Climate Driven Water Resources Model of the Sacramento Basin, California

Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 135:5, 303-313

Author(s): Yates, D. ; Purkey, D. ; Sieber, J. ; Young, C. ; Joyce, B. ; Huber-Lee, A.; Galbraith, H.; West, J. Herrod-Julius, S.; Rayej, M.
Year: 2009

An integrated modeling framework for addressing water resource planning and management issues in the Sacramento Basin, USA based on the Water Evaluation and Planning model Version 21 (WEAP21). WEAP21 provides a seamless integration of both the physical hydrology of the region and the water management infrastructure that governs the allocation of available water supplies to meet the range of different water demands.

The Sacramento Basin was subdivided into more than 100 sub-catchments, groundwater basins, irrigated areas, and urban demand centers in an attempt to completely characterize the forces that act on water in the basin. A 37-year, monthly climate time series from 1962 to 1998 forces a distributed hydrologic model, which simultaneously simulates runoff, groundwater-surface water interactions, and consumptive water demands. The water management infrastructure was superimposed across the physical watershed, and consisted of a multitude of reservoirs, canals and diversions, each with their own rules of operation as represented through WEAP21's allocation logic. Results show that the model was capable of reproducing both local and regional water balances for the 37-year period, including managed and unmanaged streamflow, reservoir storage, agriculture and urban water demands, and the allocation of ground water and surface water supplies.

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