A numerical water-balance model was developed to simulate the responses of a wetland on the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota, to historical and possible extreme hydrological inputs and to changes in hydrological inputs that might occur if a proposed refinery is built on the reservation. Results from model simulations indicated that the study wetland would likely contain water during most historical and extreme-precipitation events with the addition of maximum potential discharges of 0.6 acre-foot per day from proposed refinery holding ponds. Extended periods with little precipitation and above-normal temperatures may result in the wetland becoming nearly dry, especially if potential holding-pond discharges are near zero. Daily simulations based on the historical-enhanced climate data set for May and June 2005, which included holding-pond discharges of 0.6 acre-foot per day, indicated that the study-wetland maximum simulated water volume was about 16.2 acre-feet and the maximum simulated water level was about 1.2 feet at the outlet culvert. Daily simulations based on the extreme summer data set, created to represent an extreme event with excessive June precipitation and holding-pond discharges of 0.6 acre-foot per day, indicated that the study-wetland maximum simulated water volume was about 38.6 acre-feet and the maximum simulated water level was about 2.6 feet at the outlet culvert. A simulation performed using the extreme winter climate data set and an outlet culvert blocked with snow and ice resulted in the greatest simulated wetland water volume of about 132 acre-feet and the greatest simulated water level, which would have been about 6.2 feet at the outlet culvert, but water was not likely to overflow an adjacent highway.
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Water-Balance Model of a Wetland on the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota