RIOS ''Beneficiaries'' raster when beneficiaries all external to watershed boundary?

For the RIOS model required ‘’Beneficiaries’’ raster input file, in the watershed concerned here all (95% ?) of the ‘’beneficiaries’’ receiving the watershed’s potable water are really external outside of the geographic boundaries of the local watershed. What should or could I use as a ‘’beneficiaries’’ raster file in RIOS in this case? I have considered using:

  1. A 1 to 0 ‘’Beneficiaries’’ index raster file simply indexing relative elevation either upstream or downstream or both in the watershed;

  2. A constant value = 1 ‘’Beneficiaries’’ raster for the whole watershed (ie: no accounting for beneficiaries);

  3. A 1 to 0 ‘’Beneficiaries’’ index raster file indexing (weighting, degrading influence/benefit) of the actual total beneficiary population outside the watershed by distance away upstream from the watershed potable water source pumping point in the watershed

  4. Other suggestions?


Gordon (user: BVIB)

This is a great question. Let me try to link you with someone who is familiar with the RIOS model and development.

Hi Gordon -

In a case like this where the beneficiaries are all external, it’s fine to use a constant value of 1 across the whole watershed. There’s no need to make up a weighting, unless you have a reason to think that it adds useful differentiation for your decision-making. For example, if you are considering sediment, local farmers might benefit from soil retention, as well as the external users receiving the water downstream. If something like this is not the case in your watershed, option 2 works.

~ Stacie

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Thanks Stacie. Perfect. I will use a constant value of 1 raster for now for the whole watershed. A good first start. Appreciated.

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