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Project ID: 2004TX153B

Title: Improving Capabilities for Dealing with Key Complexities of Water Availability Modeling

Project Type: Research

Focus Categories: Models, Management and Planning, Hydrology

Keywords: Water rights modeling, water availability modeling, surface water hydrology, surface water management

Start Date: 03/01/2004

End Date: 02/28/2005

Federal Funds: $4,884

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $9,768

Congressional District: 8th

Principal Investigators:
Hector E. Olmos
Texas A&M University

Ralph A. Wurbs


Since 1997, researcher Ralph Wurbs of the Texas A&M University Civil Engineering Department has led work to develop complex water management models for State agencies, including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality which regulates surface water rights permits. Wurbs has created the Water Rights Analyses Package (WRAP) and Water Availability Modeling (WAM) software packages, both of which simulate the management of water resources within river basins under Texas’ priority-based water allocation system. Both WRAP and WAM have become key technologies used by agencies throughout Texas in water planning and regulatory activities.

This project builds upon previous TWRI-NWRI studies, including research by former graduate students Richard Hoffpauir and Andres Salazar. Specifically, this study will refine and expand the capabilities of the WAM and WRAP models to address conditional reliability modeling (used to estimate the likelihood that projected amounts of water might really be available). Additionally, Olmos’ research will increase the capability of WAM and WRAP to manage extremely large data sets (including thousands of control points within watersheds), and will develop interfaces between WAM, WRAP, and geographic information systems so that modeling results can be spatially displayed on maps. The project also seeks to provide flexibility in selecting varying water levels in reservoirs at the beginning of computer simulation runs as well as a wide range of streamflows. In summary, these advances will greatly improve the ability of WRAP and WAM to estimate water yields from groups of reservoirs managed individually or as a system.

One of the best aspects of this project is that these modeling methodologies have become thoroughly incorporated into essential water planning activities carried out by natural resources agencies in Texas. Consequently, water resources managers in Texas and elsewhere have come to rely on Texas A&M for the latest advances in computer simulation modeling associated with water availability and water rights studies.

Progress/Completion Report PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Wednesday July 13, 2005 5:29 PM
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