KWRRI Research Reports


Selection among alternative flood control measures would be better informed if better information could be obtained on the marginal change in flood hazard associated with land use and other changes in the tributary watershed. Hydrologic modeling is the most promising approach to answering this question; however, the use of existing models is hampered by the absence of information correlating model parameters with physical characteristics of the watershed.

To deal with this situation, a method was developed for estimating the parameter values for the Stanford Watershed Model which best match recorded with simulated streamflows. Physical characteristics were measured for 17 rural watersheds. Correlations between the characteristics and the parameters were examined. Changes in parameter values with urbanization were also examined. The results were used to study variations in downstream flood peaks and in average annual flood damages associated with various tributary watershed characteristics. The end product is better information on the kinds of areas where urban development is least likely to experience large flood damage and drainage costs.

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Part 3 of a completion report describing work supported in part by the Office of Water Resources Research, Department of the Interior, under provisions of Public Law 88-379, as Project Number C-1282 under Title II Research Grant No. 14-01-0001-1964.