- Nitrogen Removal by Stormwater Management Structures: A Data Synthesis
- Authors: Benjamin J. Koch; Catherine M. Febria, Muriel Gevrey, Lisa A. Wainger, Margaret A. Palmer
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: A comprehensive synthesis of data from empirically based published studies and a widely used stormwater best management practice (BMP) database were used to assess the variability in nitrogen (N) removal performance of urban stormwater ponds, wetlands, and swales and to identify factors that may explain this variability. While the data suggest that BMPs were generally effective on average, removal efficiencies of ammonium (NH4), nitrate (NO3), and total nitrogen (TN) were highly variable ranging from negative (i.e., BMPs acting as sources of N) to 100%. For example, removal of NO3 varied from (median ±1 SD) −15 ± 49% for dry ponds, 32 ± 120% for wet ponds, 58 ± 210% for wetlands, and 37 ± 29% for swales. Across the same BMP types, TN removal was 27 ± 24%, 40 ± 31%, 61 ± 30%, and 50 ± 29%. NH4 removal was 9 ± 36%, 29 ± 72%, 31 ± 24%, and 45 ± 34%. BMP size, age, and location explained some of the variability. For example, small and shallow ponds and wetlands were more effective than larger, deeper ones in removing N. Despite well‐known intra‐annual variation in N fluxes, most measurements have been made over short time periods using concentrations, not flow‐weighted N fluxes. Urban N export is increasing in some areas as large storms become more frequent. Thus, accounting for the full range of BMP performance under such conditions is crucial. A select number of long‐term flux‐based BMP studies that rigorously measure rainfall, hydrology, and site conditions could improve BMP implementation.
- Sustainable Rainwater Catchment Systems for Micronesian Atoll Communities
- Authors: Corey D. Wallace; Ryan T. Bailey
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Atoll island communities rely on rainwater catchment systems (RWCS) as a primary method of storing freshwater. However, stored freshwater can be depleted during times of drought, requiring importation of water to sustain community living. To maintain adequate water supply under future climatic conditions, the functioning of RWCS for atoll communities must be analyzed and optimal designs must be adopted. In this study, a quantitative analysis of stored daily water volumes is provided for atoll islands within the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), with Nikahlap Island, Pakein Atoll, and a generic island in western FSM used as representative cases. Using a daily water balance model for the RWCS, baseline conditions are simulated for the 1997‐1999 time period, during which an intense El Niño‐induced drought occurred, and a sensitivity analysis is performed to quantify the influence of RWCS features on water system outputs, whereupon an optimal RWCS design using existing infrastructure is analyzed. Results indicate the strong influence of catchment area, system efficiency, and storage capacity on water volumes and the depletion of water during dry seasons and drought periods using current RWCS infrastructure. Adequate storage can be maintained during a major drought if unused RWCS features are employed and if minimal rationing is adopted. Study results provide water resource managers and government officials with valuable data for consideration in water security measures.
- Authors: David L. Rosgen
Pages: n/a - n/a
- Reply to Discussion
- Authors: Kristan Cockerill; William P. Anderson
Pages: n/a - n/a
- Pre‐Development Groundwater Conditions Surrounding Memphis,
Tennessee: Controversy and Unexpected Outcomes
- Authors: Brian Waldron; Daniel Larsen
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Reliance on groundwater resources by differing governing bodies can create transboundary disputes raising questions of ownership and apportionment as the resource becomes strained through overuse or threatened by contamination. Transboundary disputes exist at varying scales, from conflicts between countries to smaller disputes between intrastate jurisdictions. In 2005 within the United States, the State of Mississippi filed a lawsuit against its political neighbor and their utility, the City of Memphis and Memphis Light, Gas, and Water, for groundwater deemed owned by the State of Mississippi to be wrongfully diverted across the state line and into Tennessee by the defendants. The basis of the lawsuit was potentiometric maps of groundwater levels for the Memphis aquifer that showed under suggested pre‐development conditions no flow occurring across the Mississippi‐Tennessee state line, but subsequent historic potentiometric maps show a cone of depression under the City of Memphis with a clear northwesterly gradient from Mississippi into Tennessee. The suggested pre‐development conditions were derived from limited groundwater level observations between 41 and 74 years post‐development. A new pre‐development map is constructed using historic records that range 0‐17 years post‐development that shows the natural flow is northwesterly from Mississippi into Tennessee and transboundary groundwater quantities have actually decreased since pre‐development conditions.
