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(jhiggins@usgs.gov)
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Upstream Boundaries

Project Summaries

  
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9722-9ET - Upstream Boundaries for the State of Washington Shoreline Management Act of 1971 - Phase III - Completed FY2003

Problem - In 1971 the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a study for the Washington State Department of Ecology (WDOE) to aid them in their implementation of and compliance with the State of Washington Shorelines Management Act of 1971. As a part of this study, we estimated the upstream point on each stream in the state where the mean annual flow is 20 cubic feet per second (cfs). In the 1971 study, if the 20 cfs point occurred upstream of certain political boundaries, such as national forest, Indian reservation, and national park boundaries, the Management Act boundary was set at the political boundary. The positive error of estimate was added to the regulatory value (for example, making the flow 22 or 24 cfs instead of 20 cfs) to obtain reasonable assurance for location of the boundary point, and estimates were not made for some small streams that were tributary to large lakes or marine waters. Initially, WDOE planned to update the estimates and boundary points at 5-year intervals, but no re-evaluations were made after 1971.

Objectives - The objective of this study is to enhance and modify the work of the earlier study (1) by locating the Management Act 20 cubic feet per second upstream boundaries for all streams, including any that may have been omitted in the 1971 study; (2) by locating the upstream boundaries for the shorelines of statewide significance; (3) by ignoring political boundaries in locating these boundary points; (4) by using additional data that have been accumulated in the intervening 20 years; and (5) by determining the 20 cubic feet per second boundaries using 20 cubic feet per second in the regression equations, rather than 20 cubic feet per second plus the standard error of the regression equations, as was done in the 1971 study. Phase I of this study was focussed on the streams of western Washington. Phase II, focussed on northeastern Washington streams.

Phases I and II of the project have been completed (Kresch 1998a and 1998b). Phase III will begin on 4/1/01 and will extend the study into southeastern Washington.

Approach - The approach is to develop and apply regression equations that relate streamflow to precipitation and basin area.

AMENDMENT DATED 4/29/98: Amendment to Proposal WA359 To produce report for Upstream Boundaries for the State of Washington Shoreline Management Act of 1971, Phase III

Problem - The USGS, in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) during the period 1994-95, determined upstream boundary points on streams in northeastern Washington as described in the proposal for project WA359. After all of the boundary point locations for that project had been determined by the fall of 1995, project funding was cut so these determinations have not yet been documented in a USGS report.

Objectives - Document the northeastern Washington boundary point determinations in a USGS Water Resources Investigations Report.

9722-9ET - Upstream Boundaries for the State of Washington Shoreline Management Act of 1971--Southeast Washington

Introduction - This project initiates the final phase of a study to locate the upstream shoreline boundaries (that point on a stream where the mean annual flow is equal to or greater than 20 cubic feet per secont) for the State of Washington. Earlier studies located these points for western and northeastern Washington; this study covers southeast Washington. These earlier studies were undertaken to assist the Washington State Department of Ecology in assigning management responsibility between the State (shorelines downstream of the upstream shoreline boundary) and county and city agencies (shorelines upstream of the upstream shoreline boundary).

Objectives - The objectives of this study are to develop a scope of work and study approach to identify the upstream boundary points for all streams in southeast Washington that meet the criteria of the Shoreline Management Act of 1971, and to begin the compilation and analysis of basin and hydrologic characteristics for those streams.

Relevance and Benefits - Even though the proposed work does not directly address the priority issues discussed in Water Resources Division Memorandum No. 98.21 (Priority issues for the Federl-State Cooperative Program, Fiscal Year 1999), it lays some of the necessary groundwork for future work that does address the issues of water quality and the development and management of wetlands, lakes, reservoirs, and estuaries.

