A previous collaborative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Reclamation resulted in a watershed model for four watersheds that discharge into Potholes Reservoir, Washington. Since the model was constructed, two new meteorological sites have been established that provide more reliable real-time information. The Bureau of Reclamation was interested in incorporating this new information into the existing watershed model developed in 2009, and adding measured snowpack information to update simulated results and to improve forecasts of runoff. This report includes descriptions of procedures to aid a user in making model runs, including a description of the Object User Interface for the watershed model with details on specific keystrokes to generate model runs for the contributing basins. A new real-time, data-gathering computer program automates the creation of the model input files and includes the new meteorological sites. The 2009 watershed model was updated with the new sites and validated by comparing simulated results to measured data. As in the previous study, the updated model (2012 model) does a poor job of simulating individual storms, but a reasonably good job of simulating seasonal runoff volumes. At three streamflow-gaging stations, the January 1 to June 30 retrospective forecasts of runoff volume for years 2010 and 2011 were within 40 percent of the measured runoff volume for five of the six comparisons, ranging from -39.4 to 60.3 percent difference. A procedure for collecting measured snowpack data and using the data in the watershed model for forecast model runs, based on the Ensemble Streamflow Prediction method, is described, with an example that uses 2004 snow-survey data.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Updates to watershed modeling in the Potholes Reservoir basin, Washington-a supplement to Scientific Investigation Report 2009-5081