Success stories/projects we want to feature on the overall Success stories page.

Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

Since the spring of 2018, Lynker has been supporting the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) with restoration planning for coastal marsh restoration in the Barataria Basin. Tasks include coordination between CPRA and the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (established as part of the Deepwater Horizon settlement) and preparing restoration planning documentation to comply with National Environmental Policy Act and Oil Pollution Act regulations. Senior Scientist Dr. Cameron Wobus also supported CPRA in technical analyses to support restoration planning and permitting for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project, which will reconnect the Mississippi River to the Barataria Basin to provide a sustainable source of sediment to replenish marsh habitats.

Chatfield Watershed Model

The Chatfield Watershed Authority requested a modeling solution that would aid in tracking sources of phosphorus from the watershed and allow for the evaluation of management decisions. Lynker teamed with an experienced engineering firm to complete the project which included a thorough model selection process, data collection of hydrologic and water quality data, data gap analysis, and building and calibrating a HSPF water quality model. The model was built to track total phosphorus loading to Chatfield Reservoir so that best management practices could be implemented to reduce total phosphorus concentrations. Model development included the collection of model input data (precipitation, potential evapotranspiration, wind speed, land use, soils data, etc.), watershed delineation, as well as point source loading data. The hydrologic component of the model was calibrated using USGS streamflow data, while the water quality processes were calibrated using grab sample data provided by the Chatfield Watershed Authority. The model is used to connect with the Chatfield Reservoir model to complete management scenario analyses in the future.

California Climate Change Assessment

Lynker completed a climate-change impact analysis for a confidential client in California. The purpose of the study was to provide climate-impacted hydrology (streamflow, irrigation water demand) for a future planning horizon. Our team provided a low-cost solution by utilizing existing Bureau of Reclamation Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) climate change runs processed through the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model. The future climate-impacted hydrology from 2020-2049 (streamflow, evapotranspiration) was compared to a baseline hydrology from 1970-1999, to determine a monthly set of “change factors” for water supply and water demand (streamflow and irrigation water demand, respectively). The change factors were applied to the historical hydrology datasets to create climate-adjusted timeseries for streamflow and water demand, which were used to evaluate future water supply conditions.

Colorado River Water Availability Study

The Colorado River Water Availability Study (CRWAS) was commissioned by the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) to study the changes in water supply and demand moving into the future. The first phase of the work was completed in 2012; and a second phase was completed in 2015. An important component of the study was analyzing the impacts of climate change on future streamflow for the Colorado River (CRWAS Phase I) and later the entire state (CRWAS Phase II). CRWAS Phase I utilized statistically downscaled GCM outputs in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 3 (CMIP3) archive, which included 112 projections of future model forcings (temperature and precipitation) from different models and initial conditions. The “Delta” approach was used to map changes derived from the GCM outputs onto historical daily weather to develop projected weather forcings. Baseline conditions (historical weather) and projected weather were used to force the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model. Comparison of VIC outputs for these two cases gives changes in runoff that were mapped to historical natural flows through a second application of the Delta approach. The use of the Delta approach reduced model bias (from the GCMs and the VIC model) and allowed the work to be based on long-term historical records with which the project stakeholders are familiar and comfortable.

An innovative approach was used to combine change signals for future weather with variability informed by long term (1,200-year-long) records of flows reconstructed from tree rings. The current Phase II effort has updated the results of Phase I to include GCM outputs from 97 projections in the CMIP5 climate change projection archive (a total of 209 runs), and to develop a new and superior approach to developing a small set of planning scenarios. CRWAS Phase II outputs have been provided in a ⅛-degree grid and at the 10-digit Hydrologic Unit (USGS HU), so as to provide readily-accessible climate change data for localized watersheds.

State of Oklahoma Watershed and Water Permitting Management

Lynker developed and calibrated CRAM models for the Red, Verdigris, Muddy Boggy, Blue, and North Canadian River Basins from 2010 to 2015. Since then we have worked with OWRB and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) to update model operations to conform to USBR management of individual reservoirs within the basins. The modeling work for the river basins includes flow naturalization for the basin, simulation of pipeline transfers, reservoir operations, evaporative losses, and groundwater pumping. Lynker staff also worked on Oklahoma’s Comprehensive Water Plan, which provided a detailed analysis of water supply and demand throughout the state by watershed projected to 2060. Our work on the Comprehensive Plan included a climate change analysis, calculating adjustment factors for flow and consumptive irrigation requirement (or irrigation demand) for 2030 and 2060, which were then used to adjust natural flow and historical evaporation.

City of Boulder Water Supply and Climate Change Planning

Lynker staff have supported the City of Boulder’s water supply planning efforts since the 1990’s with the implementation of CRAM to model their raw water supply system. Since 2003, the City of Boulder has incorporated climate change assessment into its water supply planning model, most recently in a NOAA-sponsored study initiated in 2006 and completed in 2008. Lynker staff completed model runs with climate-adjusted model forcings (climate adjusted natural flow and irrigation demands) to analyze system performance under future hydrologic conditions. In 2016 Lynker extended the CRAM modeling period of record to 2016 to include the 2012 drought conditions and updated the climate change analysis to include the Colorado River Water Availability Study Phase II climate adjustments to hydrology for the Boulder Creek watershed.

City of Aurora Water Supply Planning

Lynker developed and assists in the maintenance of the Aurora, Colorado Raw Water Supply System Model which was built using the CRAM modeling framework hosted in Microsoft Excel. Staff at Lynker have been working with Aurora since 2003 on this model of their multi-basin water supply system. Ongoing tasks have included adding new CIP features, performing analysis of what-if scenarios and sizing of potential future facilities.

Lynker has added new reservoirs, treatment plants, and water-reuse/recovery facilities to the CRAM model, used for the recent Integrated Water Resources Master Plan created by Aurora Water. In addition, Lynker provides training and customization as requested for the modeling platform.

Idaho Ground Water Appropriators Conjunctive Use and Water Rights

Lynker, under contract with the Idaho Ground Water Appropriators, provides oversight of regional groundwater model development of the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer. In addition, Lynker provides litigation support through technical memos and expert reports of groundwater modeling of aquifer management and mitigation plans, consumptive use analysis, analysis of historical water use data, and other water rights applications.

Boulder Creek and South Platte River Conjunctive Use and Water Rights

Under a retainer with the City of Boulder, Lynker provides expert water rights focused on assessing the quantity and timing of depletions to Boulder Creek and the South Platte River flows.

In support of the City, Lynker provides review and independent analysis for numerical modeling of conjunctive use and consumptive use analysis for technical memos and expert reports as litigation support. Work includes analysis of certain water court cases and State Engineer proceedings to which the City of Boulder is a party.

Jamestown and James Creek Master Plan

The Town of Jamestown Colorado was hit hard by a devastating mix of slope failures, debris flows, and flooding during September 2013, resulting in a fatality and damage to 20 percent of the town’s building stock, its roads, bridges and potable water system.

As a part of the recovery effort, Lynker developed a stream corridor master plan for the Town that serves as a road map for rebuilding the town, restoring the stream, and protecting against future events. The Lynker team conducted the science and engineering components of the project, including hydrologic and hydraulic modeling and development of a new (post-flood) Base Flood Elevation map for the town. They also performed public outreach to the residents, presenting technical and other information at public meetings and leading one-on-one meetings with the community aimed at understanding their needs and desires with regards to stream restoration and hazard mitigation, and explaining design concepts and alternatives. Lynker is currently leading the Natural Resources Conservation Service-funded Emergency Watershed Protection work in Jamestown aimed at protecting the town from further damage during spring-runoff.