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An

integrated modeling system for the


Pawtuxet River and Watershed flood
management

M Reza Hashemi, Department of Ocean Engineering; Graduate School of Oceanography, URI


reza_hashemi@uri.edu

Project Team Stakeholder meeting members:


Jessica Stimson, RI Emergency Management Agency
CRMC project manager, James Boyd
David Vallee, NOAA NWS, Northeast River Forecasting Center
URI, Reza Hashemi, PI
Alisa Richardson, Principal Engineer, RI DEM
SEA, Malcolm Spaulding, Senior advisor Caitlin Greeley, Department of Administration, Statewide Planning Program
EDC, Chris Damon, GIS mapping Gardner Bent, USGS Water Resources
URI, Post-doc Rozita Kian, Stephanie Steele Tom Boving, Professor, URI Civil/Environmental Engineering and Geosciences
URI graduate students, Soroush Kouhi, Chris Small Carrisa Richard, Providence Water Supply Board (PWSB)
Soni Pradhanang, Assistant Professor URI Geosciences

Hashemi et al (URI); 2017 RIFMA Conference


Thanks to: David Vallee (NWS), Steve Soito (Providence Water Supply),
Gardner Bent (USGS), John Fonseca (Flat river reservoir), Alisa Richardson (DEM), Soni
Pradhanang (URI), Art Gold (URI).
Content
Introduction/motivation
Objectives, tasks, and progress
Project data
Results and discussion
Watershed and river models
STORMTOOLS with inland flooding
Effect of watershed/river structures on flooding
Dam removals, effect of debris
Wastewater treatment facility (Warwick) levees
Effect of Scituate Reservoir on flooding; flat River Reservoir
Ensemble flood forecasting/ analysis of uncertainty
Summary and recommendations
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Why integrated watershed/river modeling in this area?
q March 2010 flood, the worst flooding in centuries (500-yr)
q Climate change impacts on precipitation
q Integrated web-based flooding maps for inland & coastal flooding

(www.beachsamp.org/stormtools/)

q Accurate flood forecasting tools in the state


q National Weather Service forecast at Cranston -> Forecast at a Point
Flood history at the USGS gage location in
q Watershed modeling in the state, pilot project Cranston, RI on the Pawtuxet River; source:
Hashemi et al (URI); 2017 RIFMA Conference David Vallee, NOAA NWS.
VISION: A Cloud to Coast modeling approach
for integrated inland and coastal flooding

Meteorologists Hydrologists River or civil engineers

River, street
Precipitation Watershed
flooding

Oceanographers Oceanographers, Coastal and civil Engineers

Nearshore & Coastal


Sea/Ocean Coastal flooding
Waters

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Objectives
Developing a validated web/GIS-Based watershed/river model for the
Pawtuxet watershed, flood prediction along the river flood plains

Assessment of the watershed issues using the developed model


Impact of the Scituate Reservoir on flooding
Effect of dams on flooding, dam removals, debris,
Levee heights, ..

Paving the way for a real-time forecasting system for this river, and
other rivers in RI.

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Timeline/Tasks Completed
In progress

2015 2016 2017


Tasks Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May
Collection of the watershed and
river data

Development of the
hydrological model

Modeling Scituate and Flat River


reservoirs

Development of the river model

Assessing the effects of


dams/structures on flooding

Assessing effects of reservoirs


on flooding

Writing the report, presentation

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Area Total Upstream Cranston Downstream Cranston Gauge
mi2 229.2 201.0 28.2

Discharge Ratio (Q branch /Q Cranston)


16000
14000 0.60
South North Main
12000
Discharge (CFS)

10000 0.40

Ratio
8000
6000 0.20 North Branh
4000 South Branch
2000 0.00
0 -100 100 300 500
10 50 100 500 Return Period (year)
Return Period (year)