- Development of the Spatial Rainfall Generator (SRGEN) for the Agricultural
Policy/Environmental Extender Model
- Authors: Jaehak Jeong; Jimmy R. Williams, Colleen G. Rossi, Robin A. Taylor, Xiuying Wang, William E. Fox
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Accurate spatial representation of climatic patterns is often a challenge in modeling biophysical processes at the watershed scale, especially where the representation of a spatial gradient in rainfall is not sufficiently captured by the number of weather stations. The spatial rainfall generator (SRGEN) is developed as an extension of the “weather generator” (WXGEN), a component of the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX) model. SRGEN generates spatially distributed daily rainfall using monthly weather statistics available at multiple locations in a watershed. The spatial rainfall generator as incorporated in APEX is tested on the Cowhouse watershed (1,178 km2) in central Texas. The watershed presented a significant spatial rainfall gradient of 2.9 mm/km in the lateral (north‐south) directions based on four rainfall gages. A comparative analysis between SRGEN and WXGEN indicates that SRGEN performs well (PBIAS = 2.40%). Good results were obtained from APEX for streamflow (NSE = 0.99, PBIAS = 8.34%) and NO3‐N and soluble P loads (PBIAS ≈ 6.00% for each, respectively). However, APEX underpredicted sediment yield and organic N and P loads (PBIAS: 24.75‐27.90%) with SRGEN, although its uncertainty in output was lower than WXGEN results (PBIAS: −13.02 to −46.13%). The overall improvement achieved in rainfall generation by SRGEN is demonstrated to be effective in the improving model performance on flow and water quality output.
- The Aging of America's Reservoirs: In‐Reservoir and Downstream
Physical Changes and Habitat Implications
- Authors: Kyle E. Juracek
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Reservoirs are important for various purposes including flood control, water supply, power generation, and recreation. The aging of America's reservoirs and progressive loss of water storage capacity resulting from ongoing sedimentation, coupled with increasing societal needs, will cause the social, economic, environmental, and political importance of reservoirs to continually increase. The short‐ and medium‐term (50 years) environmental changes as reservoirs enter “old” age are less understood. Additional research is needed to help guide the future management of aging reservoir systems and support the difficult decisions that will have to be made. Important research directions include assessment of climate change effects on aging and determination of ecosystem response to ongoing aging and various management actions that may be taken with the intent of minimizing or reversing the physical effects of aging.
- Authors: Hilda Kwan; Sherman Swanson
Pages: n/a - n/a
- Trophic State in Voyageurs National Park Lakes before and after
Implementation of a Revised Water‐Level Management Plan
- Authors: Victoria G. Christensen; Ryan P. Maki
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: We compiled Secchi depth, total phosphorus, and chlorophyll a (Chla) data from Voyageurs National Park lakes and compared datasets before and after a new water‐level management plan was implemented in January 2000. Average Secchi depth transparency improved (from 1.9 to 2.1 m, p = 0.020) between 1977‐1999 and 2000‐2011 in Kabetogama Lake for August samples only and remained unchanged in Rainy, Namakan, and Sand Point Lakes, and Black Bay in Rainy Lake. Average open‐water season Chla concentration decreased in Black Bay (from an average of 13 to 6.0 μg/l, p = 0.001) and Kabetogama Lake (from 9.9 to 6.2 μg/l, p = 0.006) between 1977‐1999 and 2000‐2011. Trophic state index decreased significantly in Black Bay from 59 to 51 (p = 0.006) and in Kabetogama Lake from 57 to 50 (p = 0.006) between 1977‐1999 and 2000‐2011. Trophic state indices based on Chla indicated that after 2000, Sand Point, Namakan, and Rainy Lakes remained oligotrophic, whereas eutrophication has decreased in Kabetogama Lake and Black Bay. Although nutrient inputs from inflows and internal sources are still sufficient to produce annual cyanobacterial blooms and may inhibit designated water uses, trophic state has decreased for Kabetogama Lake and Black Bay and there has been no decline in lake ecosystem health since the implementation of the revised water‐level management plan.
