A mechanistic water-temperature model was constructed by the U.S. Geological Survey for use by the Bureau of Reclamation for studying the effect of potential water management decisions on water temperature in the Yakima River between Roza and Prosser, Washington. Flow and water temperature data for model input were obtained from the Bureau of Reclamation Hydromet database and from measurements collected by the U.S. Geological Survey during field trips in autumn 2005. Shading data for the model were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in autumn 2006. The model was calibrated with data collected from April 1 through October 31, 2005, and tested with data collected from April 1 through October 31, 2006. Sensitivity analysis results showed that for the parameters tested, daily maximum water temperature was most sensitive to changes in air temperature and solar radiation. Root mean squared error for the five sites used for model calibration ranged from 1.3 to 1.9 degrees Celsius (?C) and mean error ranged from ?1.3 to 1.6?C. The root mean squared error for the five sites used for testing simulation ranged from 1.6 to 2.2?C and mean error ranged from 0.1 to 1.3?C.
The accuracy of the stream temperatures estimated by the model is limited by four errors (model error, data error, parameter error, and user error).