Area Total Upstream Scituate Reservoir Upstream Flat river reservoir Downstream of Reservoirs
mi2 229.2 90.8 62.6 75.8
Ratio
45% 32% Hashemi et al (URI); 2017 RIFMA Con
Data sources
q Meteorological
NOAA (met stations), NCEP (Reanalysis)
NWS
ECMWF -up to 1/8 degree resolution, 3 hours
Precipitation, snow, wind, ..;

q Watershed data
DEM (1m 2011 Statewide LiDAR; Land Use:
RIGIS: (http://rigis.org/data/topo)
Soil Type: USDA Spatial Version 8 released Dec. 18, 2013
Reservoir data (Providence Water Supply, David Vallee,..)
Levees data (Wastewater treatment facility; PARE corporation)

q River data
q USGS: Stream gauge data
q USGS : River geometry and data for river structures

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34 stream gauges in
Rhode Island
13 stream gauges inside
Pawtuxet Watershed

Hourly Data Station (NOAA)

Daily Data Station (NCEP)


Stream Flow Gauges (USGS)
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LCLU Description
111 High Density Residential (<1/8 acre lots) Land Use 2011
112 Medium High Density Residential (1/4 to 1/8 acre lots)
113 Medium Density Residential (1 to 1/4 acre lots)
114 Medium Low Density Residential (1 to 2 acre lots)
115 Low Density Residential (>2 acre lots)
120 Commercial (sale of products and services)
130 Industrial (manufacturing, design, assembly, etc.)
141 Roads (divided highways >200' plus related facilities)
143 Railroads (and associated facilities)
144 Water and Sewage Treatment
144 Water and Sewage Treatment
145 Waste Disposal (landfills, junkyards, etc.)
146 Power Lines (100' or more width)
147 Other Transportation (terminals, docks, etc.)
151 Commercial/Residential Mixed
152 Commercial/Industrial Mixed
161 Developed Recreation (all recreation)
162 Vacant Land
163 Cemeteries
170 Institutional (schools, hospitals, churches, etc.)
210 Pasture (agricultural not suitable for tillage)
220 Cropland (tillable)
230 Orchards, Groves, Nurseries
250 Idle Agriculture (abandoned fields and orchards)
300 Brushland (shrub and brush areas, reforestation)
410 Deciduous Forest (>80% hardwood)
420 Softwood Forest (>80% softwood)
430 Mixed Forest
500 Water
600 Wetland
710 Beaches
720 Sandy Areas (not beaches)
740 Mines, Quarries and Gravel Pits
750 Transitional Areas (urban open)
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760 Mixed Barren Areas
HSG Group A (low runoff potential): Soils with high infiltration rates
even when thoroughly wetted. These consist chiefly of deep, well-
drained sands and gravels. These soils have a high rate of water
transmission (final infiltration rate greater than 0.3 in./h).
HSG Group B Soils with moderate infiltration rates when thoroughly
wetted. These consist chiefly of soils that are moderately deep to
deep, moderately well drained to well drained with moderately fine to
moderately coarse textures. These soils have a moderate rate of water
transmission (final infiltration rate of 0.15 to 0.30 in./h).
HSG Group C: Soils with slow infiltration rates when thoroughly
wetted. These consist chiefly of soils with a layer that impedes
downward movement of water or soils with moderately fine to fine
textures. These soils have a slow rate of water transmission (final
infiltration rate 0.05 to 0.15 in./h).
HSG Group D (high runoff potential): Soils with very slow infiltration
rates when thoroughly wetted. These consist chiefly of clay soils with a
high swelling potential, soils with a permanent high water table, soils
with a claypan or clay layer at or near the surface, and shallow soils
over nearly impervious materials. These soils have a very slow rate of
Hashemi et al (URI); 2017 RIFMA Conference
water transmission (final infiltration rate less than 0.05 in./h).
Land Use Soil Group
No. A B C D
1 Water 100 100 100 100
2 Highly Developed 77 85 90 92
3 Medium high Developed 61 75 83 87
4 Medium Developed 57 72 81 86
5 Medium low Developed 51 68 79 84
6 Low Developed 46 65 77 82
7 Industrial 81 88 91 93
8 Road 98 98 98 98
9 Barren 63 77 85 88
10 Agricultural 30 58 71 78
11 Herbaceous 68 79 86 89
12 Forest 30 55 70 77
13 Wetland 48 67 77 83