- Modeling Long‐Term Trends of Chlorinated Ethene Contamination at a
Public Supply Well
- Authors: Francis H. Chapelle; Leon J. Kauffman, Mark A. Widdowson
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: A mass‐balance solute‐transport modeling approach was used to investigate the effects of dense nonaqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) volume, composition, and generation of daughter products on simulated and measured long‐term trends of chlorinated ethene (CE) concentrations at a public supply well. The model was built by telescoping a calibrated regional three‐dimensional MODFLOW model to the capture zone of a public supply well that has a history of CE contamination. The local model was then used to simulate the interactions between naturally occurring organic carbon that acts as an electron donor, and dissolved oxygen (DO), CEs, ferric iron, and sulfate that act as electron acceptors using the Sequential Electron Acceptor Model in three dimensions (SEAM3D) code. The modeling results indicate that asymmetry between rapidly rising and more gradual falling concentration trends over time suggests a DNAPL rather than a dissolved source of CEs. Peak concentrations of CEs are proportional to the volume and composition of the DNAPL source. The persistence of contamination, which can vary from a few years to centuries, is proportional to DNAPL volume, but is unaffected by DNAPL composition. These results show that monitoring CE concentrations in raw water produced by impacted public supply wells over time can provide useful information concerning the nature of contaminant sources and the likely future persistence of contamination.
- Specific Yield Functions for Estimating Evapotranspiration from Diurnal
Surface Water Cycles
- Authors: A. Jason Hill; Brandon Durchholz
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: The White method has been routinely used to estimate evapotranspiration using diurnal variations in groundwater levels. Applications to surface water systems (e.g., wetlands) are less common. For applications to surface water systems, a stage‐dependent specific yield function must be defined. This is especially important for small wetlands formed in topographic depressions with bowl shaped bathymetries. Existing formulations of the specific yield function include weighting factors that impact the relative importance of the soil and open water specific yields on the composite value. Three formulations of the specific yield function from the literature were compared and found to produce varied results. Based on a comparison with empirical estimates of specific yield based on observed ratios of net precipitation to water level rise, one of the existing formulations is generalized and recommended for general use. The recommended function is dependent on wetland bathymetry, magnitude of the diurnal fluctuation, spatial extent of the equilibration area, and soil‐specific yield. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to examine the relative importance of these variables. The specific yield function is independent of wetland size and is strongly dependent on the basin profile coefficient (p), an indication of wetland shape. For most natural wetlands, bathymetry strongly influences specific yield.
- Estimating Current and Future Groundwater Resources of the Maldives
- Authors: Ryan T. Bailey; Abedalrazq Khalil, Vansa Chatikavanij
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: The water resources of the atolls of the Republic of Maldives are under continual threat from climatic and anthropogenic stresses, including land surface pollution, increasing population, drought, and sea‐level rise (SLR). These threats are particularly acute for groundwater resources due to the small land surface area and low elevation of each island. In this study, the groundwater resources, in terms of freshwater lens thickness, total volume of fresh groundwater, and safe yield are estimated for the 52 most populous islands of the Maldives for current conditions and for the year 2030, with the latter accounting for projected SLR and associated shoreline recession. An algebraic model, designed in previous studies to estimate the lens thickness of atoll islands, is expanded in this study to also estimate volume of groundwater. Results indicate that average current lens thickness, groundwater volume, and per capita safe yield are approximately 4.6 m, 1,300 million liters, and 300 l/day, and that these values will decrease by approximately 10, 11, and 34%, respectively, by the year 2030. Based on results, it is demonstrated that groundwater, in terms of quantity, is a viable source of water for the islands of the Maldives both now and in coming decades, particularly for islands with large surface area and low population. Study results can provide water resource managers and government officials with valuable data for consideration in water security measures.
