment into reservoirs, where it falls out and begins to fill the reservoir. Sedimentation reduces the amount of storage available and can bury outlets, impacting reservoir owners’ ability to store and deliver water or reduce the risk of floods. Sedimentation can also affect water quality, recreation and habitat.
“Current sediment removal technologies are extremely expensive and often cost-prohibitive,” said Reclamation Chief Engineer David Raff. “The selected solutions provide the potential for meeting the goals of this competition to manage reservoir sediments while improving habitat and operational conditions.”
The winning submissions are:
- Wing Marine Team composed of Doug Thompson, John Crowson, Mel Friedman, Peter Crossland, Bryan Longhurst, James Coats, and Joel Friedman, Texas, A Cure for Ailing Reservoirs.
- Nicholas LaBry and Kenneth LaBry of Prometheus Innovations, LLC., and Bartolomeo Mongiardino of Hydro Maintenance Service, Louisiana, The 3 D DREDGER™: Complete Sediment Management.
- Dr. Peter Murdoch and Dr. John Newport, Pennsylvania, Air Bubble Suction Pipe with Water Recirculation.
- Baha Abulnaga, Washington, High Volume Deep Dredging for Low Water De-silting.
- Dr. Michael Detering, Laura Backes, and Joana Kueppers, Germany, Sediment Continuity and Restoration.
Reclamation is conducting this prize competition in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NASA Tournament Lab, and HeroX. Through prize competitions, Reclamation complements traditional design research to target the most persistent science and technology challenges. It has awarded more than $3,000,000 in prizes through 24 competitions in the past six years.
Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the U.S.