The Skein Water Authority: Methodology of Operational Research

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Lakes, water reservoirs and streams are the most valuable source of drinking water for the earth’s population - The Skein Water Authority: Methodology of Operational Research introduction. The lives of many people depend on both natural lakes and artificial reservoirs, which provide drinking water and water for agricultural and industrial development. In addition, lakes and reservoirs provide unique recreational opportunities

Water supply is very essential to one’s location especially to different people who will be able to gain access to it. But, building water reservoir makes it all different especially it concerns a lot of factors; such as time, effort, location, and costs. A lot of manpower and planning are needed in order to come up with a better plan for them to carry out the best solution there is.

The Skein Water Authority faces a great deal of demand, its water supply. Currently, water is coming directly from outside sources. The problem lies for the future use of such. Skein Water Authority should plan on how they are going to accommodate the demands of water to be supplied and the solution to it is to make water reservoirs for them to become self sufficient.

Various conflicts that needed to be carried out by different divisions:

Ø  reduce the cost for water construction, there should only be cheap water available by Water Supply Division

Ø  develop Skein for leisure purpose as proposed by the River Management Division

Ø  Sewage Division opposing to increase the flow of water between Lonsdale and Furness

Ø  Water Supply division suggested to have a large reservoir on the Upper Skein Level for direct supply of water rather than to increase the flow in that area.

As a Planning Officer, the SWA Chairman would like me to take an in depth look with regards to these conflicts and be able to reconcile the differences between 3 main divisions such as Water Supply Division, Sewage, and River Management. Certain propositions were made by these 3 divisions that would come into one best solution that would not sacrifice each other location.










Water Supply Division

Expensive cost is the number one main problem for Water Supply Division in recommending having a direct water supply from upper skein. The topology and rainfall pattern is also a concern, and thus additional expenses for maintaining a relatively low flow of water is also needed.

Ø  3 million pounds per year is the total amount of costs of distribution, treatment, and supply of water for 50 m.g.d

Ø  Pertaining to the figures submitted by Water Supply Division, it is indicated that as additional water increases per 20mgd, there’s an increase also in reservoirs capacity it even  doubles and triples its’ capacity (please refer to Appendix, figure 1)

Ø  It can also be noted that a larger reservoir needed to construct, the total costs also increases.(please refer to Appendix, figure 2)

Aside from the proposed direct water supply from Upper Skein, an alternative solution would be abstraction from Lower Skein.

Ø  Lower costs of transmission in abstracting in the lower skein compared with transmission costs from Upper Skein; however there would be no changes in costs of distribution and supply.

Source water abstraction is the process of taking water from the source to pipe to the treatment plant or pre-treatment storage.  The abstraction proposition could make a difference in transmission cost however there are technical difficulties in abstraction, such as:

If an event related to abstraction occurs (ie, the quantity or quality of water is affected by the abstraction process), the following could happen:

Ø  If there is not enough source water available to meet demand, sickness can be caused by poor hygiene and by low pressure letting germs and chemicals get into the distribution system

Ø  If the water quality is so poor that the treatment plant can’t treat it, germs and disinfection by-products can cause sickness

Ø  If there is contamination of the lake or reservoir, germs and chemicals can cause sickness

Ø  If a problem with the intake does not allow enough water to be drawn from the source, sickness can be caused by poor hygiene and by low pressure letting germs and chemicals get into the distribution system.

Abstraction in Upper Skein and Cartmel which are flow measuring points of water and technicalities of abstracting at this point would be very difficult and would not be possible to carry out.







River Management Division

River Management Division is more focused on developing the Upper Skein as a leisure site. It would also affect their proposition into Lonsdale and Furness so that it would increase leisure activity such as boating and canoeing.

Other factors they have suggested are:

Ø  There are no problems with regards to the cleanliness of both Cartmel and Skein. They have maintained a relatively good standard of SS < 3. However with new set of high standards they would like to impose SS < 40. Though it has been approved by the Board, there would be big adjustments between Lonsdale and Furness to meet their requirements.

Ø  They would like to increase the flow of the river from Upper Skein from 50mgd to 60mgd. Additional costs would affect this kind of recommendation.

Ø  Lower Skein abstraction would also be beneficial in increasing the flow of river and thus the character of the river will have a significant change.

Ø  As referring to appendix (figure 3), it relatively shows that Upper Skein has a significant amount flow of river compared to Cartmel. Substantially, Upper skein is playing a vital role to this proposition.







Sewage Division

Sewage division was able to maintain the quality of water and able to meet the standards both in industrial and residential sites. There are few key points sewage division would like to emphasize:

Ø  There are some issues of quality of water between the stretch of Lonsdale and Furness. The proposed leisure activity that would affect Lonsdale and Furness would not be possible because the quality of water that needed to maintain is quite high. This would also mean higher costs.

Ø  They are not accepting the proposed increase of water flow in upper skein level, because increased water flow would also mean increase in dilution.

Ø  Lower skein abstraction is more beneficial and cost effective.