- Controls on Temperature in Salmonid‐Bearing Headwater Streams in Two
Common Hydrogeologic Settings, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
- Authors: Michael K. Callahan; Mark C. Rains, Jason C. Bellino, Coowe M. Walker, Steven J. Baird, Dennis F. Whigham, Ryan S. King
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Headwater streams are the most numerous in terms of both number and length in the conterminous United States and play important roles as spawning and rearing grounds for numerous species of anadromous fish. Stream temperature is a controlling variable for many physical, chemical, and biological processes and plays a critical role in the overall health and integrity of a stream. We investigated the controls on stream temperature in salmon‐bearing headwater streams in two common hydrogeologic settings on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska: (1) drainage‐ways, which are low‐gradient streams that flow through broad valleys; and (2) discharge‐slopes, which are high gradient streams that flow through narrow valleys. We hypothesize local geomorphology strongly influences surface‐water and groundwater interactions, which control streamflow at the network scale and stream temperatures at the reach scale. The results of this study showed significant differences in stream temperatures between the two hydrogeologic settings. Observed stream temperatures were higher in drainage‐way sites than in discharge‐slope sites, and showed strong correlations as a continuous function with the calculated topographic metric flow‐weighted slope. Additionally, modeling results indicated the potential for groundwater discharge to moderate stream temperature is not equal between the two hydrogeologic settings, with groundwater having a greater moderating effect on stream temperature at the drainage‐way sites.
- Evaluating the Eco‐Geomorphological Condition of Restored Streams
Using Visual Assessment and Macroinvertebrate Metrics
- Authors: Barbara A. Doll; Gregory D. Jennings, Jean Spooner, David L. Penrose, Joseph L. Usset
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: The Stream Performance Assessment (SPA), a new rapid assessment method, was applied to 93 restored, 21 impaired, 29 reference, and 13 reference streams with some incision throughout North Carolina. Principal component analysis (PCA) indicated restored streams align more closely with reference streams rather than impaired streams. Further, PCA‐based factor analysis revealed restored streams were similar to reference streams in terms of morphologic condition, but exhibited a greater range of scores relative to aquatic habitat and bedform. Macroinvertebrate sampling and GIS watershed analyses were conducted on 84 restored streams. SPA and watershed data were compared to Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) taxa to determine which factors indicate stream health. SPA and watershed factors were used in least squares, ridge, and principal component regression (PCR) to develop a prediction model for EPT taxa. All three methods produced reasonable predictions for EPT taxa. Cross‐validation indicated ridge regression resulted in the lowest prediction error. The ridge model was then used to predict EPT taxa numbers for 21 impaired and 25 reference streams in addition to the 84 restored streams. Statistical comparisons of the predicted scores indicated urban streams (>10% impervious watershed cover) have lower expected numbers of EPT taxa. Rural restored streams have macroinvertebrate metric scores similar to those predicted for rural reference streams.
- Hydrological Responses to Climate and Land‐Use Changes along the
North American East Coast: A 110‐Year Historical Reconstruction
- Authors: Qichun Yang; Hanqin Tian, Marjorie A.M. Friedrichs, Mingliang Liu, Xia Li, Jia Yang
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: The North American east coast (NAEC) region experienced significant climate and land‐use changes in the past century. To explore how these changes have affected land water cycling, the Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model (DLEM 2.0) was used to investigate the spatial and temporal variability of runoff and river discharge during 1901‐2010 in the study area. Annual runoff over the NAEC was 420 ± 61 mm/yr (average ± standard deviation). Runoff increased in parts of the northern NAEC but decreased in some areas of the southern NAEC. Annual freshwater discharge from the study area was 378 ± 61 km3/yr (average ± standard deviation). Factorial simulation experiments suggested that climate change and variability explained 97.5% of the interannual variability of runoff and also resulted in the opposite changes in runoff in northern and southern regions of the NAEC. Land‐use change reduced runoff by 5‐22 mm/yr from 1931 to 2010, but the impacts were divergent over the Piedmont region and Coastal Plain areas of the southern NAEC. Land‐use change impacts were more significant at local and watershed spatial scales rather than at regional scales. Different responses of runoff to changing climate and land‐use should be noted in future water resource management. Hydrological impacts of afforestation and deforestation as well as urbanization should also be noted by land‐use policy makers.
