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In cooperation with the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission
and the Nueces River Authority

Simulation of Flow and Water Quality of the Arroyo Colorado, Texas, 1989–99

By Timothy H. Raines and Roger M. Miranda

U.S. Geological Survey
Water-Resources Investigations Report 02–4110

 

1 U.S. Geological Survey
2 Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission


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pdf (2.14 MB)


Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Purpose and Scope

Description of Study Area

Description of Simulation Model

Acknowledgments

Simulation of Flow and Water Quality of the Arroyo Colorado

Model Setup

Calibration and Testing of Flow

Error Analysis of Flow

Calibration and Testing of Water Quality

Error Analysis of Water Quality

Simulated Point- and Nonpoint-Source Loads

Summary

References Cited

Figures

1–6.   Maps showing:
  1.   Arroyo Colorado Basin, Texas
  2.   Arroyo Colorado subbasins and locations of selected streamflow-gaging and precipitation stations and water-quality sampling sites
  3.   Locations of point-source discharges in the Arroyo Colorado subbasins
  4.   Irrigation districts in and adjacent to the Arroyo Colorado Basin
  5.   Land use in the Arroyo Colorado Basin, 1995
  6.   Major soil groups in the Arroyo Colorado Basin
7–11.   Graphs showing measured and simulated daily streamflow at Arroyo Colorado at:
  7.   Weslaco, 1989–95
  8.   Harlingen, 1989–95
  9.   Mercedes, 1989–95
  10.   Mercedes, 1996–99
  11.   Harlingen, 1996–99
12–25.   Graphs showing measured and simulated concentrations (or appropriate measure) at Arroyo Colorado at (a) Weslaco, (b) Harlingen, and (c) Segment 2202 outlet:
  12.   Suspended sediment, 1989–95
  13.   Water temperature, 1989–95
  14.   Biochemical oxygen demand, 1989–95
  15.   Dissolved oxygen, 1989–95
  16.   Nitrate nitrogen, 1989–95
  17.   Ammonia nitrogen, 1989–95
  18.   Orthophosphate, 1989–95
  19.   Suspended sediment, 1996–99
  20.   Water temperature, 1996–99
  21.   Biochemical oxygen demand, 1996–99
  22.   Dissolved oxygen, 1996–99
  23.   Nitrate nitrogen, 1996–99
  24.   Ammonia nitrogen, 1996–99
  25.   Orthophosphate, 1996–99
26.   Pie diagrams showing simulated total point- and nonpoint-source loads in percent by land-use type for selected properties and constituents, Arroyo Colorado Basin, 1989–99

Tables

1.   Process-related model parameters for the Hydrological Simulation Program—FORTRAN
2.   Basin-related model parameters for the Hydrological Simulation Program—FORTRAN
3.   Selected physical and hydrologic characteristics of the Arroyo Colorado subbbasins
4.   Permitted point-source daily effluent limits, Arroyo Colorado Basin
5.   Irrigation schedule for row crops, citrus, and sugar cane for dry, normal, and wet years, Arroyo Colorado Basin, 1989–99
6.   Basin-related parameters, Arroyo Colorado Basin
7.   Annual PERLND and IMPLND process-related parameters for flow, Arroyo Colorado Basin
8.   Monthly PERLND and IMPLND process-related parameters for flow, Arroyo Colorado Basin
9.   Selected calibration and testing results using HSPEXP, Arroyo Colorado Basin
10.   Annual PERLND and IMPLND process-related parameters for water quality, Arroyo Colorado Basin
11.   Monthly PERLND and IMPLND process-related parameters for water quality, Arroyo Colorado Basin
12.   Annual RCHRES process-related parameters for water quality, Arroyo Colorado Basin
13.   Selected nonpoint-source event-mean concentrations for calibration and testing of water quality, Arroyo Colorado Basin

Abstract

A model parameter set for use with the Hydrological Simulation Program—FORTRAN watershed model was developed to simulate flow and water quality for selected properties and constituents for the Arroyo Colorado from the city of Mission to the Laguna Madre, Texas. The model simulates flow, selected water-quality properties, and constituent concentrations. The model can be used to estimate a total maximum daily load for selected properties and constituents in the Arroyo Colorado. The model was calibrated and tested for flow with data measured during 1989–99 at three streamflow-gaging stations. The errors for total flow volume ranged from -0.1 to 29.0 percent, and the errors for total storm volume ranged from -15.6 to 8.4 percent. The model was calibrated and tested for water quality for seven properties and constituents with 1989–99 data. The model was calibrated sequentially for suspended sediment, water temperature, biochemical oxygen demand, dissolved oxygen, nitrate nitrogen, ammonia nitrogen, and orthophosphate. The simulated concentrations of the selected properties and constituents generally matched the measured concentrations available for the calibration and testing periods. The model was used to simulate total point- and nonpoint-source loads for selected properties and constituents for 1989–99 for urban, natural, and agricultural land-use types. About one-third to one-half of the biochemical oxygen demand and nutrient loads are from urban point and nonpoint sources, although only 13 percent of the total land use in the basin is urban.

 


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