Source: USDA Hashemi et al (URI); 2017 RIFMA Conference


Observations for Cranston South Branch North Branch
March 28th event (estimated)
Peak flow (cfs) 14,900 5,490 6,450
Ratio (flow) 1.00 0.37 0.43
Basin area (mile2) 201.0 62.6 90.8
Ration (basin) 1.00 0.32 0.45
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Runoff = 59.8 MCM
= 15,800 M Gallons

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STORMTOOLS
Pawtuxet River STORMTOOLS Website

Arkwright Area
Warwick Water
Treatment Facility

Washington Area

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FEMA FLOOD MAP

Arkwright Area
Warwick Water
Treatment Facility

Washington Area

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Effect of Removing Dams on Water Elevation and Flooding Extent
Main Branch dams
1. Natick Pond Dam
2. Pontiac Dam
3. Downstream Dam Pontiac
4. Pawtuxet Dam

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North Branch dams: 4. Arkwright Dam
1. Scituate Reservoir Dam 5. Harris Pond Dam
2. Hope Dam 6. Phoenix Dam
3. Low Head Weir 7. Breached Dam

North Branch dams Hashemi et al (URI); 2017 RIFMA Conference


South Branch dams: 4. Clarient Dam
1. Flat Reservoir Dam 5. Sheltra Ave Dam
2. Washington Pond Upper Dam 6. New Dam
3. Mill Pond Dam

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South Branch dams(Continued) 10. Royal Mills Dam
7. Crompton Lower Dam 11. Riverpoint Lower Pond Dam
8. Centreville Dam
9. Artic Mills Dam

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Example: Effect of Removing Pontiac Dam
(Main branch)
Location: Warwick, Down Stream of Greenwich
Ave. Bridge, Commercial & Residential
Width: 80 Ft.
Max Height: 8 Ft.
Importance: Impact on the Warwick Mall

Source: Alisa Richardson RI DEM


Hashemi et al (URI); 2017 RIFMA Conference
Effect of Removing Pontiac Dam in a 50 Year 100 Year Event
Event

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Effect of Removing Pontiac Dam in a 500 Year Event

Return Period 50-Y 100-Y 500-Y


Flooded Area Before Removing the Dam (Square Ft.) 3862003 4857873 7300696
Flooded Area After Removing the Dam (Square Ft.) 2632668 3590463 6903160
Flood Extent Reduction 31.8% 26.1% 5.4%
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Effects of Adding Debris on Water Elevation and Flooding area in Pawtuxet River

Source Pawtuxet river authority


A broken tree (debris) in North Branch of Pawtuxet
River

Recommended Debris Dimensions:


Ref: NCHRP Report 653 National Cooperative
Highway Research Program
W:Average width of the debris is 15 times a pier
width (a)
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H:height of the debris is 0.33 to 0.5 water depth(y)
Bridges in Pawtuxet River main branch
Symb Bridg
Distance from Piers Debris Debris
ol in e No of
NO. Narragansett Location Width Width Height
map Width Piers
Bay (ft) (ft) (ft)
(ft)
1 M2 51189.89 East Ave 25 1 5 60 9
2 M3 49524.45 Old Rail Road 11 2 6 70 10
3 M4 48136.76 Route 2 Ramp 57 2 4.5 50 10
4 M6 47360.42 Rt 2 South Ramp 47 4 1.5 20 10
5 M7 45806.5 I-295 West 44 2 1.5 20 10
6 M8 45652.12 I-295 East 48 2 1.5 20 10
M9 Rt. 5
60 1 2.5
7 40645.33 (Greenwich) 35 10
8 M10 25987.96 Rt 37 South 42 2 4 60 7
9 M11 25701.04 Rt 37 North 40 2 4 60 8
10 M14 14405.42 Elmwood Ave 39 2 4 60 7
11 M15 7645.324 Conrail 28 2 2.5 35 7
12 M16 6063.794 Warwick Ave 49 2 4 60 6
13 M17 328.3247 Broad St 62 1 7.3 80 6