- Evaluating the Impacts of Environmental Flow Alternatives on Reservoir and
Recreational Operations Using System Dynamics Modeling
- Authors: Ryan R. Morrison; Mark C. Stone
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Providing environmental flows is increasingly a management obligation in many water resource systems. Evaluating the impacts of environmental flow alternatives on other water uses in a basin can be a challenge, especially when collaborating with stakeholders. We demonstrate the use of system dynamics (SD) modeling to assess the impacts of four environmental flow alternatives in the Rio Chama, New Mexico. The model was developed to examine impacts of each alternative on reservoir storage and releases, hydropower production and revenue, and whitewater boating access. We simulated each alternative within a stochastic framework in order to explicitly incorporate hydrologic uncertainty into the analyses. The environmental flow alternatives were developed at a collaborative workshop of geomorphology, hydrology, and ecology experts. Results from the model indicate that the proposed flow recommendations on the Rio Chama will generally decrease annual reservoir storage, increase median flows, and have minimal impacts on hydropower production and whitewater rafting on the system. The Rio Chama case study is a promising example of how SD modeling can be used in the early stages of environmental flow studies and why it is compatible with collaborative modeling.
- Conditional Water Rights in the Western United States: Introducing
Uncertainty to Prior Appropriation?
- Authors: Charles J.P. Podolak; Martin Doyle
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: In the prior‐appropriation water rights regimes that prevail in the arid western United States, claims to annually variable surface water flows are fulfilled based on the order of their establishment. The two‐step process used to establish an appropriative water right in all 17 conterminous western states creates a temporary phase, or conditional water right, which has a priority date but no actual water use. We provide a review of the legal basis for these conditional water rights and demonstrate the potential uncertainty they introduce to current water users. We then present a complete census of conditional water rights in Colorado, including their amounts, ages, and uses. At the end of 2012 there were a large number of conditional water rights in Colorado (some over 90 years old) equal to 61% of the perfected water rights. Many of the controversial conditional water rights in Colorado have been associated with unconventional oil production in the northwestern portion of the state; however, conditional water rights are ubiquitous across the state and across many use types. In several basins, their existence can introduce uncertainty to some of the most senior water rights holders. Nevertheless, in most of the state, the effects of conditional water rights are restricted to a relatively junior class of water users. This work quantifies for the first time the result, in one state, of a peculiar aspect of water law common across all western prior‐appropriation states.
- Analysis of Daily Peaking and Run‐of‐River Operations with
Flow Variability Metrics, Considering Subdaily to Seasonal Time Scales
- Authors: Nicholas A. Haas; Ben L. O'Connor, John W. Hayse, Mark S. Bevelhimer, Theodore A. Endreny
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Environmental flows are an important consideration in licensing hydropower projects as operational flow releases can result in adverse conditions for downstream ecological communities. Flow variability assessments have typically focused on pre‐ and post‐dam conditions using metrics based on daily averaged flow values. This study used subdaily and daily flow data to assess environmental flow response to changes in hydropower operations from daily peaking to run‐of‐river. An analysis tool was developed to quantify flow variability metrics and was applied to four hydropower projects. Significant differences were observed between operations at the 99% confidence level in the median flow values using hourly averaged flow datasets. Median daily rise and fall rates decreased on average 34.5 and 27.9%, respectively, whereas median hourly rise and fall rates decreased on average 50.1 and 50.6%, respectively. Differences in operational flow regimes were more pronounced in the hourly averaged flow datasets and less pronounced or nonexistent in the daily averaged flow datasets. These outcomes have implications for the development of ecology‐flow relationships that quantify effects of flow on processes such as fish stranding and displacement, along with habitat stability. Results indicate that flow variability statistics should be quantified using subdaily datasets to accurately represent the nature of hydropower operations, especially for daily peaking facilities.
- Evaluating Pre‐ and Post‐Fire Peak Discharge Predictions
across Western U.S. Watersheds
- Authors: Alicia M. Kinoshita; Terri S. Hogue, Carolyn Napper
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: This study reviews five models commonly used in post‐fire hydrologic assessments: the Rowe Countryman and Storey (RCS), United States Geological Survey (USGS) Linear Regression Equations, USDA Windows Technical Release 55 (USDA TR‐55), Wildcat5, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Hydrologic Modeling System (HEC‐HMS). The models are applied to eight diverse basins in the western United States (U.S.) (Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, and Washington) affected by wildfires and assessed by input parameters, calibration methods, model constraints, and performance. No one model is versatile enough for application to all study sites. Results show inconsistency between model predictions for events across the sites and less confidence with larger return periods (25‐ and 50‐year events) and post‐fire predictions. The RCS method performs well, but application is limited to southern California. The USGS linear regression model has wider regional application, but performance is less reliable at the large recurrence intervals and post‐fire predictions are reliant on a subjective modifier. Of the three curve number‐based models, Wildcat5 performs best overall without calibration, whereas the calibrated TR‐55 and HEC‐HMS models show significant improvement in pre‐fire predictions. Results from our study provide information and guidance to ultimately improve model selection for post‐fire prediction and encourage uniform parameter acquisition and calibration across the western U.S.
