Water Availability for Energy Development in the Upper Colorado River Basin

by Kurt A. Gernerd, US Bureau of Reclamation, Washington, DC, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '85


The Bureau of Reclamation is investigating, for planning purposes through hydrologic determination, the total allowable depletion level in the Upper Colorado River Basin. The Colorado River Simulation System (CRSS) computer model and methodology were used extensively to study the ability of the Upper Basin to meet varying depletion level demands under different reservoir delivery schedules. The state-of-the-art CRSS computer model and methodology verifies that the existing 5. 8 million acre-feet depletion level for the Upper Colorado River Basin is conservative. Without stressing the Upper Colorado River system, the model generates a depletion number that is approximately 5 percent higher for the Upper Colorado River Basin. It appears that development is possible without interfering with existing users or proposed water projects through the year 2040.

Subject Headings: Computer models | Hydro power | Rivers and streams | Basins | Hydrologic models | Power plants | Water resources | System analysis | Colorado River

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