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Natural flow and water consumption in the Milk River basin, Montana and Alberta, Canada

January 1, 1986

A study was conducted to determine the differences between natural and nonnatural Milk River streamflow, to delineate and quantify the types and effects of water consumption on streamflow, and to refine the current computation procedure into one which computes and apportions natural flow. Water consumption consists principally of irrigated agriculture, municipal use, and evapotranspiration. Mean daily water consumption by irrigation ranged from 10 cu ft/sec to 26 cu ft/sec in the Canada part and from 6 cu ft/sec to 41 cu ft/sec in the US part. Two Canadian municipalities consume about 320 acre-ft and one US municipality consumes about 20 acre-ft yearly. Evaporation from the water surface comprises 80% 0 90% of the flow reduction in the Milk River attributed to total evapotranspiration. The current water-budget approach for computing natural flow of the Milk River where it reenters the US was refined into an interim procedure which includes allowances for man-induced consumption and a method for apportioning computed natural flow between the US and Canada. The refined procedure is considered interim because further study of flow routing, tributary inflow, and man-induced consumption is needed before a more accurate procedure for computing natural flow can be developed. (Author 's abstract)

Publication Year 1986
Title Natural flow and water consumption in the Milk River basin, Montana and Alberta, Canada
DOI 10.3133/wri864006
Authors R.E. Thompson
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 86-4006
Index ID wri864006
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse