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Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5062

Groundwater Simulation and Management Models for the Upper Klamath Basin, Oregon and California

Next Steps

The development of groundwater flow and management models presented in this report is an important step in understanding the regional groundwater system in the upper Klamath Basin and how that system can be managed. The flow model can be used alone to evaluate the response of the groundwater system to any variety of future pumping, water management, or climate conditions. When used with a groundwater management model, as demonstrated in this report, the coupled models can be used to evaluate optimal strategies for meeting water management objectives while honoring predefined limits on impacts. 

The flow model simulates the regional distribution of hydraulic head and groundwater discharge to streams, as well as the climate-driven fluctuations in water levels and groundwater discharge. It also simulates the water-level response to large-scale irrigation pumping. Certain refinements to the model, such as finer vertical discretization and improved representation of critical spring areas, could help fine-tune the model for addressing current management objectives.

A logical next step with simulation-optimization modeling will be to work with resource management agencies, water users, and other stakeholders to refine the management model to incorporate a more complete set of groundwater management objectives and constraints consistent with the full set of regulatory limits and practical (operational) considerations. When used in actual application, the simulation-optimization model must include realistic climate variability and background (off project) supplemental pumping rates.

First posted May 5, 2012

For additional information contact:
Director, Oregon Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
2130 SW 5th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97201

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

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