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Eastern Truckee Meadows Groundwater Interactions with the Truckee River
AuthorFarnsworth, Harmony Ann
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Understanding hydrogeology within the Truckee Meadows is important because its aquifers and the Truckee River supply water to the communities of Reno and Sparks in Washoe County, Nevada. Residents of this area rely solely on these aquifers when surface water from the Truckee River is unavailable for municipal use. Researching the complex groundwater interactions with the Truckee River will help water managers understand how increased pumping might reduce groundwater seepage to the river, while determining how recharge from injection wells may return flow to the river. The objective of this research is to compare the results of several different methods assessing groundwater-surface water interactions with previous studies along the Truckee River in the eastern Truckee Meadows. Several techniques were used; including analyzing temperature changes along the streambed to simulated groundwater flux from a mixing model, applying a stream discharge differencing method to compute a surface water balance and calculate groundwater accretion, comparing river stage with groundwater elevation to identify gradients, creating potentiometric maps to help visualize regional groundwater flow, along with studying groundwater fluctuations and hydrographs to interpret groundwater trends. According to thermal analysis results, the most influential parameters for simulating downstream temperature were upstream temperature and groundwater temperature.