Lower Platte River Basin Modeling

Lower Platte River Basin, Nebraska

The Omaha Metropolitan Utilities District, City of Lincoln, and City of Fremont obtain a large portion of their municipal water supplies from well fields located in the alluvial aquifer of the Platte River valley. TZA conducted hydrologic studies for a cooperative effort between the three municipal entities to evaluate the cumulative effects of various upstream surface and ground water development projects on future flows in the lower Platte River Basin. Groundwater modeling studies established that most the water withdrawn from the municipal well fields is obtained by induced recharge from the Platte River, and demonstrated the interrelationships between the surface water and ground water systems. The model was also quantified the impacts of increased occurrences of low and zero flow periods upon the yield of the municipal well fields.

These studies were closely coordinated with the client groups’ legal and engineering staffs. The models have been updated several times for evaluation of specific water right applications. The study results were presented through expert testimony as evidence at hearings before the Nebraska Department of Water Resources.