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RI WRB Research and Data

Research & Data

Hydraulic Models

The Board is conducting specialized modeling activities in the Usquepaug-Queen sub-basin of the Wood Pawcatuck watershed (published December, 2004), the Big River Management Area and the Blackstone River basin. A future study is planned for the Chipuxet sub-basin. The Board is in the final year of a contract with the USGS and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to create an optimization model in the Wood-Pawcatuck. These models evaluate the effect of present and future water withdrawals by public suppliers, industry, agriculture, and other water users on stream flow and water supply. Various rates of population growth, pumping, and stream flow can be plugged into the model to evaluate alternatives for future water use. The optimization model study for the Hunt River aquifer was completed and published. The model illustrates various scenarios by which groundwater withdrawals [pumping] can be managed to minimize stream flow depletion and maximize supply.