State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2009ID139B
Title: Development of a Hydrologic Frame Work and Estimation of the Water Balance in the Mountainous Watersheds of Idaho
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2009
End Date: 8/31/2010
Congressional District: 2
Focus Categories: Hydrology, Water Quantity, Surface Water
Keywords: Water balance, Water budget, Modeling
Principal Investigator: Sridhar, Venkataramana
Federal Funds: $ 20,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 40,000
Abstract: It is both complex and challenging to model the hydrologic water balance in mountain watersheds due to lack of observations from high elevations at a resolution that is critical to accurately understand and partition precipitation into streamflow, evapotranspiration, drainage and ground water recharge. This study will involve hydrological modeling of two basins namely the Treasure Valley and Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie basins located in different parts of Idaho which are also the priority watersheds under the Comprehensive Aquifer Management Plan (CAMP) of the Idaho Department of Water Resources. Using the spatially distributed watershed model, Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), we plan to quantify current water availability by providing inputs to the model including landuse, vegetation, soil and weather conditions at a high resolution. SWAT-predicted streamflow at some selected sites will be validated with using the available data. This comparison will then be evaluated after calibration of sensitive flow parameters of the SWAT model and will be extended to predict the daily water balance for the entire water year. The insights gained from this project will directly benefit in quantifying the spatial distribution and heterogeneity in streamflow, soil moisture and recharge over a large area on a continuous time scale.

Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF
Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF

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