Abstracts

Surface and groundwater modeling in the Platte River watershed to support water resource management

Author(s): Woodward, D.

COHYST is a cooperative hydrologic study of the Platte River drainage basin in the central part of Nebraska. One objective of COHYST is to develop a comprehensive suite of tools to aid in conjunctively managing surface and groundwater to: 1) maintain the region’s extensive irrigation economy; and 2) protect the river habitats used by endangered species. These tools must provide decision-makers with reliable quantitative information about the hydrologic consequences of alternative water management strategies. There also is a need to quantify past hydrologic changes, such as accounting for historic depletions of streamflow.

COHYST 2010 is the second generation of modeling tools within COHYST that involves developing an integrated computer-based model of basin hydrology to be used to calculate the effects of different management scenarios on stream flows and the regional aquifer. Phase I of COHYST 2010 involved design of the modeling work, and development of an observation based water budget for the study area to be used in model calibration. Phase 2 of COHYST 2010 had the objective of building the quantitative tools. Phase 3 is application of the tools to management scenarios and time period updates to the tools.

The Phase 2 tools were completed in 2014 and included a Watershed model, Surface Operations Model, and a MODFLOW groundwater model. We are in Phase 3 of the COHYST 2010 work effort. Models are being updated thru 2010 and the 2014 Model documentation is being edited to include model changes and integration work. An updated Stream depletion analysis along with Basin Water Supply and Basin Water Demands analysis are nearing completion. Conjunctive water management projects are also being simulated for project development.

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