With an increasing human population and a finite supply of water, management of rivers and their associated ecosystems is becoming an ever-more complicated issue for decision-makers across the Nation. Our understanding of river systems has improved because of developments in both technology and scientific understanding of ecosystems. Models have been used to predict flow and manage river systems for decades. As our knowledge of ecosystem processes and ability to collect more precise data increase, we find that we are data rich. However, multiple riverine georeferenced data layers generally do not align to allow comparable results and outputs. Often, differences in the spatio-temporal dimension of existing data cause significant obstacles. The next important step in better managing our natural resources is to effectively combine datasets and multiple model inputs and outputs for an enhanced understanding of these complex systems...
Development and application of a decision support system for water management investigations in the Upper Yakima River, Washington
Bovee, K.D., T.J. Waddle, C. Talbert, J.R. Hatten, and T.R. Batt
The Yakima River Decision Support System (YRDSS) was designed to quantify and display the consequences of different water management scenarios for a variety of state variables in the upper Yakima River Basin, located in central Washington. The impetus for the YRDSS was the Yakima River Basin Water Storage Feasibility Study, which investigated alternatives for providing additional water in the basin for threatened and endangered fish, irrigated agriculture, and municipal water supply. The additional water supplies would be provided by combinations of water exchanges, pumping stations, and off-channel storage facilities, each of which could affect the operations of the Bureau of Reclamation's (BOR) five headwaters reservoirs in the basin. The driver for the YRDSS is RiverWare, a systems-operations model used by BOR to calculate reservoir storage, irrigation deliveries, and streamflow at downstream locations resulting from changes in water supply and reservoir operations. The YRDSS uses output from RiverWare to calculate and summarize changes at 5 important flood plain reaches in the basin to 14 state variables: (1) habitat availability for selected life stages of four salmonid species, (2) spawning-incubation habitat persistence, (3) potential redd scour, (4) maximum water temperatures, (5) outmigration for bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) from headwaters reservoirs, (6) outmigration of salmon smolts from Cle Elum Reservoir, (7) frequency of beneficial overbank flooding, (8) frequency of damaging flood events, (9) total deliverable water supply, (10) total water supply deliverable to junior water rights holders, (11) end-of-year reservoir carryover, (12) potential fine sediment transport rates, (13) frequency of events capable of armor layer disruption, and (14) geomorphic work performed during each water year. Output of the YRDSS consists of a series of conditionally formatted scoring tables, wherein the changes to a state variable resulting from an operational scenario are compiled and summarized. Increases in the values for state variables result in their respective backgrounds to turn green in the scoring matrix, whereas decreases in the values for state variables result in their respective backgrounds turning red. This convention was designed to provide decision makers with a quick visual assessment of the overall results of an operating scenario. An evaluation matrix and a variety of weighting strategies to reflect the relative importance of different state variables are also presented as options for further distillation of YRDSS results during the decision-making process.
The water flowing through our streams and rivers has many uses-and many demands on it. But how much water do we need for a particular use? And if we remove that water, what happens to the stream itself and the life within it?
In the early 1980's, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) set out to answer those questions and developed the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM). Now in use worldwide, IFIM is a decision-support methodology that provides a comprehensive technical framework for addressing the streamflow needs of fish and other living organisms within a river system. Over the years, field-testing and other refinements have led to many improvements in the original model, such as expansion to include long-term effects, and incorporation of the institutional environment as a major component of IFIM.
A decision support framework for water management in the upper Delaware River
Bovee, K.D., T.J. Waddle, J. Bartholow, and L. Burris
The Delaware River Basin occupies an area of 12,765 square miles, in portions of south central New York, northeast Pennsylvania, northeast Delaware, and western New Jersey (fig. 1). The river begins as two streams in the Catskill Mountains, the East and West Branches. The two tributaries flow in a southwesterly direction until they meet at Hancock, N.Y. The length of the river from the mouth of Delaware Bay to the confluence at Hancock is 331 miles. Approximately 200 miles of the river between Hancock, N.Y., and Trenton, N.J., is nontidal.
The Delaware River decision support system: version 2.11 [computer software]
Bovee, K.D., T.J. Waddle, J. Bartholow, and L. Burris
This prototype software consists of five Excel ® spreadsheets, linked by a system of Visual Basic Macros. The driver for the Delaware River Decision Support System (DRDSS) is a systems operations program called OASIS, used extensively by the Delaware River Basin Commission to simulate the effects of different reservoir operating rules on water exports, reservoir storage, and discharges at downstream locations...
Status of Yakima River decision support system
Bovee, K.D., and J.A. Thomas
Updated Date (text):
Parent Publication Title:
Presentation to the Yakima River Science and Management Conference