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Rick Dinicola,
Associate Director, WA Water Science Center,
934 Broadway,
Suite 300
Tacoma, WA 98402

(dinicola@usgs.gov)
(253) 552-1603
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Chambers-Clover Model

Project Summaries

  
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YG00EED - An Updated Groundwater Model for Regional Planning, Chambers-Clover Creek Watershed, Pierce County, Washington

Problem - In May 2006 the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Washington Water Science Center (WAWSC), in cooperation with local stakeholders and the Washington State Department of Ecology began a project to characterize the groundwater-flow system in the Chambers-Clover Creek Watershed (CCCW), including the establishment and operation of a 137 well monthly (March 2007-September 2008) groundwater monitoring network (Justin and others, 2009; Savoca and others, 2010). This and other information were integrated into a numerical groundwater-flow model of the CCCW that was completed in 2011 (Johnson and others, 2011). In 2009, Pierce Conservation District (PCD) and local stakeholders requested WAWSC participation in the re-activation of selected wells in the CCCW monthly groundwater monitoring network to extend the period of record through 2014 and provide additional data for future refinement of the numerical model. In 2014, local stakeholders requested the WAWSC establish and operate 5 non-permanent streamflow gages in the CCCW for 1 year to improve our understanding of groundwater/surface-water interactions. Since its completion, the CCCW numerical model has been used by local stakeholders to address water resource issues, and model limitations and opportunities for improvement have been identified. Local stakeholders have now requested the WAWSC continue participation in the monthly groundwater monitoring network and operation of the 5 new streamflow gages and the gage at Chambers Creek below Leach Creek (12091500); and update and refine the CCCW model to include recently available data.

Objectives - The objectives of this study are to: 1) continue monthly groundwater-level measurements at 27 wells located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), a Department of Defense facility in the CCCW from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015; 2) operate 5 non-permanent streamflow gages in the CCCW from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015; 3) continue operating the streamflow gage at Chambers Creek below Leach Creek (12091500) from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015; 4) compile and analyze recently available data to improve our understanding of groundwater flow and the interaction between aquifers and surface water features in the in the CCCW; and 5) incorporate recently available data into the CCCW groundwater flow model and evaluate other potential opportunities for model improvement to provide a more robust tool to assist water-resource managers and water purveyors with regional water management planning and decision-making.

Relevance and Benefits - This study directly supports USGS mission and goals related to water-resource issues identified in the USGS Science Strategy. The study addresses groundwater availability and sustainability, a priority issue under the Water Census of the United States as outlined in Facing Tomorrow's challenges: USGS Science in the Decade 2007-2017. This study also will provide resource managers and stakeholders in the Chambers-Clover Creek watershed with the means to evaluate potential hydrologic and anthropogenic impacts on groundwater and surface-water resources, and more accurately delineate well head protection areas. This study is appropriate for inclusion in the USGS Cooperative Program because it will provide information that advances understanding of hydrologic processes.

Approach - Of the 137 original monitoring wells, a total of 75 wells have been re-activated and will be measured monthly (October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015) by WAWSC and local stakeholders. WAWSC personnel will continue to conduct monthly groundwater-level measurements at 27 wells located on JBLM and local stakeholders will continue to measure water levels at 48 residential monitoring wells in the study area. In 2010, WAWSC personnel provided local stakeholder staff with training on field data collection methods and QA/QC procedures. Groundwater-level measurements and associated information will continue to be verified and entered into the NWIS data base. Five non-permanent streamflow gages will be operated at locations where baseflow measurements were conducted during the original CCCW study (Savoca and others, 2010): 12090355 Clover Creek at 25th Ave E near Parkland; 12091045 Chambers Creek near 65th Avenue; 12090452 Spanaway Creek at Spanaway Lake Outlet; 12102175 Clear Creek at 31st Avenue East; 12102010 Clarks Creek at 7th Avenue SW. These gages will be operated from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015. WAWSC personnel also will continue to operate the gage at Chambers Creek below Leach Creek (12091500) from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015. All streamflow data and associated information will be verified and entered into the NWIS data base.

Several potential model refinements will be evaluated including: 1) converting the existing model to the newly available MODFLOW-USG (unstructured grid) version, or decreasing model computational cell size from 1,000 ft to 500 ft to increase model usefulness in simulating "local scale" water resource issues; 2) replacing the "River Package" with the "Stream Package" to improve simulation of streamflows and aquifer-stream interactions; and 3) minimize differences between reported and simulated spring discharge. Recently available data will be compiled, analyzed, and incorporated into the re-calibration of the refined CCCW numerical model including: 1) monthly water level measurements (2010 to 2015) from 75 wells; 2) streamflow from 5 non-permanent gages; and 3) updated recharge, water use, streamflow, and hydrogeologic framework data coverages. The refinements and results from the CCCW numerical model will be published in a report.

9722-CJ2 - Characterization and Numerical Simulation of the Water Resources in the Chambers-Clover Creek Watershed, Pierce County, Washington - Completed FY2011

Problem - In 1998, the Washington State Legislature established the Washington State Watershed Management Act (codified under RCW 90.82) to address diminishing water availability and quality and the loss of critical habitat for fish and wildlife. Watershed planning under this Act was started in 1998 in the Chambers-Clover Creek Watershed (CCCW) Water Resources Inventory Area (WRIA 12) by a group of Initiating Governments, including Pierce County, the City of Tacoma, the Puyallup Tribe, and the Lakewood Water District. Upon completion of the Technical Assessment, and during preparation of the Watershed Management Plan, some members of the Initiating Governments and other project partners concluded that data gaps in the Technical Assessment would limit the usefulness of the plan. Planning Unit members and stakeholders have asked the USGS Washington Water Science Center to help design and conduct a study, including the construction of a numerical ground-water flow model, to address remaining data gaps and assist in the development of a long-term watershed management plan for the CCCW.

Objectives - The major objectives of the study are to characterize the ground-water flow system in the CCCW and its interaction with associated surface-water features, and to integrate this information into a numerical ground-water flow model to assist water resource managers in the development of a long-term watershed management plan. This study also will create project management tools to facilitate communication between project partners and stakeholders, and to establish consistent methods and practices among project participants for project data collection, QA/QC, and archiving.

Relevance and Benefits - This study is consistent with the national USGS mission and goals and to water-resource issues identified in the Center's Science Plan. The study addresses ground-water availability and sustainability, and surface-water and ground-water interactions as related to water-resource management, which are priority issues for both the Strategic Directions of the Water Resources Division 1999-2008 and the USGS Washington Water Science Center's Science Plan. This study also will provide resources managers in the CCCW with a numerical flow model to assist in the development of a long-term watershed management plan to meet the needs of current and future water demands within the watershed, while also working to protect and improve its natural resources. This study is appropriate for inclusion in the USGS Cooperative Program because it will provide information that advances understanding of hydrologic processes.

Approach - A project website and a quality-assurance/quality-control plan will be developed to facilitate communication and methods between project partners and stakeholders. Existing and new ground-water and surface-water data will be compiled and evaluated to characterize the flow system, and entered into the National Water Information System data base. A numerical ground-water flow model will be constructed to simulate potential anthropogenic and climatic impacts on ground-water and surface-water resources, and the model will be transferred to the Planning Unit for assisting development of a long-term watershed management plan.

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