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Model Development And Application Assistance For The Truckee-Carson River Basin

Client: U.S. Geological Survey, Hydrologic Analysis Support Section, Reston VA

Since 1992, AQUA TERRA Consultants has been providing watershed model development and application assistance to the Truckee-Carson Program of the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS program is assisting the U.S. Department of Interior in implementing the Truckee-Carson-Pyramid Lake Water Rights Settlement Act of 1990, a law that provides a foundation for developing operating criteria for interstate allocation of water to meet demands for municipal, irrigation, fisheries and wildlife and recreational uses, as well as to meet water quality standards, in the approximately 7000 square mile Truckee River and Carson River Basins of western Nevada and eastern California. A major objective of the program is to build, calibrate, test, and apply inter-basin hydrologic computer models to support efficient water resources planning, management and allocation. By means of a series of seven separate work assignments, AQUA TERRA Consultants has provided over a half million dollars of nearly continual services to the Truckee-Carson Program to support comprehensive watershed management.

The Hydrological Simulation Program - Fortran (HSPF) was selected to simulate the Truckee-Carson Basin. Subsequent to the modeling system's selection, AQUA TERRA added enhanced capabilities to HSPF and several HSPF-related software products to support specific needs of the Truckee-Carson Program. First, the expert system HSPEXP was enhanced so that USGS personnel could calibrate, test, and demonstrate the Truckee-Carson modeling system more effectively. A subset of the expert system was created that provided a user interface structured to provide management scenarios for users having limited familiarity with the detailed modeling system. The effort resulted in the creation of GenScn, a System for the Generation and Analysis of Model Simulation Scenarios. GenScn provides the ability to change an input sequence interactively, run the model, and analyze results graphically.

To enable USGS personnel to evaluate issues related to water ownership using the Truckee-Carson Basin Model, AQUA TERRA enhanced generic HSPF RCHRES software, which simulates rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and diversion canals, to account for "categories" of water. A category of water is any block of water that is individually accounted for in an observed or simulated water budget, and water within a category may have specific ownership or designated use. With the enhanced capability to designate and track water categories, generic HSPF software and the Truckee-Carson scenario generator were also enhanced to enable expanded capabilities related to reservoir operation rules.

An ensuing work effort by AQUA TERRA resulted in additional enhancements to both the Truckee-Carson scenario generator and the generic HSPF modeling system. Enhancements, and supporting documentation, were prepared related to mapping, station files, scenario translators, graphics, tables, and critical event reporting in the scenario generator. HSPF was enhanced to interface with a river operations module.

Following the implementation of these enhancements, AQUA TERRA staff provided extensive assistance in building the Truckee-Carson Basin Model using the HSPF modeling system. Further assistance was provided in developing the operating rules for the Truckee-Carson system. With the Basin Model in operation, AQUA TERRA continued to provide general support, including further model enhancements and software maintenance. Included among the enhancements was the capability to generate tables and plots at an animation pause in the scenario generator and to produce profile plots of a variable by river mile.

To further improve the usability of the Truckee-Carson scenario generator, the generic GenScn software package was converted to a graphical user interface for Windows 95/ NT computers. The conversion was performed using Visual Basic, Lahey Fortran 90 and ESRI Map Objects LT as development tools, and conforming to Active X and HELP Windows standards. In the most current work assignment related to this ongoing project, AQUA TERRA is providing technical support to USGS personnel in development and review of the logical input sequences for the Special Actions block of HSPF for the Truckee-Carson Basin operations model.

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