- The Effects of Changing Land Cover on Streamflow Simulation in Puerto Rico
- Authors: Ashley E. Van Beusekom; Lauren E. Hay, Roland J. Viger, William A. Gould, Jaime A. Collazo, Azad Henareh Khalyani
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: This study quantitatively explores whether land cover changes have a substantive impact on simulated streamflow within the tropical island setting of Puerto Rico. The Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) was used to compare streamflow simulations based on five static parameterizations of land cover with those based on dynamically varying parameters derived from four land cover scenes for the period 1953‐2012. The PRMS simulations based on static land cover illustrated consistent differences in simulated streamflow across the island. It was determined that the scale of the analysis makes a difference: large regions with localized areas that have undergone dramatic land cover change may show negligible difference in total streamflow, but streamflow simulations using dynamic land cover parameters for a highly altered subwatershed clearly demonstrate the effects of changing land cover on simulated streamflow. Incorporating dynamic parameterization in these highly altered watersheds can reduce the predictive uncertainty in simulations of streamflow using PRMS. Hydrologic models that do not consider the projected changes in land cover may be inadequate for water resource management planning for future conditions.
- Characterizing a Major Urban Stream Restoration Project: Nine Mile Run
(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)
- Authors: Daniel J. Bain; Erin M. Copeland, Marion T. Divers, Marijke Hecht, Kristina G. Hopkins, Justin Hynicka, Michael Koryak, Mary Kostalos, Lisa Brown, Emily M. Elliott, Joseph Fedor, Michele Gregorich, Brady Porter, Brenda Smith, Christopher Tracey, Margaret Zak
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Urban stream restoration continues to be used as an ecological management tool, despite uncertainty about the long‐term sustainability and resilience of restored systems. Evaluations of restoration success often focus on specific instream indicators, with limited attention to the wider basin or parallel hydrologic and geomorphic process. A comprehensive understanding of urban stream restoration progress is particularly important for comparisons with nonurban sites as urban streams can provide substantial secondary benefits to urban residents. Here, we utilize a wide range of indicators to retrospectively examine the restoration of Nine Mile Run, a multi‐million dollar stream restoration project in eastern Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania, USA). Examination of available continuous hydrological data illustrates the high cost of failures to incorporate the data into planning and adaptive management. For example, persistent extreme flows drive geomorphic degradation threatening to reverse hydrologic connections created by the restoration and impact the improved instream biotic communities. In addition, human activities associated with restoration efforts suggest a positive feedback as the stream restoration has focused effort on the basin beyond the reach. Ultimately, urban stream restoration remains a potentially useful management tool, but continued improvements in post‐project assessment should include examination of a wider range of indicators.
- Bedded Sediment Conditions and Macroinvertebrate Responses in New Mexico
Streams: A First Step in Establishing Sediment Criteria
- Authors: Benjamin K. Jessup; Philip R. Kaufmann, Forrest John, Lynette S. Guevara, Seva Joseph
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Excess fine sediments in streambeds are among the most pervasive causes of degradation in streams of the United States. Simple criteria for acceptable streambed fines are elusive because streambed fines and biotic tolerances vary widely in the absence of human disturbances. In response to the need for sediment benchmarks that are protective of minimum aquatic life uses under the Clean Water Act, we undertook a case study using surveys of sediment, physical habitat, and macroinvertebrates from New Mexico streams. Our approach uses weight of evidence to develop suggested benchmarks for protective levels of surficial bedded sediments
- Freshwater Mussel Population Status and Habitat Quality in the Clinch
River, Virginia and Tennessee, USA: A Featured Collection
- Authors: Carl E. Zipper; Braven Beaty, Gregory C. Johnson, Jess W. Jones, Jennifer Lynn Krstolic, Brett J.K. Ostby, William J. Wolfe, Patricia Donovan
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: The Clinch River of southwestern Virginia and northeastern Tennessee is arguably the most important river for freshwater mussel conservation in the United States. This featured collection presents investigations of mussel population status and habitat quality in the Clinch River. Analyses of historic water‐ and sediment‐quality data suggest that water column ammonia and water column and sediment metals, including Cu and Zn, may have contributed historically to declining densities and extirpations of mussels in the river's Virginia sections. These studies also reveal increasing temporal trends for dissolved solids concentrations throughout much of the river's extent. Current mussel abundance patterns do not correspond spatially with physical habitat quality, but they do correspond with specific conductance, dissolved major ions, and water column metals, suggesting these and/or associated constituents as factors contributing to mussel declines. Mussels are sensitive to metals. Native mussels and hatchery‐raised mussels held in cages in situ accumulated metals in their body tissues in river sections where mussels are declining. Organic compound and bed‐sediment contaminant analyses did not reveal spatial correspondences with mussel status metrics, although potentially toxic levels were found. Collectively, these studies identify major ions and metals as water‐ and sediment‐quality concerns for mussel conservation in the Clinch River.
