M&A can help clients use this powerful tool for water resource management and climate change uncertainty estimation as described below.
Optimize Reservoir Operations for Groundwater Recharge
Many alluvial-fill basins are recharged by surface water flows where streams are often fed by snowmelt. The streamflow percolating into the subsurface can be pumped by wells and used for various beneficial uses on the land it supplies. Most large reservoirs in the arid western United States are highly managed with operations alternating between flood control in the winter and water supply in the summer. With GoldSim, we can build a simulation model of a reservoir that allows for variation in watershed inflows and also considers operation rules and outflow requirements. Because of fast run times and the dynamic nature of the tool, hydrology and rule curves can be modified quickly to run and compare several scenarios. Once the reservoir outflows are satisfactorily simulated, they can be incorporated into a groundwater model as a boundary condition to the system. That way groundwater managers can use a simple reservoir operations model as an external tool to help inform groundwater model boundary conditions. M&A has extensive experience working in these types of basins and can help groundwater managers assess impacts of reservoir operations on their overall basin resources.
Support Water Supply Portfolio Planning Under Uncertain Colorado River Conditions
With Colorado River reservoirs at historic lows, Lower Basin water users are preparing for significantly reduced deliveries. M&A understands the legal and regulatory framework governing Colorado River water use and shortage cuts among water rights holders based on their priority levels. We can use GoldSim to implement probabilistic assumptions on the likelihood and severity of shortage. Interactive dashboards can help clients visualize answers to the following critical water management questions, providing best- and worst-case scenarios for projected supplies and demands:
- Supply: What are the potential impacts of shortage on my annual Colorado River deliveries based on my priority level and current shortage sharing guidelines? What does my water supply portfolio look like over time under various shortage conditions?
- Demand: What does my demand look like under various growth scenarios? What are the potential impacts of specific conservation programs on my demand trajectory?
- Planning: Is there an imbalance between supply and demand and does it change over time? What is the reliability of potential alternative supplies such as effluent, stormwater, and groundwater? What is the outcome of a specific water management strategy such as water banking, exchange agreement, or water purchase?
GoldSim allows clients to interact with these questions in a dynamic way and support development of reliable and resilient water portfolios to meet their future needs.