Pueblo Reservoir is one of southeastern Colorado's most valuable water resources. The reservoir provides irrigation, municipal, and industrial water to various entities throughout the region. The reservoir also provides flood control, recreational activities, sport fishing, and wildlife enhancement to the region. The Bureau of Reclamation is working to meet its goal to issue a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Southern Delivery System project (SDS). SDS is a regional water-delivery project that has been proposed to provide a safe, reliable, and sustainable water supply through the foreseeable future (2046) for Colorado Springs, Fountain, Security, and Pueblo West. Discussions with the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey led to a cooperative agreement to simulate the hydrodynamics and water quality of Pueblo Reservoir. This work has been completed and described in a previously published report, U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5056. Additionally, there was a need to make comparisons of simulated hydrodynamics and water quality for projected demands associated with the various EIS alternatives and plans by Pueblo West to discharge treated water into the reservoir. Plans by Pueblo West are fully independent of the SDS project.
This report compares simulated hydrodynamics and water quality for projected demands in Pueblo Reservoir resulting from changes in inflow and water quality entering the reservoir, and from changes to withdrawals from the reservoir as projected for the year 2046. Four of the seven EIS alternatives were selected for scenario simulations. The four U.S. Geological Survey simulation scenarios were the No Action scenario (EIS Alternative 1), the Downstream Diversion scenario (EIS Alternative 2), the Upstream Return-Flow scenario (EIS Alternative 4), and the Upstream Diversion scenario (EIS Alternative 7). Additionally, the results of an Existing Conditions scenario (water years 2000 through 2002) were compared to the No Action scenario (projected demands in 2046) to assess changes in water quality over time. All scenario modeling used an external nutrient-decay model to simulate degradation and assimilation of nutrients along the riverine reach upstream from Pueblo Reservoir.
Reservoir modeling was conducted using the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers CE-QUAL-W2 two-dimensional water-quality model. Lake hydrodynamics, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, dissolved solids, dissolved ammonia, dissolved nitrate, total phosphorus, algal biomass, and total iron were simulated. Two reservoir site locations were selected for comparison. Results of simulations at site 3B were characteristic of a riverine environment in the reservoir while results at site 7B (near the dam) were characteristic of the main body of the reservoir. Simulation results for the epilimnion and hypolimnion at these two sites also were evaluated and compared. The simulation results in the hypolimnion at site 7B were indicative of the water quality leaving the reservoir.
Comparisons of the different scenario results were conducted to assess if substantial differences were observed between selected scenarios. Each of the scenarios was simulated for three contiguous years representing a wet, average, and dry annual hydrologic cycle (water years 2000 through 2002). Additionally, each selected simulation scenario was evaluated for differences in direct- and cumulative-effects on a particular scenario. Direct effects are intended to isolate the future effects of the scenarios. Cumulative effects are intended to evaluate the effects of the scenarios in conjunction with all reasonably foreseeable future activities in the study area.
Comparisons between the direct- and cumulative-effects analyses indicated that there were not large differences in the results between most of the simulation scenarios and, as such, the focus of this report was on results for the direct-effects analysis. Addi