Lytle Water Solutions (LWS), personnel have an extensive and varied record of successfully-completed surface water hydrology studies. Representative projects in surface water hydrology are shown below.
Surface Flow Characterizations
The flow characteristics of an ephemeral stream in California needed to be understood so watershed characteristics, in conjunction with climatic data and channel properties, were used to estimate flow runoff from various storm events. For the proposed Rueter-Hess Reservoir in the southeastern Denver metro area, flow variations over a long period of record were evaluated for Cherry Creek to assess water yield to an off-stream reservoir.
A watershed characterization was developed so that 100-year floodplain limits could be delineated for the San Luis Gold Project in the San Luis Valley, Colorado, to evaluate placement of mine facilities. These studies were used in the mine permitting process.
Baseline Surface Flow Data Collection Programs
Flow-measuring devices have been established in mine lease areas in Alaska, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming to evaluate surface flow characteristics prior to mining so changes to the surface flow hydrology as a result of mining could be evaluated.
Flow-measuring devices, both primary and secondary, have been installed in Colorado to characterize baseline flow hydrology and water quality conditions for an Authority charged with protecting reservoir water quality. Similar flow-measuring devices have been installed in California on tributaries to Big Bear Lake to assess flow and water quality into the lake.
Surface Water Supply Planning
The Parker (Colorado) Water and Sanitation District is combining surface water resources, surface water storage, and ground water supplies, water conservation and water reuse into an integrated water supply plan. A water management plan has been prepared to incorporate all water uses efficiently in order to maximize beneficial use from all sources. Mr. Lytle was the Project Manager for this ACEC award-winning project. The Rueter-Hess Reservoir project was recently granted a Section 404 permit for the water supply dam and reservoir.
A water supply alternatives study was prepared to assist a southwestern Colorado community in choosing a course for future water supply development. Several alternatives were evaluated in terms of yield, reliability, cost and environmental consequences. These alternatives included construction of a surface water reservoir, purchase of storage in an existing reservoir, purchase of agricultural flow rights, and several exchange alternatives. All of the alternatives contemplated the need for additional infrastructure.
Surface Flow Monitoring
Primary and secondary flow-measuring devices were installed on a number of tributary sub-drainages, and on the mainstem, of Coal Creek to assess the hydrology and flow characteristics on a mine lease area near Crested Butte, Colorado.
At another project location in the San Luis Valley, Colorado, gain/loss studies were conducted in several drainages over a several-mile stream reach. The measurements were conducted on a weekly basis to evaluate stream recharge to underlying sediments relative to supporting a ground water development project to produce sustainable water supplies.
On the Gulf Coast of Florida, rating curves were developed for a flow-control structure. The structure consisted of a combination of sharp-crested weirs and bottom-opening gates. Software was developed to allow remote access to real-time stage and discharge measurements, and to assist in data archiving.
Reservoir Operational Studies
A reservoir operational study was completed for the proposed Rueter-Hess Reservoir in Colorado to assess the most efficient mode of operation to meet municipal water supply demands while, at the same time, maximizing carryover storage and minimizing spills. Water management techniques included water conservation and water reuse.
A reservoir operational study was conducted at a mine site near Fairbanks, Alaska, to evaluate if the hydrology of a watershed could provide sufficient water for mine operations and whether there would be sufficient storage available to account for water locked up in ice for more than 8 months each year.
HEC-6 modeling was completed to evaluate potential sediment aggradation/degradation in surface water diversion ditches around mine facilities near Miami, Arizona. These data were incorporated into a mine permit revision.
100-year floodplains were delineated for the given river hydrology using HEC-2 for a new subdivision in Carlsbad, New Mexico to meet city requirements to maintain a development buffer outside the area of inundation.