Solutions for Progress 

Garden Bar Reservoir Development Project

Garden Bar

As part of a consulting team for a consortium of water agencies, RBI developed the protocols and basis for project participants to assess the value of alternative operational modes that would result in a range of water supply yield-types for a proposed reservoir on the Bear River in California. The analyses ranged from a purely intermittent supply (filling and emptying every year which produced the highest average annual supply) to mostly dry-period firm/safe yield (lowest annual average). RBI developed the runoff/inflow hydrology, downstream regulatory requirements, and simulations to test the alternatives.

Simulations employed the USCE Hydrologic Engineering Center’s ResSim general purpose model which is a monthly time-step over the 85-year period-of-record. The reservoir elements focused on the tandem operation at the Proposed Garden Bar site and the existing downstream Camp Far West reservoir. RBI summarized the data and resulting yields from alternative modes of operation and three alternative reservoir sizes. RBI determined the optimum sizing to produce the lowest cost water considering reservoir construction costs, water produced and resulting power values.