- Watershed Assessments
- GIS-based Decision Support Systems
- Water Quality Management Databases
- Channel Migration Zone Mapping
- Inundation Modeling
Unique Approaches to River and Watershed Management
DTM provides a diverse set of services targeted at managing and analyzing water resources. Our vast archive of digital GIS data and our ability to compile external data sources allow us to rapidly assess the characteristics of a watershed. These characteristics include: land ownership, soils, geology, water rights, known pollutant point sources, land use, slope, vegetation, stream geomorphology, population density, well locations, and road density. From this we can model a number of variables, including potential sediment, nutrient, and other non-point pollution sources.
These GIS-based assessments can serve as a screening tool to identify areas with acute problems where more field work is warranted, or they can be integrated into a decision support system for actively managing water resources.
- Lower Yellowstone River Geomorphic Assessment, Montana. Custer Counter Conservation District/Bureau of Reclamation. DTM teamed with Applied Geomorphology, Inc. (AGI) to conduct a geomorphic assessment of 470 miles of the Lower Yellowstone River from Springdale to the confluence with the Missouri River. The project characterized existing channel form, and identified representative reaches for detailed investigations in succeeding phases of the Yellowstone River cumulative effects project. This work forms the basis for assessing the geomorphic evolution of the river and determines how channel behavior is related to both natural processes and human impacts. It also provides the framework for planned studies of river hydrology and hydraulics, riparian vegetation, fish habitat, and socioeconomic considerations. The project required the development of an innovative GIS-based inundation model to accurately delineate the functioning river corridor and to identify areas isolated by transportation infrastructure.
- Silver Bow Creek Watershed Restoration Plan, Montana. Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP). DTM teamed with Confluence Consulting, Inc. to develop a Restoration Plan for the Silver Bow Creek Watershed between Butte and Warm Springs Montana. This watershed was heavily impacted by discharges of waste material from mining and smelting operations in Butte and Anaconda, Montana. DTM is developing a GIS-based Decision Support System that will be used to analyze current and potential conditions of fish, wildlife, vegetation, water quality, and associated recreational resources, weight the cumulative importance of potential restoration, and generate a map-based inventory of prioritized restoration opportunities. This tool will be used to guide allocation of a $120 million settlement reached between ARCO and the State of Montana for restoration of these lost resources. A large component of public input was conducted prior to model development to identify and prioritize restoration opportunities.
- Blackfoot River Water Quality and Habitat Restoration Plan, Montana. Blackfoot Challenge. DTM teamed with Confluence Consulting, Inc. to complete a comprehensive Water Quality and Habitat Restoration Plan and TMDL for the 500 square mile Upper Blackfoot River watershed in western Montana. Phase 1 of this project was completed in March 2002 and included a baseline inventory composed of a comprehensive GIS-based watershed characterization, development of a Decision Support Model to assess metals and sediment pollution sources, and an assessment of fisheries, vegetation, and land use for impacts from or to water quality impairments. Phase 2 of this project commenced in June 2002 and includes a historic aerial photo assessment, geomorphic and habitat inventory and assessments, and development of a draft TMDL and Water Quality restoration plan. Field observations from multiple interdisciplinary teams were recorded using GPS and photographic documentation and compiled in the project GIS. The resulting plan is a comprehensive watershed assessment, identification of sources and causes of water quality and habitat impairment, a prioritized list of restoration and land use modification recommendations, an implementation plan, and a future monitoring plan.
- Bitterroot River Stream Mitigation Study, Montana. Montana Department of Transportation. DTM was selected with Interfluve, Inc. by the Montana Department of Transportation (MDOT) to perform a stream mitigation study of the Bitterroot River from the confluence of the East and West forks to its confluence with the Clark Fork in Missoula. DTM was responsible for collection, management, and analysis of all field data collected using GPS, digital photography, and conventional field mapping techniques. The goal of the study was to identify current and potential future impacts to the Bitterroot River resulting from transportation infrastructure such as bridges, roadways, diversions, and railroads. DTM then assisted the project team in developing recommended mitigation measures for reducing the identified impacts.
- Shields River Watershed Assessment. Park County Conservation District, Montana. DTM collaborated with Interfluve, Inc. on a watershed-scale assessment of the Shields River in Park County, Montana. We developed a GIS database of geomorphic, biological, and sediment transport information to be used to identify and assess potential for restoration opportunities. Deliverables included an ArcView GIS database with customized tools for watershed analysis, and GIS training for Park County Conservation District personnel.
- Sediment Transport Analysis on the Menomonee River, Wisconsin. Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. DTM assisted with the development of a GIS-based software tool to help district managers plan for flood control, channel stabilization, and restoration activities. The project incorporates extensive knowledge of fluvial geomorphology, GIS data management, and programming. Deliverables include a customized GIS application based on off-the-shelf GIS software (ArcView), the database and report on CD-ROM, and GIS training for district personnel.
- Hydrological Assessment and Water Management Study for Coalbed Methane Operations in the LX Bar and Spotted Horse Creek Watersheds, Campbell and Sheridan Counties, Wyoming. This watershed-scale hydrological assessment and water management study was related to the discharge of coalbed methane (CBM) produced water in the LX Bar and Spotted Horse Creek drainages. DTM provided two major components: A baseline surface water quantity and fluvial geomorphologic assessment of the watersheds and spatial analysis and water balance modeling within a comprehensive GIS. Responsibilities included research and compilation of all surface and ground water, water rights data, estimation of flood frequencies based on regional regression equations, field determination of bankfull discharge, and comparison of anticipated CBM flows to natural runoff, integrating GIS technology and field data to identify stream segments most prone to destabilization upon flow augmentations, and to develop a resource management tool that could be applied to minimize geomorphic impacts of discharged water.