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State Water Project Coastal Branch Capacity Assessment

Central Coast Water Authority/ County of San Luis Obispo

WSC was hired by the County of San Luis Obispo and Central Coast Water Authority to perform a capacity assessment of the Coastal Branch of the State Water Project (SWP).  WSC developed a GIS based hydraulic model and performed a capacity assessment on the Coastal Branch pipeline.  This one hundred mile long pipeline is a critical regional conveyance facility for the Central Coast. WSC created a WaterGEMS® hydraulic model of the pipeline using GIS shapefiles and as-built construction drawings. WSC led the calibration of the pipeline hydraulic model using historical SCADA pressure and flow data for the pipeline. During the model development, WSC coordinated a workshop with the County of San Luis Obispo and the Central Coast Water Authority to review the accuracy of the model and clarify data anomalies.  WSC also developed flow test procedures to field test the modeled capacity of the pipeline. Using numerous demand/delivery scenarios, WSC identified surplus capacity within the Coastal Branch pipeline to deliver additional SWP water to the Central Coast.  During the project, WSC identified sites suitable for in-conduit hydropower and estimated annual electricity generation.

As an extension to the project, WSC performed a pressure class evaluation to determine the potential to further increase delivery capacity based on the maximum operating hydraulic grade line (HGL) of the pipeline. WSC developed the maximum operating HGL for Reaches 5A2, 5B and 6 of the Coastal Branch pipeline by incorporating GIS shapefiles with pipeline elevation data from record drawings and pressure class information obtained from a detailed structural evaluation of the pipeline.  WSC compared pipeline HGL, under various scenarios, against the maximum operating HGL to determine maximum capacity of the pipeline to deliver State Water Project Water to the Central Coast. WSC developed pipeline reinforcement recommendations for increasing the capacity of the pipeline.

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