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Example: Pawtuxet Bridge Debris Analysis

No of Piers: 1
Pier Width: 7.3 ft
Debris dimensions: 70 Ft. Width and 6 Ft. Height

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Warwick Water treatment Facility

During 2010 Flood


Source: Warwick Sewer Authority Website

After improving the levees


Analysis in HEC-RAS

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Source: Alisa Richardson
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Scituate Reservoir
Area: 5.3 # [13.7 # ]
Crest Length: 440 ft [134 m]
Capacity: 39 Billion US gallons
[148MCM]
Spillway: Ogee
Crest Elev. : 286.12 ft, NAVD88
http://www.rigis.org/data/lakes_IWQMA

Scituate Reservoir

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Scituate Reservoir and Spillway

45000
40000 8000
7000 No flashboard-Formula No flashboard-HMS
35000
6000 No flashboard-Data
30000
Storage (MG)

Flow (cfs)
5000
25000
4000
20000 3000
15000 2000
Crest Elev=284 ft
10000 Volume=37, 000 M Gallons 1000
5000 0
0 286 286.5 287 287.5 288 288.5 289
260 265 270 275 280 285 Elevation (ft), (vertical datum is NAVD88)
Elevation (ft), Datum is MHW
)
Q= , C=3.35 -/# [1.85 -/# ],
*

Crest Length: 440 ft [134 m] L=416 ft [126.8 m]


Crest Elev. : 286.12 ft [87.2 m]
Number of Bays: 44
Bay Length: 9.95 ft [3 m] Ogee Spillway
Thickness of Piers: 7.5 in
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Effect of the Scituate Reservoir on
Flooding; March 2010 Event

Runoff=25 MCM
=6,600 M Gallons
=6 feet x 5.3 mile2

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Flood control by gated spillways
No reduction in the reservoir capacity

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Precipitation Data During March 2010
Observed Data:

1. TF Green Airport rainfall gauge


Data Source:
NOAA website
Type of data: Daily and Hourly

Modeled Data:
2. CFSR(CLIMATE FORECAST SYSTEM REANALYSIS )
Data Source:
NOAA NCEI (National Centers for
Environnemental Information)
Type of data: Daily since 1979

3. ECMWF(European Centre for Medium-Range


Weather Forecasts)
Data Source:
ECMWF website
Type of data: each 3 hours since 1979

4. NWS Precipitation(National Weather Service)


Data Source:
David Valley, National weather Service
NOAA
Type of data: each 6 hours since 1961
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Summary

I. Web-based river/watershed model of Pawtuxet river (Can now be


integrated to STORMTOOLS)

II. Scituate reservoir always reduces the flood impact.

III. Scituate reservoir dam can be managed/modified to control flooding


(considering water supply).

IV. Some (not all) of the diversion dams in the Pawtuxet river increase the
flooding extent.

V. Debris can significantly increase the flooding risk in this area.


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Recommendations
I. Operational flood forecasting model for the Pawtuxet watershed/river
II. Consequence of possible catastrophic dam failure during major floods
(water quality, flooding,..)
III. Simulating the impacts of climate change on the watershed-river
flooding risk
IV. Installing a river gauge downstream of the Scituate reservoir
V. Effective management of the Scituate reservoir for flood control

Hashemi et al (URI); 2017 RIFMA Conference