Water Management Studies

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As the need for incorporating biological objectives into water management decisions has grown, so has the need for methods and metrics to incorporate predictions of relevant biological responses into an increasingly complex decision environment that attempts to balance multiple uses. This task involves the integration of a variety of models including, but not restricted to, reservoir operations, water allocation, flow routing, 2-d hydraulics, spatially explicit habitat responses for aquatic biota, water temperature, sediment transport, water deliveries and exports, habitat connectivity, and flood frequency and magnitude. The general approach for model integration is to develop customized decision-support systems that link outputs from the numerous types of models described above and organize the results over time in a “control and treatment” comparative format. The “ownership” of the resulting product is transferred to Federal and other water and aquatic resource managers to help them predict the impacts of different management alternatives over multiple time and spatial scales. Key aspects of this task include (1) development of concise displays of information on all affected resource values in an easily understood format, and (2) development of reference materials, user documentation, and training to enable client and stakeholder groups to analyze and troubleshoot management scenarios on their own. Collaborators include area offices of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USGS Water Science Centers, and other USGS biology laboratories and centers.