Simulation of streamflow and the effects of brush management on water yields in the Double Mountain Fork Brazos River watershed, western Texas 1994–2013

Scientific Investigations Report 2016-5032
Prepared in cooperation with the City of Lubbock and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the City of Lubbock and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, developed and calibrated a Soil and Water Assessment Tool watershed model of the Double Mountain Fork Brazos River watershed in western Texas to simulate monthly mean streamflow and to evaluate the effects of brush management on water yields in the watershed, particularly to Lake Alan Henry, for calendar years 1994–2013. Model simulations were done to quantify the possible change in water yield of individual subbasins in the Double Mountain Fork Brazos River watershed as a result of the replacement of shrubland (brush) with grassland. The simulation results will serve as a tool for resource managers to guide brush-management efforts.

The model was calibrated from 1994 through 2008 and validated from 2009 through 2013 with streamflow data collected at the U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging station 08079600 Double Mountain Fork Brazos River at Justiceburg, Texas (hereinafter referred to as the “Justiceburg gage”). Simulated monthly mean streamflow showed agreement with measured monthly mean streamflow for the 1994–2013 study period: the percentage bias was +6, the coefficient of determination was 0.73, and the Nash–Sutcliffe coefficient of model efficiency was 0.71.

The calibrated watershed model was used to perform brush-management simulations. The National Land Cover Database 2006, which was the land-cover data used to develop the watershed model, was modified to simulate shrubland replacement with grassland in each of the 35 model subbasins. After replacement of shrubland with grassland in areas with land slope less than 20 percent and excluding riparian areas, the modeled 20-year (1994 through 2013) water yields to Lake Alan Henry increased by 114,000 acre-feet or about 5,700 acre-feet per year. In terms of the increase in water yield per acre of shrubland replaced with grassland, the average annual increase in water yield was 17,300 gallons per acre. Within the modeled subbasins, the increase in average annual water yield ranged from 5,850 to 34,400 gallons per acre of shrubland replaced with grassland. Subbasins downstream from the Justiceburg gage had a higher average annual increase in water yield (21,700 gallons per acre) than subbasins upstream from the streamflow-gaging station (16,800 gallons per acre).

Suggested Citation

Harwell, G.R., Stengel, V.G., and Bumgarner, J.R., 2016, Simulation of streamflow and the effects of brush management on water yields in the Double Mountain Fork Brazos River watershed, western Texas 1994–2013: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5032, 39 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165032.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Model Development
  • Simulation of Streamflow and the Effects of Brush Management on Water Yields
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Appendixes

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Simulation of streamflow and the effects of brush management on water yields in the Double Mountain Fork Brazos River watershed, western Texas 1994–2013
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2016-5032
DOI 10.3133/sir20165032
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Texas Water Science Center
Description Report: viii, 39 p.; Precipitation and Temperature Data
Country United States
State Texas
Other Geospatial Double Mountain Fork Brazos River watershed
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y