Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin Focus Area Study: Estimating Streamflow

Science Center Objects

A hydrologic model that simulates streamflow conditions in the ACF Basin was constructed using the Precipitation Runoff Modeling System. The model simulated development by including withdrawals and returns, interbasin transfers, storage in unmanaged reservoirs, and impervious surface.

National Water Census  •  ACF Basin  •  Drought Impacts  •  Water Use  •  Estimating Streamflow  •  Groundwater/Surface-Water Interactions

 

Seven hydrologic models were developed in the ACF River Basin using the Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) to evaluate streamflow conditions. PRMS is a deterministic, distributed-parameter, process-based model used to simulate the effects of precipitation, temperature, land use, and water use on basin hydrology. The model includes human-induced changes to the landscape, such as surface-water withdrawals and returns, interbasin transfers, impervious surfaces, and storage in unmanaged reservoirs.

A coarse-resolution PRMS model was developed to estimate flows for the entire ACF basin and provide estimates of recharge for a groundwater flow model developed for the lower part of the basin. Six fine-resolution models were developed in smaller watershed to provide information on ecological flow conditions and to support development of ecological models for those watersheds. Flow simulations were developed for the period 1982-2012 without water use; simulations with water use were made for 2008-2012.

Schematic diagram illustrating the hydrologic processes as conceptualized in the Precipitation Runoff Modeling System

Schematic diagram illustrating the hydrologic processes as conceptualized in the Precipitation Runoff Modeling System

 Key Findings and Results:

  • Flow statistics for spring and summer seasons when flow conditions most affect biological processes were computed for every stream segment in the model.
  • Recharge to the groundwater system estimated with the PRMS model was very dynamic with most occurring during winter.
  • The coupled groundwater and surface water model produced better results than the surface water model alone for the summer; but underestimated flows in winter months.
  • Read the report

 

National Water Census  •  ACF Basin  •  Drought Impacts  •  Water Use  •  Estimating Streamflow  •  Groundwater/Surface-Water Interactions