Two-dimensional hydrodynamic models are being used increasingly as alternatives to traditional one-dimensional instream flow methodologies for assessing adequacy of flow and associated faunal habitat. Two-dimensional modelling of habitat has focused primarily on fishes, but fish-based assessments may not model benthic macroinvertebrate habitat effectively. We extend two-dimensional techniques to a macroinvertebrate assemblage in a high-elevation stream in the Sierra Nevada (Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River, Yosemite National Park, CA, USA). This stream frequently flows at less than 0.03 m3 s−1 in late summer and is representative of a common water abstraction scenario: maximum water abstraction coinciding with seasonally low flows. We used two-dimensional modelling to predict invertebrate responses to reduced flows that might result from increased abstraction. We collected site-specific field data on the macroinvertebrate assemblage, bed topography and flow conditions and then coupled a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model with macroinvertebrate indices to evaluate habitat across a range of low flows. Macroinvertebrate indices were calculated for the wetted area at each flow. A surrogate flow record based on an adjacent watershed was used to evaluate frequency and duration of low flow events. Using surrogate historical records, we estimated that flow should fall below 0.071 m3 s−1 at least 1 day in 82 of 95 years and below 0.028 m3 s−1 in 48 of 95 years. Invertebrate metric means indicated minor losses in response to modelled discharge reductions, but wetted area decreased substantially. Responses of invertebrates to water abstraction will likely be a function of changing habitat quantity rather than quality.
Land use in the South Platte River valley between the cities of Brighton and Fort Lupton, Colo., is undergoing change as urban areas expand, and the extent of aggregate mining in the Brighton–Fort Lupton area is increasing as the demand for aggregate grows in response to urban development. To improve understanding of land-use change and the potential effects of land-use change and aggregate mining on groundwater flow, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the cities of Brighton and Fort Lupton, analyzed socioeconomic and land-use trends and constructed a numerical groundwater flow model of the South Platte alluvial aquifer in the Brighton–Fort Lupton area...
Effects of flow alterations on trout, angling, and recreation in the Chattahoochee River between Buford Dam and Peachtree Creek
Nestler, J.M., R.T. Milhous, J. Troxel, and J.A. Fritschen
In 1974 county governments in the Atlanta vicinity realized that demands on the Chattahoochee River for water supply plus the streamflow required for water quality nearly equaled the minimum flow in the river. Increased demands for water supply in the following years could not be supplied under the then existing flow regime in the river. In response to the anticipated shortage of water, the Atlanta Regional Commission, a multicounty agency responsible for comprehensive regional planning in the Atlanta region, was contracted to prepare water demand projections to the year 2010 and identify alternatives for meeting projected water demands. The results of this study are published in an extensive final report, the Metropolitan Atlanta Area Water Resources Management Study (1981)…
Unsteady flow routing in the Salmon River using a variation of the Muskingum method
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...
Effects of a 2006 high-flow release from Tiber Dam on channel morphology at selected sites on the Marias River, Montana
In June 2006, an opportunistic high-flow release was made from Tiber Dam on the Marias River in Mont., to investigate possible alternatives for partially restoring the river's natural flow pattern and variability. At two sites along the river, we measured channel geometry before and after the high-flow release to evaluate channel change and alteration of physical habitat. Streamflow downstream from Tiber Dam has been stabilized by reduction of high flows and augmentation of low flows. This has produced flood-control benefits as well as some possible adverse environmental effects downstream from the dam. The 2006 high-flow release resulted in a downstream hydrograph with high flows of above-average magnitude in the post-dam flow regime of the Marias River. Timing of the peak and the declining limb of the release hydrograph were very similar to a historical, unregulated hydrograph of the Marias River. Furthermore, the high flow produced many of the qualitative elements of ecologically important physical processes that can be diminished or lost due to flow stabilization downstream from a dam. Typically dry back channels were occupied by flowing water. Islands were inundated, resulting in vegetation removal and sediment accretion that produced new disturbance patches of bare, moist substrate. Cut banks were eroded, and large woody debris was added to the river and redistributed. Flood-plain surfaces were inundated, producing substantial increases in wetted perimeter and spatially distinctive patterns of deposition associated with natural levee formation. The scale of the 2006 high flow - in terms of peak magnitude and the lateral extent of bottomland influenced by inundation or lateral channel movement - was roughly an order of magnitude smaller than the scale of an infrequent high flow in the pre-dam regime. Overall extent and composition of riparian vegetation will continue to change under a scaled-down, post-dam flow regime. For example, the importance of the non-native Russian-olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) will likely increase. Reestablishing a more natural pattern of flows, however, should promote the increase of native cottonwood and willow (Salix spp.) in the new-albeit smaller-post-dam riparian ecosystem. A more natural flow regime will also likely provide improved habitat for native fish in the Marias River. Response of fish communities to such flows is the subject of current fisheries studies being conducted in cooperation with Bureau of Reclamation.