Document Type


Publication Date

January 1973


As demands upon available water supplies increase within a river basin, there is an accompanying increase in the need to assess the downstream consequences resulting from changes at specific locations within the hydrologic system. This problem is approached in this study by digital computer simulation of the hydrologic system. Modeling concepts are based upon basic relationships which describe the various hydrologic processes. Within a hydrologic system these relationships are linked by the continuity-of-mass principle which requires a mass balance at all points. Spatial resolution is achieved by considering the modeled area as a series of subbasins. The time increment adopted for the model is one month, so that time varying quantities are expressed in terms of mean monthly values. The model is general in nature and is applied to a particular hydrologic system through a programmed verification procedure whereby model coefficients are evaluated for the particular system. In this study the model was applied to the Provo River basin of northern Utah, with emphases being placed upon water rights and operation of storage reservoirs within the system, including Utah Lake. The simulation model consists of three specific parts, namely: (1) parameter optimization; (2) river basin management; and (3) Utah Lake operation. The parameter optimization submodel identifies the model parameters for each subbasin through application of a parameter optimization technique. The river basin management submodel, using the optimized parameters, simulated the hydrologic response of the system to various water resources management alternatives. The Utah Lake operation submodel is linked with the river basin management submodel to comprise a combined Utah Lake operations model. Some comparisons between observed and computed outflow hydrographs at various points within the Provo River basin are shown. The utility of the model for predicting the effects of various possible water resource management alternatives is demonstrated.