New Waves March 2010

Breaking news about water resources research and education in Texas

New Publications/Papers and Training Courses

New Publications/Papers

Economic and Financial Life-Cycle Costs of Conventional Surface-Water Treatment in South Texas: A Case Study of the McAllen Northwest Facility, C. Rogers, A. Sturdivant, M. Rister, R. Lacewell, J. Santiago, Texas Water Resources Institute TR-311, 2010.

Conventional water treatment facilities are the norm for producing potable water for most U.S. metropolitan areas. Rapidly-growing urban populations, competing demands for water, imperfect water markets, and uncertainty of future water supplies contribute to high interest in alternative sources of potable water for many U.S. municipalities. In situations where multiple supply alternatives exist, properly analyzing which alternative is the most economically efficient (over the course of its useful life) requires a sound economic and financial analysis of each alternative using a consistent methodology. This report discusses such methodology and provides an assessment of the life-cycle costs for conventional water treatment using actual data from an operating surface-water treatment facility located in McAllen, Texas: the McAllen Northwest facility. This facility has a maximum-designed operating capacity of 8.25 million gallons per day (mgd), but due to required maintenance shutdown time and other limitations, it is currently operating at 78% of the maximum-designed capacity (6.44 mgd).

Irrigation Training Program for Texas Agricultural Producers Final Report, B. L. Harris, Texas Water Resources Institute TR-361, 2010.

The Irrigation Training Program, funded by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) through an Agricultural Water Conservation Grant, began in 2006. Administered by the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB), the local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), Texas AgriLife Extension Service (Extension) and Texas AgriLife Research (Research) worked together to build a multi-disciplinary Irrigation Training Program (ITP) that included development of a core manual and training conferences that were designed to meet regional needs.

A Simple Model for Estimating Water Balance and Salinity of Reservoirs and Outflow, S. Miyamoto, F. Yuan, and Shilpa Anand, Texas Water Resources TR-363, 2010.

Reservoir storage reduces fluctuation in streamflow salinity, yet increases outflow salinity because of water evaporation. These processes are highly relevant to developing water management strategy, yet the method to predict outflow salinity has not been adequately examined. The study reported here examined the water and salt balance in a reservoir using a two-layer model. This model assumes that inflow blends with the storage, but the water evaporation takes place from the surface layer, and the percolation losses from the subsurface. The thickness of the first layer where salinity increases with evaporation was estimated through calibration against the measured outflow salinity. The changes in salinity were computed using a moving average method on a monthly time step. This model was applied first to Red Bluff Reservoir of the Middle Pecos River, then to Elephant Butte, Amistad, and Falcon along the Rio Grande. The outflow salinity projected by the model was in good agreement with the measured, except under a few circumstances where mixing of inflow and reservoir storage was suspected to be incomplete. The accuracy of prediction can be improved by improving the estimate of initial salinity of reservoir storage, which is currently taken as being equal to outflow salinity at the onset of the simulation.

TWRI Water Resources Training Courses

Modeling of Water Distribution Systems using EPANet March 15-17, 2010
WRAP Users Group Conference April 16, 2010
APEX Course April 21-22, 2010
SWAT for Beginners May 10-11, 2010

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