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Development of methods to determine transit losses for return flows of imported water in Monument and Fountain Creeks,and revision of an existing transit-loss accounting program for Fountain Creek, El Paso and Pueblo Counties, Colorado

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PROJECTS

Development of methods to determine transit losses for return flows of imported water in Monument and Fountain Creeks,and revision of an existing transit-loss accounting program for Fountain Creek, El Paso and Pueblo Counties, Colorado

Study Area: Monument and Fountain Creeks and the adjacent alluvial valleys
Period of Project: 2004 to 2007
Project Number: BBW00
Project Chief: Gerhard Kuhn
Cooperator: Colorado Water Conservation Board; Colorado Springs Utilities; El Paso County Water Authority; Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District; Colorado Division of Water Resources

BACKGROUND:

In 1988, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the City of Colorado Springs (CCS), completed a study to develop methods to estimate transit losses along Fountain Creek for return flows of transmountain water discharged into Fountain Creek, from Nevada Street in Colorado Springs downstream to the Arkansas River. The study resulted in implementation of an accounting program to compute transit losses on a daily basis for the transmountain return flows. The Colorado Division of Water Resources (CDWR) has used the accounting program continually since1989 to manage and administer both native and imported water rights along Fountain Creek.

Changes in the reuse programs for CCS transmountain return flows and implementation of imported water reuse programs by other municipal entities along Fountain Creek downstream from Nevada Street have necessitated a number of revisions to the original accounting program. The CDWR also sees a need for additional capability within the accounting program, such as the capability to determine transit losses for well-augmentation water that may be transported between selected points along Fountain Creek.

The CCS currently (2004) is developing a new water reclamation facility adjacent to Monument Creek in the northern part of Colorado Springs. Some of the wastewater discharged into Monument Creek at this facility likely will consist of transmountain (imported) return flows. In addition, other municipal entities along Monument Creek either currently (2004) derive a portion of their water from imported sources or in the future plan to derive a portion of their water from imported sources. Implementation of any imported water reuse programs by the CCS or other municipal entities might include transportation of the imported return flows along Monument Creek downstream to some undetermined location; this transportation would require estimation of transit losses.

OBJECTIVES:

  1. To apply a stream-aquifer model along Fountain Creek from Nevada Street upstream to the confluence with Monument Creek and then along Monument Creek from the confluence upstream to about Palmer Lake.
  2. To develop a streamflow and transit-loss accounting program for the reach defined in objective 1 that incorporates the results of the stream-aquifer model application and enables accounting of the transit losses on a daily basis.
  3. To revise the existing transit-loss accounting program for Fountain Creek to enable accounting of transit losses for any number of flow-augmentation entities and to allow future modifications with a minimal expenditure of time and cost.

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Page Last Modified: Thursday, 15-Dec-2016 17:51:44 EST