One of the goals of the Shoreline Management Act is the protection of the quality of water and the natural environment of the state's shorelines. Because the Act defines the State's jurisdiction to include all streams with a mean annual flow of 20 cfs or greaer, the regulating state agency (WDOE) must know the extent of the relevant shorelines. In additions, all wetlands and river deltas that fall within 200 feet of these shorelines are also placed under the State's jurisdiction.

Benefits to the USGS from the work include the incorporation of GIS-based basin-delineation work into watershed studies, which we identified as a priority in the District's Science Plan. The data compiled during this work will be available for watershed studies and other projects in southeast Washington.

Finally, because the USGS has identified the upstream boundary points for the rest of the state using trial and error methods (Kresch, 1998a, 1998b), this work may allow a comparison of the trial and error methods with more automated methods proposed in this study.

Approach - The scope of work will be patterned after the scopes of work used in the earlier studies for the state. Regression analysis will be used to define the relationship between mean annual flow and basin and hydrologic characteristics. The earlier studies used trial and error to locate the upstream boundary points. Automated procedures, such as the GIS Weasel, may be proposed for the current study.

Preliminary data compilation will include the gathering of mean annual flow data for active and discontinued continuous-record gaging stations in southeastern Washington with at least 10 years of continuous streamflow data. Geographic information system techniques will be used, as necessary, to aid in data manipulation and analysis, particularly with respect to drainage area delineations and in the computations involving the regression equations.

The Department of Ecology will be consulted for available information in their files on streamflow diversions and regulations.

The work will be done in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Ecology and will start April 1, 2001 and be completed by September 30, 2002.

WA359 - Upstream Boundaries for the State of Washington Shoreline Management Act of 1971 - Completed FY1999

Problem - In 1971 the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a study for the Washington State Department of Ecology (WDOE) to aid them in their implementation of and compliance with the State of Washington Shorelines Management Act of 1971. As a part of this study, we estimated the upstream point on each stream in the state where the mean annual flow is 20 cubic feet per second (cfs). In the 1971 study, if the 20 cfs point occurred upstream of certain political boundaries, such as national forest, Indian reservation, and national park boundaries, the Management Act boundary was set at the political boundary. The positive error of estimate was added to the regulatory value (for example, making the flow 22 or 24 cfs instead of 20 cfs) to obtain reasonable assurance for location of the boundary point, and estimates were not made for some small streams that were tributary to large lakes or marine waters. Initially, WDOE planned to update the estimates and boundary points at 5-year intervals, but no re-evaluations were made after 1971.

Objectives - The objective of this study is to enhance and modify the work of the earlier study (1) by locating the Management Act 20 cubic feet per second upstream boundaries for all streams, including any that may have been omitted in the 1971 study; (2) by locating the upstream boundaries for the shorelines of statewide significance; (3) by ignoring political boundaries in locating these boundary points; (4) by using additional data that have been accumulated in the intervening 20 years; and (5) by determining the 20 cubic feet per second boundaries using 20 cubic feet per second in the regression equations, rather than 20 cubic feet per second plus the standard error of the regression equations, as was done in the 1971 study. Phase I of this study was conducted from July 1990 to June 1992 and focussed on the streams of northwest Washington. Phase II, focussed on southwestern Washington streams.

Phases I and II of the project have been completed (Kresch 1998a and 1998b). Phase III will begin on 4/1/01 and will extend the study into southeastern Washington.

Approach - The approach is to develop and apply regression equations that relate streamflow to precipitation and basin area.

AMENDMENT DATED 4/29/98: Amendment to Proposal WA359 To produce report for Upstream Boundaries for the State of Washington Shoreline Management Act of 1971, Phase III.

Problem - The USGS, in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) during the period 1994-95, determined upstream boundary points on streams in northeastern Washington as described in the proposal for project WA359. After all of the boundary point locations for that project had been determined by the fall of 1995, project funding was cut so these determinations have not yet been documented in a USGS report.

Objectives - Document the northeastern Washington boundary point determinations in a USGS Water Resources Investigations Report.

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