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Coupled SWAT-MODFLOW model for large-scale mixed agro-urban river basins

Aliyari, Fatemeh, Bailey, Ryan T., Tasdighi, Ali, Dozier, André, Arabi, Mazdak, Zeiler, Kurt
Environmental modelling & software 2019 v.115 pp. 200-210
basins, food production, groundwater, hydrologic models, irrigation, model validation, semiarid zones, surface water, urban areas, water management, water resources, watersheds, Colorado
Within river basins, water resources competition often exists between agricultural, municipal and industrial sectors, particularly in semi-arid regions where surface water and groundwater are managed conjunctively to sustain urban areas and food production. There is a need for physically-based modeling tools to assist with identifying successful water management strategies in these basins. This paper presents an updated version of SWAT-MODFLOW that allows application to large agro-urban river basins in semi-arid regions. Code changes include linkage between MODFLOW pumping cells and SWAT HRUs for groundwater irrigation, joint groundwater and surface water irrigation routines, and the use of MODFLOW-PSB to handle the large array of groundwater sources/sinks that exist in a highly managed river basin. Model performance is demonstrated for the 72,000 km2 South Platte River Basin, Colorado, USA. The model can be used in agro-urban river basins worldwide to assess water resources supply under a variety of scenarios.