Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor 1

David W. Watkins, Jr.

Committee Member 1

Alex S. Mayer

Committee Member 2

Joseph W. Wagenbrenner


The Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) land surface hydrology model was calibrated and verified for prediction of naturalized flows into the Highland Lakes system in central Texas. Using seasonal climate forecasts downscaled to daily precipitation, maximum and minimum temperatures, and wind speeds, the VIC model was run to generate ensemble inflow hindcasts for two seasons – March through June and July through October – corresponding to the period of 1960 through 2010. A diagnosis of the seasonal hindcast results determined that inflows are not as heavily influenced by the physical soil moisture state as expected, and that variability in statistical precipitation downscaling can combine with hydrologic model errors to degrade the skill in streamflow forecasts. Recommendations are made for future work to improve forecast skill.