Featured Projects — Modeling Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP)

We have worked with the BDCP consultant team since 2007, providing modeling services to evaluate proposed large-scale tidal marsh restoration and BDCP operations alternatives. Modeling included hydrodynamics, water quality, and particle tracking. Proposed scenarios considered up to 65,000 acres of tidal marsh restoration.

Aerial shot of Lower Yolo bypass waterway and flooding.

Lower Yolo Bypass

The CH2M Hill team used results from representative two-year simulations of the multidimensional (1D and 2D) RMA model to calibrate the 1D Delta Simulation Model (DSM2) tidal flows in the restoration areas. Output from the RMA model used in BDCP analyses included residence times, source-water fingerprinting, tidal stage analysis, and particle fate. Further analyses included assessing impacts of sea level rise and seismically induced multiple-levee failure scenarios. We also investigated the physical influences of BDCP restoration scenarios, sea level rise, and climate change on water clarity. In addition to the RMA model simulations, we applied the DSM2 nutrient and temperature model (QUAL) to assess the changes to water temperature and nutrient dynamics for the proposed scenarios.

Results and benefits

The RMA modeling provided important input to the DSM2 model, and benefits the BDCP consultant team biologists and planners with detailed information on potential impacts of restoration areas on habitat and water quality.