APPLICATION OF HYDROLOGIC MODELS TO ASSESS THE EFFECTS OF CLOUD SEEDING ON AGRICULTURE IN THE WALKER RIVER BASIN OF NEVADA

Douglas P. Boyle, Chris Garner, Jeffrey S. Tilley, Scott Bassett, Arlen Huggins, Cornelia Barth

Abstract


<!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; text-align:justify; line-height:150%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:EN-AU;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} --> Abstract. A set of existing hydrologic models of the headwater and agricultural areas of the Walker River basin are used to estimate the effects of cloud seeding activities by Desert Research Institute on the amount of water delivered to the agricultural areas in the lower part of the basin over the water years 2004 through 2013. A monthly water balance model is used to simulate the accumulation and melt of the snowpack and the associated runoff in the headwater areas.  A river basin management model is used to simulate the spatial and temporal complexity of the movement and use of surface and groundwater below the mountain front in the streams, reservoirs, irrigation ditches, and crop areas which are completely driven by water right priorities and water supply. In the two case studies presented, the effects of cloud seeding on two different target areas were identified and compared in terms of: (1) changes to the amount of surface water delivered to the crop areas for irrigation purposes; (2) changes in the amount of supplemental groundwater pumping; and (3) changes in crop shortage for each year over the study period.  Estimates of crop irrigation water requirements and crop value per acre were used to estimate the financial benefits of the cloud seeding activities under a range of seeding efficiency estimates for each case.  The results indicate that, over the study period, the benefits to seeding the target areas in the first case, characterized by relatively large long-term annual precipitation, are significantly greater than seeding the target area in the second case, characterized by less annual precipitation. The results from both studies provide useful information for planning and operational decisions related to cloud seeding in the Walker River basin.

Keywords


Impacts on Human Activity; Weather Modification Reasearch; Hydrology

Full Text:

PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.