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Reservoir-development impacts on surface-water quantity and quality in the Yampa River basin, Colorado and Wyoming

Water-Resources Investigations Report 81-30

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Abstract

Development of coal resources and associated economy is accelerating in the Yampa River basin in northwestern Colorado and south-central Wyoming. Increased use of the water resources of the area will have a direct impact on their quantity and quality. As part of 18 surface-water projects, 35 reservoirs have been proposed with a combined total storage of 2.18 million acre-feet, 41% greater than the mean annual outflow from the basin. Three computer models were used to demonstrate methods of evaluating future impacts of reservoir development in the Yampa River basin. Four different reservoir configurations were used to simulate the effects of different degrees of proposed reservoir development. A multireservoir-flow model included both within-basin and transmountain diversions. Simulations indicated that in many cases diversion amounts would not be available for either type of diversion. A corresponding frequency analysis of reservoir storage levels indicated that most reservoirs would be operating with small percentages of total capacities and generally with less than 20% of conservation-pool volumes. Simulations using a dissolved-solids model indicated that extensive reservoir development could increase average annual concentrations at most locations. Simulations using a single-reservoir model indicated no significant occurrence of water-temperature stratification in most reservoirs due to limited reservoir storage. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Reservoir-development impacts on surface-water quantity and quality in the Yampa River basin, Colorado and Wyoming
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
81-30
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1983
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
98 p. ill., maps ;28 cm.