USGS Washington Water Science Center
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Managed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), water is diverted from the Columbia River into Potholes Reservoir and the canal system for delivery to irrigators.
Through the USGS/USBR collaborative Watershed and River Systems Management Program (WARSMP), the USBR will be developing a river-management model to improve the efficiency of water distribution. An important input needed for the model is runoff-season forecasts of snowmelt and irrigation return flows into Potholes Reservoir. Currently, there is no tool to make these forecasts.
To help the USBR with the efficient operation of Potholes Reservoir, the USGS is developing a watershed model that can forecast daily values of unregulated streamflow discharge and irrigation return flows, to be used as input to the river-management model.