Management of Ephemeral Stream Channels

by Herbert B. Osborn, (M.ASCE), Res. Hydr. Engr.; Western Region, Southwest Watershed Res. Ctr., Tucson, AZ,
Kenneth G. Renard, (M.ASCE), Res. Hydr. Engr.; Western Region, Southwest Watershed Res. Ctr., Tucson, AZ,


Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 3, Pg. 207-214


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: Most runoff from small arid land watersheds in the Southwest is abstracted by ephemeral channels before reaching perennial streams. Some of the abstracted water reaches ground-water storage, but most is lost to evaporation and transpiration. Records from the USDA–ARS Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed in Southeastern Arizona are used to estimate channels abstractions and to provide estimates of potential added usable water for increased downstream urban water demands. Estimates of salvageable water based on Walnut Gulch data are extrapolated to suggest the potential of ephemeral channel management in a river basin, and questions of management effects on channel equilibrium, sediment transport, and flood frequency and magnitude are considered.

Subject Headings: Stream channels | Watersheds | Sediment transport | Municipal water | Flood frequency | Water storage | Groundwater supply | Groundwater management | Arid lands | Arizona | North America | United States

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