Hydrologic Analysis Model for Screening Wetland Restoration Sites in the Rainwater Basin, Nebraska

by Douglas J. Clemetson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands (H²AL)


Historically, the Rainwater Basin in south central Nebraska contained approximately 4,000 wetlands. Today, over 90 percent of those wetlands have been lost, primarily due to drainage for agricultural purposes. With an increasing interest in the restoration of wetland habitats, a need has arisen for prioritizing candidate wetland restoration sites, which would ensure expenditure of funds on the best available sites. A hydrologic model has been developed as a tool to assist in screening candidate wetland sites for restoration in the Rainwater Basin. The Wetland Hydrologic Analysis Model (WHAM) was developed to perform daily analysis of the hydrologic budget of individual wetland basins. Inflows to the wetland, which are input data for the WHAM, were derived with the Streamflow Synthesis and Reservoir Regulation (SSARR) model, which was developed by the North Pacific Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Statistical analyses were performed on the simulated hydrologic parameters including surface area, water surface elevation, storage volume, and average depth to evaluate the hydrologic effectiveness of the proposed restoration for each site. Priorities for acquisition and restoration can be assigned to the individual wetlands based on the results of these analyses.

Subject Headings: Hydrologic models | Wetlands (fresh water) | Ecological restoration | Site investigation | Rain water | Basins | Parameters (statistics) | Water surface | Nebraska | United States

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