Forecasting Irrigation Water Supply Using a Computer Model and Remotely Sensed Snow Cover

by Woodruff Miller, Brigham Young Univ, Provo, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Irrigation and Drainage


Improved streamflow forecasting in the Sevier River Basin is one objective of the Sevier River Water Management Study. Short-term forecasts are needed for optimum operations of irrigation diversions and reservoirs. The Snowmelt-Runoff Model (SRM) is being utilized to forecast runoff rates and volumes on the Upper Sevier Basin. SRM uses remotely sensed snow cover along with precipitation and temperature data and calibrated basin parameters. Snow cover information is available through electronic mail from the National Remote Sensing Hydrology Center (NRSHC) in Minneapolis. NRSHC uses Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) satellite imagery to produce maps of snow extent and tabulations of percent snow cover on hundreds of basins including 20 Sevier River sub-basins. A User's Guide for the PC-version of SRM has been prepared specifically for the Sevier River water users. From their experience and familiarity with the data and parameters required by the model, improved short-term forecasts within the basin can be made. During the 1988-90 period, streamflows were simulated and compared with the measured values and the basin parameters were calibrated. During 1991, streamflow forecasts are being made and updated based on the near real-time snow cover data and predicted temperatures and precipitation. Sevier River water users are enthusiastic about the benefits in this practical use of computer and space technology.

Subject Headings: Basins | Computer models | Rivers and streams | Parameters (statistics) | Forecasting | Irrigation water | Hydrologic models | Water use | Minnesota | United States

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