Brown, Megan R.
M.S. (Master of Science)
Department of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment
The Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) is a significant water resource in the southwestern United States, providing water to Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. (Reclamation, 2012). Communities and industries within these states are dependent on the Colorado River’s water availability and accessibility. Growing population and development demands, in conjunction with climate change, can have drastic consequences for the ecosystems and municipalities dependent on these reservoirs. It is critical that as watersheds within this region are strained under increased demands and decreased inputs, water use practices use informed decision-making to manage the budget and quality of its water resources.
I present an assessment of the impacts of climate change on groundwater resources within the UCRB using a semi-arid, snowmelt-dominated subbasin as a case study for this investigation. Ashley-Brush Basin served as the study area due to its potential vulnerability to climate-induced changes. Groundwater flow in the Basin was modeled using MODFLOW-2005 to assess the changes in baseflow, which serves as a proxy for groundwater, to Ashley Creek, the primary water resource within the study area. My findings indicate that baseflow contributions to the Creek decrease over time. Future investigations could further incorporate more complex subsurface and hydrogeological dynamics to create a more comprehensive groundwater model of this region.
Quinlan, Kaelyn, "Climate Change Impacts on Baseflow Contributions in a Semi-Arid, Snowmelt-Dominated Basin within the Upper Colorado River Basin" (2022). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 7574.
Northern Illinois University
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