- Reach‐Scale Comparison of Habitat and Mollusk Assemblages for Select
Sites in the Clinch River with Regional Context
- Authors: Brett J.K. Ostby; Jennifer L. Krstolic, Gregory C. Johnson
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Several hypotheses, including habitat degradation and variation in fluvial geomorphology, have been posed to explain extreme spatial and temporal variation in Clinch River mollusk assemblages. We examined associations between mollusk assemblage metrics (richness, abundance, recruitment) and physical habitat (geomorphology, streambed composition, fish habitat, and riparian condition) at 10 sites selected to represent the range of current assemblage condition in the Clinch River. We compared similar geomorphological units among reaches, employing semi‐quantitative and quantitative protocols to characterize mollusk assemblages and a mix of visual assessments and empirical measurements to characterize physical habitat. We found little to no evidence that current assemblage condition was associated with 54 analyzed habitat metrics. When compared to other sites in the Upper Tennessee River Basin (UTRB) that once supported or currently support mollusk assemblages, Clinch River sites were more similar to each other, representing a narrower range of conditions than observed across the larger geographic extent of the UTRB. A post‐hoc analysis suggested stream size and average boundary shear stress at bankfull stage may have historically limited species richness in the UTRB (p
- Influences of Water and Sediment Quality and Hydrologic Processes on
Mussels in the Clinch River
- Authors: Gregory C. Johnson; Jennifer L. Krstolic, Brett J.K. Ostby
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Segments of the Clinch River in Virginia have experienced declining freshwater mussel populations during the past 40 years, while other segments of the river continue to support some of the richest mussel communities in the country. The close proximity of these contrasting reaches provides a study area where differences in climate, hydrology, and historic mussel distribution are minimal. The USGS conducted a study between 2009 and 2011 to evaluate possible causes of the mussel declines. Evaluation of mussel habitat showed no differences in physical habitat quality, leaving water and sediment quality as possible causes for declines. Three years of continuous water‐quality data showed higher turbidity and specific conductance in the reaches with low‐quality mussel assemblages compared to reaches with high‐quality mussel assemblages. Discrete water‐quality samples showed higher major ions and metals concentrations in the low‐quality reach. Base‐flow samples contained high major ion and metal concentrations coincident to low‐quality mussel populations. These results support a conceptual model of dilution and augmentation where increased concentrations of major ions and other dissolved constituents from mined tributaries result in reaches with declining mussel populations. Tributaries from unmined basins provide water with low concentrations of dissolved constituents, diluting reaches of the Clinch River where high‐quality mussel populations occur.
- Water and Sediment Quality in the Clinch River, Virginia and Tennessee,
USA, over Nearly Five Decades
- Authors: Jennifer E. Price; Carl E. Zipper, Jess W. Jones, Christopher T. Franck
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: The Clinch River, in eastern United States, supports a diverse freshwater fauna including endangered mussels. Although mussel populations are stable in the Clinch's northeastern Tennessee segment, long‐term declines have been documented upstream in Virginia. We analyzed water and sediment quality data collected by government agencies from the 1960s through 2013 in an effort to inform current management. The river was divided into sections considering data availability and major tributaries. We tested for spatial differences among river sections and for temporal trends, and compared measured values to potentially protective levels if available. Ammonia concentrations approaching and exceeding protective levels were recorded, most often during the 1970s and 1980s in upstream sections. Sediment metals occurred at levels potentially causing biological effects, mainly during the 1980s and 1990s. In the 2000s, water‐column metals have been well below protective levels for general aquatic life. Dissolved solids (DS) increased in most river sections over the study period but mussel‐specific protective levels are not known. Analysis of water pH, total N, and total P did not generate conservation concern. Enhanced monitoring for sediment metals, water‐column metals, and ionic composition of DS; closer alignment of agency water monitoring practices in the two states; and research to determine biological effects of DS at current and anticipated levels can aid future conservation management.
