State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project Id: 2010ID159B
Title: Managed Aquifer Recharge in the Treasure Valley: A component of a comprehensive Aquifer Management Plan and a Response to Climate Change
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2010
End Date: 2/28/2011
Congressional District: ID-001
Focus Categories: Management and Planning, Water Supply, Groundwater
Keywords: Managed Recharge, Climate Change, Groundwater Banking, CAMP, Basin Planning
Principal Investigators: Contor, Bryce; Taylor, Stacey
Federal Funds: $ 6,349
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 12,714
Abstract: As a proactive step to understand future water needs and emerging demands, and to avoid conflict, litigation, and economic harm, the State of Idaho has embarked on a planning process in the Treasure Valley of Idaho known as the Comprehensive Aquifer Management Plan (CAMP) process. One of the anticipated drivers of future needs and supply constraints is climate change, and one anticipated response is to provide additional storage capacity to mitigate the effects of altered runoff hydrographs. The Treasure Valley CAMP committee and Idaho Department of Water Resources need additional information and understanding of the potential of aquifer recharge and aquifer storage to address these needs and constraints.

The study will address four basic areas of understanding by providing a qualitative description and preliminary quantitative analysis of the following: (1) Potential storage capacity of the Treasure Valley aquifers available for managed recharge; (2) Location and capacity of potential recharge sites and/or facilities; (3) Capacity and other constraints on delivery to sites; and (4) Approximate residence time of water stored in the aquifers before being depleted by migration to hydraulically connected surface-water bodies.

IDWR and IWRRI will jointly address these four objectives using the following methods: (1) Potential storage capacity will be addressed by GIS mapping of land surface elevation, water-table elevation, and geologic materials. An estimate of potential storage capacity will be calculated based upon the indicated volume of geologic materials that could be saturated and estimated storage properties of the materials; (2) Location and capacity of potential sites and facilities will be assessed by iterative communication with persons with local knowledge and GIS analysis of aerial photography and/or remote-sensing images; and (3) Capacity and delivery constraints will be addressed by communication with canal operators and assessment of historical delivery volumes; and (4) Approximate residence time will be assessed using analytical methods, parameterized with results from the existing steady-state aquifer model and ranges of storage coefficient values from Objective (1), or from a transient aquifer model if one is completed in a timely manner.

Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF

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