Additional Information

I would like to present what I have researched that would shed light to some propositions advised by three main divisions. In order for us to understand various effects, advantages and disadvantages, here are some research materials I have gathered.

How Excessive Water Use Affects Water Quality

The demand for water in the United States necessitates stream and river impoundments, the drilling of more and deeper wells and water withdrawals from most natural water bodies across the country. The high demand for and overuse of water can contribute markedly to nonpoint source pollution in various forms, including:

Ø  Altered instream flows due to surface withdrawals

Ø  Saltwater intrusion due to excessive withdrawals

Ø  Polluted runoff resulting from the excess of water applied for irrigation and landscape maintenance that carries with it sediments, nutrients, salts, and other pollutants

Other adverse effects result from the damming of rivers to create the large volumes of water in reservoirs. In addition to impacts on natural habitats, dams themselves create several forms of nonpoint source pollution due to their effects on physical and chemical water quality degradation both upstream and downstream. These NPS impacts are discussed further in the following sections.

Developing New Water-Supply Reservoirs

Building dams to develop new reservoirs can both generate and release a multitude of nonpoint source pollutants both upstream and downstream from the dam. Therefore, to protect water quality, dam construction should be avoided wherever possible. Pollutants include not only suspended sediments, but also pesticides, petrochemicals, solid wastes, construction runoff, and concrete washwater. Impacts from these NPS pollutants can cause any number of problems, including changes in water temperature, dissolved oxygen values, salinity, turbidity, habitat, and living resources. Although these pollutants can cause severe water quality problems in the immediate area of construction, as well as in downstream water bodies, reservoir construction projects located directly alongside streams and rivers further increase the likelihood of construction-related pollutants entering water bodies.

The sitting of dams can lead to the loss of habitat resulting from the inundation of wetlands, riparian areas, and farmland in upstream areas of the impounded waterway, or erosion of these resources in downstream areas. As dams trap sediment and other pollutants, changes in water quality especially in tailwaters and downstream areas occur. They include:

Ø  Reduced sediment delivery

Ø  Decreased dissolved oxygen

Ø  Altered temperature regimes

Ø  Increased levels of some pollutants, such as hydrogen sulfide, nutrients, and manganese

Once streams are impounded, water demand dictates the artificial regulation and control of streamflow. The new flow rates and volume often do not reproduce natural conditions preceding the impoundment. Releases of impounded water with decreased levels of dissolved oxygen, high turbidity, or altered temperature can reduce downstream populations of fish and other organisms. Not only can reservoir water temperatures and oxygen content differ significantly from expected seasonal temperatures in the formerly free-flowing stream or river, but critical minimum flows needed for riparian areas are often not maintained as well. While dams typically reduce or even eliminate the downstream flooding needed by some wetlands and riparian areas to maintain hydrologic conditions, dams can also impede or block fish migration routes. Decreased flow in coastal areas can also increase saltwater intrusion and produce changes in the ecosystem.

Conserving water can improve the adequacy of existing surface water supplies and thus reduce the need for new supply reservoirs. In this way water conservation can help reduce NPS pollution impacts on surface, ground, and coastal waters, as well as impacts on associated habitats that result from constructing new water supply reservoirs.

Source: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)













Pertaining to the findings and reports submitted by 3 main divisions, I would like to make a statement regarding to it. There are few key points that needed to study, evaluate and analyze

1.      COST – reports from water supply, river management and sewage divisions it would cost Skein Water Authority roughly almost 2 million pounds in constructing water reservoir for 60 m.g.d.

2.      Upper Skein – the proposed upper skein reservoir is not only expensive but also not recommended. The direct flow from upper skin should be regulated in order to maintain the right amount flow of water so that its quality would not deteriorate as sewage division maintain a standard for its quality. There are also other technical problems if abstraction will take place in upper skein.

2.1 Development of upper skein as leisure place would deter the quality of water if the proposed site for reservoir would take place in upper skein. The flow of water comes from 2 points which are upper skein and cartmel. However, upper skein has relatively higher amount of water flow, thus it is vital to the river content and would be affect the proposed reservoir site.

2.2. If proposed upper skein reservoir would succeed, the increase flow from upper skein would also affect the amount of dilution needed from the sewage division in order to maintain the high quality standard of water

Ø  3. Lower Skein Abstraction – referring to three main division reports they have concluded that lower skein abstraction are beneficial and cost effective. Lower costs of transmission in abstracting in the lower skein compared with transmission costs from Upper Skein. Nevertheless there would be no changes in costs of distribution and supply. Lower Skein abstraction would also be beneficial in increasing the flow of river and thus the character of the river will have a significant change.

Significantly, lower skein abstraction is the best alternative in order to meet all the demands and requirements of Water Supply, River Management and Sewage. It would allow them to benefit from it and are cost effective.








Figure 1

As the water flows increases, the reservoir capacity also increase

Figure 2

Larger capacity for reservoir means a need for a bigger budget/additional costs increase


Figure 3

Upper Skein has a significant amount flow of river compared to Cartmel

























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