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Transit losses and traveltimes of reservoir releases along the Arkansas River from Pueblo Reservoir to John Martin Reservoir, southeastern Colorado

Water-Resources Investigations Report 78-75

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Abstract

The need for accurate information regarding the transit losses and traveltimes associated with releases from Pueblo Reservoir has been stimulated by construction of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Fryingpan-Arkansas Project and a proposed winter-water storage program in Pueblo Reservoir. To meet this need, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, studied the Arkansas River from Pueblo Reservoir to John Martin Reservoir, a distance of 142 river miles.

The volumes of reservoir releases are decreased or delayed during tran-sit by bank storage, channel storage, and evaporation. Results from a com-puter model, calibrated by a controlled-test release from Pueblo Reservoir, indicate transit losses are greatest for small releases of short duration that are made during periods of low antecedent streamflow. For equivalent releases, transit losses during the winter are about 7 percent less than losses during the summer.

Based on available streamflow records, the traveltime of reservoir releases in the study reach ranges from about 1.67 hours per mile at the downstream end of the study reach when antecedent streamflow is 10 cubic feet per second, to about 0.146 hour per mile at the upstream end of the study reach when antecedent streamflow is 3,000 cubic feet per second. Consequently, the traveltime of a release increases as antecedent streamflow diminishes.

Management practices that may be used to benefit water users in the study area include selection of the optimum time, rate, and duration of a reservoir release to minimize the transit losses, determination of an accurate traveltime, and diversion at several incremental rates.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Transit losses and traveltimes of reservoir releases along the Arkansas River from Pueblo Reservoir to John Martin Reservoir, southeastern Colorado
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
78-75
Year Published:
1978
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Description:
iv, 30 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Colorado
Other Geospatial:
Arkansas River