In 1974, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management began the Energy Minerals Rehabilitation Inventory and Analysis (EMRIA) Program, now known as the Coal Hydrologic Investigations Program, to collect detailed information on water and other resources of proposed coal-lease areas. The U.S. Geological Survey has been collecting water-resource information for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management since the program was started. This report summarizes the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's hydrologic information needs in the different stages of the land-use planning and coal-leasing process and presents an evaluation of the use of the U.S. Geological Survey's precipitation-runoff model from a Bureau of Land Management perspective. Information collected by the U.S. Geological Survey for precipitation, surface water, ground water, and water quality has been used extensively in environmental assessments and site-specific analyses for coal leasing.
The U.S. Geological Survey also has been calibrating a precipitation-runoff model used to estimate the surface discharge of ungaged basins in northwestern Colorado. A test of the model shows that it will provide surface-discharge estimates for ungaged basins within the accuracy required for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's land-use planning and coal-leasing process. However, the model is most effective when applied by an experienced user. In addition, more verification of the model is needed before it will accurately predict the impacts of coal mining on surface water.
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USGS Numbered Series
An assessment of the hydrologic information required for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management-U.S. Geological Survey coal-hydrology program in the West