Water Injection Dredging Study & Demonstration at Tuttle Creek Lake


To demonstrate successful application of WIDWater Injection Dredging, or WID, technology at Tuttle Creek Lake, with the ultimate goal of sustaining long term use of Tuttle Creek Lake, and potentially other Kansas reservoirs, for all of its authorized purposes.

Background & Project Objective

Tuttle Creek Lake, like many of the other Kansas reservoirs, continues to lose capacity due to sedimentation at an accelerated rate.  Recent estimates from the Kansas Water Office indicate that approximately 46% of Tuttle Creek Lake’s original storage capacity has been lost due to sedimentation.  Tuttle Creek Lake is a vital resource within the Kansas River Basin, and its continued loss of capacity and impending impact to the authorized purposes is a major concern for the state of Kansas.  Successful demonstration of WID technology at Tuttle Creek Lake will help to advance other innovative methods aimed at extending the life of reservoir storage in Kansas, including the use of WID with hydrosuction  or other sustainable sediment management techniques.

The Kansas Water Office (KWO), in partnership with the Corps of Engineers, plans to implement a Water Injection Dredging (WID) demonstration project at Tuttle Creek Lake to promote sustainable long-term reservoir sediment management. WID is a process in which large volumes of water are injected at low pressure into the sediment bed near the bottom of the reservoir through the use of pumps and a series of nozzles located on a horizontal pipe positioned above the sediment bed. The injected water effectively fluidizes the sediment creating a ‘ density current’ that allows the sediment to flow by gravity to deeper areas. In the case of Tuttle Creek Lake, the proposed WID demonstration project would be aimed at moving the sediment toward the existing low level outlet in the dam and monitoring the flow of the density current through the outlet during controlled discharges. Sediment fluidization testing performed by the Corps' of Engineers' Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) with sediment from Tuttle Creek Lake (video below) demonstrates the mechanics of the water injection dredging process.


The Kansas Water Office has been working with representatives from the Kansas City District Corps of Engineers (http://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/) as well as representatives from the Corps' of Engineers' Engineer Research and Development Center (https://www.erdc.usace.army.mil/; https://doer.el.erdc.dren.mil/).

Proposed Concepts & Activities

The proposed demonstration project includes the following major concepts:

  1. Construction of a WID prototype
  2. Demonstration of the WID prototype at Tuttle Creek Lake at different reservoir elevations and flow discharges
  3. Monitoring and evaluation of both the operational and environmental results

Prior to the demonstration, an implementation plan, including monitoring and communications/outreach strategies, will be developed.  The KWO is currently engaged with the Corps, agency partners, and stakeholders within the basin to discuss the project and begin developing the monitoring plan and strategies for measuring project success. 

KWO will continue its partnership with the Corps of Engineers and the Corps’ Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) to provide technical and financial resources for ongoing research, onsite field data collection, lab studies and numerical analysis to move forward with implementation of the WID demonstration project at Tuttle Creek Lake.

Recent Success

The KWO continues to support the Corps and ERDC with ongoing WID study.  Through a Planning Assistance to States (PAS) agreement, KWO continues to provide cash and in-kind contributions, while leveraging federal funding.  State contributions include technical services and support for field data collection, model development, testing and analysis necessary to move forward with the WID demonstration.

In 2018, work completed by the state in support of the WID study included:

  • Collection of sediment cores and surface sediment samples at Tuttle Creek Lake and delivery to ERDC facility for testing
  • Collection and analysis of velocity current transects at selected locations within the reservoir
  • Water quality sampling and analysis of sediment samples taken from Tuttle Creek Lake

Current Updates

On September 26, 2018, the KWO hosted a meeting with ERDC and Corps staff, representatives from multiple state agencies, interest groups and other downstream stakeholders to further discuss the ongoing WID research, and the development of an implementation plan for the onsite demonstration project at Tuttle Creek Lake, including planned monitoring efforts. The KWO will continue to engage this group as the project proceeds. 


Current efforts for the study and planning of the WID demonstration project have been funded by various sources, including Corps PAS agreements and funding through ERDC.  Additional funding sources continue to be pursued, and will likely continue to be comprised of a combination of state funding, federal funding, in-kind work, and partnerships.

Project Manager

Cara Hendricks

KWO Office
900 SW Jackson Street
Suite 404
Topeka, Kansas 66612
Phone: 785-296-3185
Fax: 785-296-0878
Toll Free: 1-888-526-9283
Email the Office
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