Water Resources of North Dakota

Proposed Streamflow Modeling of Selected Reaches of the Souris River Between Lake Darling and J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge

By E.A. Wesolowski

Abstract: Proceedings, North Dakota Water Quality Symposium, Fargo, North Dakota, March 30-31 1994

Because of potentially adverse water-quality effects from water development, a widely held view by water scientists is that water-quality models should have a role in management of the Souris River. Calibrated and verified water-quality models would provide a method to evaluate alternative water-management plans and decisions relative to the river's water quality. To date, no existing models that would aid in water-quality management have been calibrated and verified for any reach of the river. Before a water-quality model can be applied to a specific river reach, however, it must be calibrated to simulate the river's hydraulic and transport characteristics. The purpose of this paper is to outline a study to determine if a streamflow model can simulate low streamflows in two hydraulically different subreaches of the river between Lake Darling and J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge. One subreach would represent a pooled, backwater condition and the other would represent a free-flowing condition. Specific objectives are to identify a model that is suitable for simulation of streamflows typical of those in the Souris River and to calibrate the selected model using existing data for low streamflows. This study, if successful, could be the first stage in a multiple-stage process to calibrate and verify several models that apply to the entire river. A subsequent stage would involve the collection of appropriate water-quality samples and other data necessary to calibrate and verify a water-quality model for the same two subreaches from a low streamflow of 10 to 20 ft3 /s to a high streamflow of 250 to 500 ft3 /s. A similar procedure would be followed until the entire river, including the reservoirs and refuges, is modeled.

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