Impact of Rainfall Enhancement on Hydrology

by Jerome J. Zovne, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, Kan.,
Danny H. Rogers, Area Extension Irrigation Engr.; Northwest Area Extension Office, Colby, Kan.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 5, Pg. 681-694

Document Type: Journal Paper


Three watersheds in Kansas were investigated to determine the hydrologic effects of a large-scale rainfall augmentation program. The Kansas Watershed Model was used to compare historical with augmented moisture budgets. The augmentation scheme involved 75% increase for rainfalls <0.1 in.; 30% increase between 0.1 in. and 0.5 in.; 10% increase between 0.5 in. and 1.0 in.; and 10% decrease for rainfalls >1 in. The three watersheds yielded average increased rainfalls of more than 2 in. annually, of which greater than 20% became runoff and greater than 70% evapotranspired. The additional runoff was mostly a result of increased base flow and a major proportion of the increased evapotranspiration occurred during dry periods. Optimal benefits would accrue as a result of long-term seeding programs because of accumulated moisture carryover effects.

Subject Headings: Watersheds | Rainfall | Hydrology | Rain water | Moisture | Runoff | Base flow | Budgets | Kansas | United States

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