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|Created:||Jun 27, 2018 at 3:14 p.m.|
|Last updated:|| Jun 27, 2018 at 4:08 p.m.
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The Corps Water Management System (CWMS) includes four interrelated models to assist with water management for the basin:
- GeoHMS (Geospatial Hydrologic Modeling Extension)
- ResSIM (Reservoir System Simulation)
- RAS (River Analysis System)
- FIA (Flood Impact Analysis)
The Blackstone River Basin is located within the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Of the 547 square miles that make up the basin, 147 square miles, or 27% of the basin, is in Rhode Island. About 400 square miles or 73% of the basin is located in Massachusetts. The basin is heavily urbanized characterized by a hilly terrain comprised of lakes and ponds. Elevations within the Blackstone River Basin range from 1200 feet in the northwest to about 3 feet above mean sea level at the mouth of the Seekonk River.
The coastal location of the Blackstone River basin exposes it to the effects of cyclonic disturbances and coastal storms in the region, resulting in periods of heavy precipitation. On an average, this basin receives approximately 48 inches of rainfall annually. The average annual snowfall in Worcester, MA is about 64 inches, which is representative of the headwaters of the Blackstone River Basin.The average annual snowfall in Providence, RI near the mouth of the Seekonk River is 346 inches.
Blackstone River extends from its headwaters in Worcester MA to its confluence with Abbott Run in Central Falls RI creating the Seekonk River. The Seekonk River discharges into the Providence River eventually draining into the Narragansett Bay. Some of the major tributaries to the Blackstone River include Quinsigamond River, Mumford River, West River, Branch River, Mill River and Peters River
The key inflow gages in the Blackstone River basin include Kettle Brook at Rockland Street near Auburn MA, Quinsigamond River at North Grafton MA, Mumford River at Uxbridge MA, West River below West Hill Dam near Uxbridge MA, Branch River at Forestdale RI, Mill River at Harris PD Outlet at Woonsocket RI, Peters River RT 114 Bridge at Woonsocket RI and Abbott Run at Valley Falls RI.
There are two USACE dams located within the Blackstone River Basin. They include the West Hill Dam on the West River and Woonsocket Falls on the Blackstone River. West Hill Dam is a dry reservoir that is typically run of river. Channel capacity of Mill Creek in this area is 425 cfs. Woonsocket Falls Dam was modified with tainter gates to control reservoir stages. A hydropower facility pulls water from the reservoir and discharges the same flow back into the Blackstone River channel downstream of the Woonsocket Falls gates.
The Blackstone River basin land use is largerly characterized by forest land (52% of the basin area) and residential development (22% of the basin area) with significant industrial development along the Blackstone River in Worcester MA, Woonsocket RI, Pawtucket RI and Central Falls RI. Much of the water-powered industrial development along the rivers in the Blackstone River basin stemmed from the first successful textile mill in America, the Slater Mill in Pawtucket RI constructed in 1793.Less than 2% of the basin’s land use is considered cropland or agricultural.
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