Storing water on-channel is a common strategy proposed to reduce downstream flood damages. The 1998 Red River Basin Flood Damage Reduction Work Group Mediation Agreement identifies five Flood Damage Reduction (FDR) strategies that could include on-channel storage of water. These strategies include: 1. Wet dams (those that maintain a permanent pool), 2. Dry dams (those that only create a temporary pool), 3. On-stream storage, 4. Flood storage wetlands, and 5. Wetland restoration. In addition, FDR strategy "Off-stream storage", is closely related and can present some of the same issues and opportunities. Since the Mediation Agreement was signed, watershed project team members and others have debated the appropriate use of on-channel storage strategies in the Red River Basin, particularly strategies 1, 2 and 3. Concerns have continued to be expressed about the risks that on-channel storage poses to natural resources, as well as concerns that onchannel storage should remain a viable FDR strategy. In 2002, the Flood Damage Reduction Work Group (FDRWG) requested its Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee (TSAC) to develop guidelines to assess the environmental risks and opportunities of on-channel storage and to provide recommendations to avoid or minimize these risks through project siting, design, and operation, while providing for effective floodwater storage.
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Red River Watershed Management Board (Ada, Minnesota)
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Red River Watershed Management Board