KWRRI Research Reports


In the past the construction of large reservoirs in the United States has been evaluated largely in terms of the economic benefit they bring to the area where they are constructed and to the nation. Where human populations are involved, however, a host of social changes occur, many of which fundamentally alter the way of life of a people.

This report is part of a larger study which aims at analyzing the social costs and benefits of reservoir construction. The project is long range in that studies are to be carried out before, during, and after construction. This report concentrates on the social and economic description of a rural county before reservoir construction by the United States Corps of Engineers.

The major findings in this study point to the preconstruction impact that the reservoir has on people. It was found that the very idea of a potential reservoir affects the integration of a community and differentially affects the individuals within that community. Finally, this study emphasizes the need for social science research in planned change programs such as the construction of reservoirs in populated areas.

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The work upon which this report is based was supported by funds provided by the United States Department of the Interior, Office of Water Resources Research, as authorized under the Water Resources Research Act of 1964, as OWRR Project No. A-022-KY, Agreement No. 14-01-001-1636.