Surface Flow Gaging
Pre-mining surface flow gaging:
LWS personnel have established both primary and secondary flow-measuring devices, as well as taking instantaneous flow readings with a current meter, to establish baseline hydrologic conditions prior to the initiation of mining projects at numerous mining sites in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska. The purpose of these pre-mining studies was to understand the hydrology prior to mining to assess how changes to the surface flow regime was affected as a result of mining.
Baseline surface water flow gaging for the Cherry Creek Basin Water Quality Authority:
LWS personnel designed, installed, and monitored a surface water flow gaging network from Franktown to Cherry Creek Reservoir to evaluate surface flow conditions, in conjunction with attendant alluvial ground water monitoring, to establish flow patterns within the basin, as well as the changes in water quality from the upstream, undeveloped area through the urbanized area upstream of the reservoir that could affect the health of the reservoir.
Gain/loss studies to assess stream/alluvial hydraulic interaction:
Instantaneous flow measurements have been made at multiple sites along stream reaches, and at multiple times throughout the year, to assess both spatial and temporal changes in surface water flow patterns relative to recharge to or discharge from the associated alluvial aquifer. In some instances, these data have been used as input to the development of a surface water model. Gain/loss studies have been conducted on reaches of numerous streams, including Cherry Creek above Cherry Creek reservoir, Rito Seco near San Luis, Huerfano River from Badito to the Welton Ditch, Cucharas River near Cucharas Dam, Coal Creek near Crested Butte, and Monument Creek in the reach upstream and downstream of Monument Lake.
Surface water flow gaging to assess surface water flow impact on alluvial ground water pumping:
A regional study among multiple water supply entities is being conducted using surface water flow gaging to assess how changes in surface flow, and potentially dry stream conditions, affect the ability of municipal water providers to produce water through their Cherry Creek alluvial aquifer wells. The primary purpose of this study is to identify the need to protect surface water flows, and to what extent, to sustain the alluvial aquifer well production, which is one of the primary water supplies for municipal entities in the Cherry Creek Basin.