Using an Index Stream to Make Instream Flow Decisions

by Daniel R. Harvey, US Army Corps of Engineers, United States,
Peter F. Brooks, US Army Corps of Engineers, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Optimizing the Resources for Water Management


The paper discusses development of an Integrated Operating Plan (IOP) that uses an unregulated (natural) stream in the upper Cedar basin as an index of overall hydrologic status of the Cedar River system in Western Washington. The real-time index stream flow is compared, on a daily basis, to a set of three switching, or triggering flow levels of the index stream to determine to which of four instream flow regimes at the downstream control point the Cedar River should be adjusted. The IOP uses a 90-day daily moving average of the index stream flow and switching levels, which most accurately characterizes the critical low-flow duration period for Seattle's Chester Morse Reservoir (CMR). The plan integrates the storage requirements of both Lake Washington and CMR such that critical storage rule curves are not required for either impoundment.

Subject Headings: Streamflow | Rivers and streams | River flow | Water storage | Basins | High-rise buildings | Reservoirs | Water discharge | Washington | United States

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