Welcome to the homepage of the Water Injection Dredging, or WID, project at Tuttle Creek Lake. 






Tuttle Creek Lake is the largest reservoir in the Kansas River Basin. Over 40% of the population of Kansas, including the urban areas of Topeka, Kansas City, Manhattan and Lawrence depend on the flood control and water supply benefits of Tuttle Creek Lake and many more utilize the recreational and environmental benefits. Tuttle Creek Lake has prevented over $12.4 billion in damages over the life of the reservoir.

The Tuttle Creek Lake project was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938 for the purposes of flood control, low flow augmentation for the Big Blue and Kansas Rivers, navigation supplementation for the Missouri River, water quality, recreation and fish and wildlife. The Flood Control Act of 1938 also authorized studies for the purpose of maintaining these authorized purposes. 



Sedimentation in reservoirs is a natural and expected process. Since dam closure in 1962, 438 million cubic yards of sediment have accumulated. Sediment deposition has shrunk the surface area of the reservoir, which has buried boat ramps, cut off habitat in coves, led to the abandonment of water intakes and caused numerous other harmful effects.

Without intentional action, the benefits of this resource will continue to diminish. Estimates indicate that by 2049, the multi-purpose pool will be 75% full of sediment, leaving only 25% of the original storage capacity and in 2074 only 7% of the original storage capacity remains.

The Tuttle Creek Reservoir Water Injection Dredging Demonstration Project is investigating whether the WID technology is a potential method for moving sediment out of the reservoir to restore storage capacity. 



The Water Injection Dredging demonstration study's purpose is to evaluate the WID’s potential to successfully mobilize sediments in a USACE reservoir to restore storage capacity and evaluate the associated environmental effects.



A barge is outfitted with a special jet bar that can produce low-pressure, high-volume jets of water. The water is drawn from the reservoir.

The jet bar is lowered to the surface of the lake, then the jets of water are activated to stir up the sediment to form a fluid mixture of sediment and water.

The fluid mixture makes an underwater current that flows by gravity towards the dam’s outlet works and into the downstream channel.



Watch a demonstration here:

From Rocks to Sand: How Artificial Sand Is Made: The Amazing Process of Artificial Sand Production. - YouTube 



The WID will operate within 10 miles from the dam.

  • Most dredging will occur in the primary dredging area, within 4 miles from the dam.  In this area both the submerged floodplain and submerged channel will be dredged. 
  • The secondary dredging area consists only in the submerged channel from 4 to 10 miles from the dam.






Will there be environmental monitoring of the demonstration?

Water quality will be monitored within and downstream of the reservoir throughout the project.

The ongoing reservoir monitoring program will be adapted to sample for WID-related activity.

USACE will do additional monitoring in the Big Blue River and Kansas River to supplement reservoir monitoring to measure pre-WID and WID-concurrent conditions.

Sediment and water samples will be monitored for nutrients, metals, organochlorine pesticides, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Five diagnostic metrics consistent with the Kanas Department of Health and Environment Stream Biological Monitoring Program will be used to monitor aquatic macroinvertebrates.



Update on Water Injection Dredging Project for Tuttle Creek Lake – John Shelley, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (kwo.ks.gov)

Tuttle Creek Lake Water Injection Dredging Demonstration Biological and Water Quality Monitoring Plan – Logan Rowley, Kansas State University; Keith Gido, Kansas State University; and Marvin Boyer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (kwo.ks.gov)

Effect of Water-Injection Dredging on Water Quality Downstream from Tuttle Creek Reservoir: Pre-Water-Injection Dredging Water-Quality Assessment – Ariele Kramer and Thomas Williams, USGS Kansas Water Science Center (kwo.ks.gov)

Kansas Water Office: Water Injection Dredging Study and Demonstration Projects at Tuttle Creek Lake (kwo.ks.gov)

Dwindling capacity at Tuttle Creek Reservoir calls for an urgent and innovative solutions – Carol Coleman, ERDC public affairs specialist (usace.army.mil)

Update on the Tuttle Creek Lake Water Injection Dredging (WID) Demonstration – Josh Olson, KWO, Governor’s Conference on Water 2022 (kwo.ks.gov)

Water Injection Dredging for Tuttle Creek Lake – John Shelley, USACE, Governor’s Water Conference 2019 (kwo.ks.gov)



Comments may be submitted to the office address below or sent electronically by email to:


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District

ATTN: Enviornmental Resources Section, Max Headlee

601 E 12th Street

Kansas City, Missouri, 64106

*Comments must be submitted by May 8, 2024*



There are currently no scheduled public meetings. 



Documents for the Water Injection Dredging project can be viewed HERE