State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007WY38B
Title: Integrated Management of Groundwater and Surface Water Resources: Investigation of Different Management Strategies and Testing in a Modeling Framework
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/28/2010
Congressional District: 1
Focus Categories: Law, Institutions, and Policy, Groundwater, Surface Water
Keywords: Conjunctive use, Policy, Management, Strategies, Modeling
Principal Investigators: Ogden, Fred; Benson, Melinda H.
Federal Funds: $ 9,311
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 61,710
Abstract: The application of nonconjunctive prior-appropriation allocation strategies to groundwater resources has the potential to curtail water groundwater availability; the potential interactions with surface water rights requires a model to ascertain the worth of different management strategies. The degree of impact of a management scheme for groundwater pumping will depend on aquifer properties, degree of connectedness between surface water and groundwater, pumping history and rates, recharge, projected demands on use, and the particular management strategy employed.

We propose to perform a detailed investigation of groundwater-surface water management strategies used in Western states, and test the implications of different management strategies on the water rights of surface and groundwater water rights holders. The policy study will be conducted in a legal framework that considers the application of different policies in other states as they relate specifically to Wyoming law. Appropriate policies will be tested using a numerical model of surface water/groundwater interaction (MODFLOW-2000) to determine the impact of the different management strategies on surface and groundwater rights in a stream underlain by an alluvial aquifer.

The objectives of this research project are to: 1) produce a complete list of existing viable potential strategies for conjunctive management of surface and groundwater rights in alluvial aquifers; 2) study of the effect of variables such as surface water flow rate, streambed conductivity, groundwater pumping rate per unit area, aquifer properties, distance of wells from stream, on the impact of each management strategy on the rights of surface and groundwater permitees; and 3) transfer to the State Engineer's office the policy and modeling results, and assist in interpreting policy and setting up the model in specific locations of interest to the State Engineer's Office.

Deliverables will include policy details and the modeling framework that will be used by the Wyoming Office of State Engineer to test management strategies in specific areas of interest. In year three of the project, the policy details and modeling system will be transferred to the Wyoming Office of the State Engineer, with assistance in setting up particular alluvial aquifer sections of interest and guidance on data collection needs.

Progress/Completion Report, 2007, PDF
Progress/Completion Report, 2008, PDF
Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF

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