Streamflow forecasts - is there such a thing? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 02-07-2006   #1
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 178
Streamflow forecasts - is there such a thing?

I am looking for a model to forecast streamflows, peak run-off dates, water availability and the such. I have found forecasts for this summer but I am looking for 10 - 20 years down the road. Possibly from USGS, Bureau of Rec. Army corps of engineers, etc. I am doing a project on the effects of climate change on the Colorado River Basin and any help would be greatly appreciated and deeply rewarded with good river karma and take out beers if we meet up.

Thanks for any help - any ideas greatly appreciated.


Whiskey's for drinkin' and waters for fightin'
- Mark Twain
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Old 02-07-2006   #2
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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Hey Zach,

You're talking about loooooooooong-term forecasts and there's not much out there publicly available.

A friend of mine did his dissertation on water availability under climate change scenarios and basically he discovered that the runoff will be much earlier in the season, shorter, and that there may not be as much water as there is now. If you look at the snowpack curves you'll see that recent runoff seasons have happened earlier and more quickly as historical averages. That's what we've got to look forward to thanks to global warming.
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 02-07-2006   #3
Arvada (Denver), Colorado
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Maybe this'll help...

I googled "denver water board forecast"
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Old 02-08-2006   #4
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wycoloboater -
"pbowman" put a post in the big string about which rivers will rage this year. He knows where to access floodplain forecasts etc. Maybe your info is there?
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Old 02-14-2006   #5
Ft Collins, Colorado
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River models


I haven't seen projections specificallyfor the Colorado Basin (but haven't looked). But there are some really interesting results based on climate projections for the the Sierra mtns and Pacific Northwest. Check Web of Science for pubs by Dettinger and Cayan, or email me at [email protected] and I can send you some stuff.
If you're really focussed on the Colo Basin, I can give you the names and coordinates of some people that will know about this. The climate models are suggesting that in the continental US, hydrology in the far west and northwest will be most impacted by rising temperatures.

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Old 02-14-2006   #6
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Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Are you familiar with the development plans in your subject watershed? It might be worth a call to the wyoming division of water resouces and the corps to check on applications for large reservoirs.

Good luck!
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