Document Type


Publication Date

January 1970


Changes in the hydrologic equilibrium of a river basin resulting from resource development also produce changes in the quality pattern. Since the burden of quality maintenance must be shared by users (just as are quantities) predictions are needed for quality changes which might result from contemplated development at any specified location within the river system. This study reports the development of a computer simulation model of the water and salt flow systems within the Upper Colorado River basin. Because of the close relationship between the hydrologic and salinity flow systems, an understanding of the hydrologic system is essential to successful management of the salinity system. In this study development of a hydrologic model is based on water budgeting or accounting procedures, in which available data on historical water flows, municipal and industrial uses, and the demands of agriculture are used. The salinity dimension is then added, and the joint hydro-salinity model is verified (calibrated and tested) by comparing computed and observed output values. The utility of the model is demonstrated by applying it to a particular subbasin of the San Juan River and predicting the effects on downstream water quantity and quality of developing a large irrigation project within the area.