A digital reservoir routing model was used to simulate the operation of Lakes Mendota, Monona, and Waubesa, south-central Wisconsin for various levels of minimum release. Twenty-five years of record (1970?94) were used in model simulation. The amount of water available to maintain streamflow and lake levels during dry periods has declined because of extensive pumping of ground water for municipal use and diversion of the effluent around the lakes. The goal of the simulation was to determine whether using the lakes as multipurpose reservoirs to maintain flow during periods of low flow would appreciably lower the lake levels.
The model results indicated that it would be possible to maintain a minimum flow of 36 cubic feet per second in all but the driest years simulated (1970, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1989, and 1991) without lowering the lake levels more than they have been lowered from 1970 to 1994 under current operating conditions. Maintaining minimum flow would require detailed computations to guide the operation of the dams during the year.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Simulation of the effects of operating lakes Mendota, Monona, and Waubesa, south-central Wisconsin, as multipurpose reservoirs to maintain dry-weather flow
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ;
Branch of Information Services [distributor],