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WWRC 84-20
Evaluation of the North Platte River Management Model


Development and Use of the North Platte River Management Model (NPRMM)

The original version of the NPRMM was developed at the University of Wyoming Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) by Dr. Tsong C. Wei at the request of and with financial support by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR). The model was used to simulate North Platte River operations to the Wyoming-Nebraska State Line under various options and especially the evaluation of the impacts of enlarging Seminoe Reservoir. The impacts were evaluated and assessed by comparing with present conditions. Tests performed included maintaining minimum pool in different reservoirs, providing minimum flow in selected stream reaches, limiting flood discharge at system outlets to protect downstream areas, and combinations of these operations with other features. Based on the simulation results, changes in present operation methods and future development were suggested, and it was concluded that an enlargement of Seminoe Reservoir could not be justified. Test results as well as supplementary information were presented in "North Platte River Operational Options Study with or without an Enlarged Seminoe Reservoir Using a Simulation Model," by Tsong Chang Wei, June 1977.

In response to requests from various sources during 1980, a reevaluation of the model was initiated, again with financial support from USBR. The work was performed by Mr. Michael Akerbergs, who was also associated with WRRI and resulted in modifications to the model and input data (Akerbergs, 1981). Resulting reports were "Final Report North Platte River Management Model Revision" and "User's Manual - North Platte River Management Model" both written by Akerbergs in March 1981. These reports are located at the University of Wyoming Water Research Center (WWRC) library.

Work performed by Akerbergs included:

  1. Transfer of the model from the Xerox Sigma-7 computer to a CDC Cyber 730/760 system.

  2. Review of the entire set of historical flow input data.

  3. Data update through water year 1980.

  4. Revision of the Inland Lakes accrual and delivery.

  5. Revision of water usage and accounting below Whalen Dam.

  6. Revision of the Glendo Unit deliveries.

  7. Revision of the priority order for irrigation season natural flow distribution was changed to:

    1. Five Ditch irrigation demand.

    2. North Platte Project direct flow senior to the storage rights (up to statutory limit).

    3. Pathfinder ownership.

    4. Guernsey ownership.

    5. Kendrick Project (Seminoe ownership - Alcova ownership - Kendrick direct flow).

    6. Glendo Unit ownership.

    7. River water, also referred to as excess-to-ownership water. This is the amount of water in the river in excess of any other demands.

  8. System evaporation was increased by 22 percent. Guernsey evaporation was taken into account.

  9. Gray rocks Reservoir depletions of the Laramie River were included.

  10. Restriction of 4,000 cfs (when possible) was placed on the flow at the state line.

  11. Alcova and Glendo Reservoir capacities were changed due to resurveys.
The Akerbergs revised model was used by Banner Associates, Inc. for Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Company of Houston, Texas during 1981. Their usage of the model was to determine how much water was available for diversion from the North Platte River between Alcova and Glendo Reservoirs.

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