- Clinch River Freshwater Mussels Upstream of Norris Reservoir, Tennessee
and Virginia: A Quantitative Assessment from 2004 to 2009
- Authors: Jess Jones; Steven Ahlstedt, Brett Ostby, Braven Beaty, Michael Pinder, Nathan Eckert, Robert Butler, Don Hubbs, Craig Walker, Shane Hanlon, John Schmerfeld, Richard Neves
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: The Clinch River is located in northeastern Tennessee (TN) and southwestern Virginia (VA) of the United States, and contains a diverse mussel assemblage of 46 extant species, including 20 species listed as federally endangered. To facilitate quantitative monitoring of the fauna, quadrat data were collected from 2004 to 2009 at 18 sites in the river, including 12 sites in TN and 6 sites in VA. Thirty‐eight mussel species were collected alive in total from quadrat samples taken annually at sites in the TN section of the river. Over the five‐year study period, mussel density averaged 25.5 m−2 at all sites sampled in TN. In contrast, mussel density averaged only 3.1 m−2 at sites sampled in VA. The best historical site in VA was Pendleton Island in Scott County, where mussel density was estimated as high as 25 m−2 in 1979, comparable to current densities recorded in TN. Mussel densities are now
- Application of a Modified Health Belief Model to the
Pro‐Environmental Behavior of Private Well Water Testing
- Authors: Crista L. Straub; Jessica E. Leahy
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: A social cognition model of health behavior, the health belief model, was applied to the pro‐environmental behavior of private well water testing. Conceptualizing environmental behaviors as health behaviors may provide new insight into pro‐environmental behavior change. A groundwater education program was provided to K‐12 children throughout New England. Both child participants and their parents completed surveys pertaining to private well water behavior. Results indicate that perceived barriers and socioeconomic status significantly influenced past well water testing of parent participants. Perceived barriers included: participants' concern related to the cost of treating their water, and how a well water problem would influence their property value. Parent participants also indicated that they would perform future well water testing if they received a reminder cue to action that might include: getting a discount or reminder in the mail, if a well testing program was available, and state or local requirement. Our findings reinforce the need for continued private well water research and parallels to additional environmental behaviors.
- Flexibility in Water Resources Management: Review of Concepts and
Development of Assessment Measures for Flood Management Systems
- Authors: Kara N. DiFrancesco; Desiree D. Tullos
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Discussions around adapting water management systems to climate change often express the need to increase system flexibility. Yet despite the frequent use of the term flexibility, very little work has examined what exactly it means to have a flexible water management system, what features of a system make it more flexible than another system, or when the costs to implement flexible options outweigh the benefits gained from increased flexibility. To define and operationalize the concept of flexibility in the field of water resources management, this article reviews and analyzes concepts of flexibility from the fields of information technology, manufacturing, management, and adaptive social‐ecological systems. We identify five characteristics of flexible water resources systems, namely: slack, redundancy, connectivity, compatibility/coordination, and adjustability. We then operationalize the assessment of flexibility for flood management systems by proposing original flexibility metrics and discussing their application. We conclude with a discussion on the tradeoffs of increasing flexibility.
- Decoupling Streamflow Responses to Climate Variability and Land Use/Cover
Changes in a Watershed in Northern China
- Authors: Junting Guo; Zhiqiang Zhang, Jie Zhou, Shengping Wang, Peter Strauss
Abstract: Restored annual streamflow (Qr) and measured daily streamflow of the Chaohe watershed located in northern China and associated long-term climate and land use/cover data were used to explore the effects of land use/cover change and climate variability on the streamflow during 1961-2009. There were no significant changes in annual precipitation (P) and potential evapotranspiration, whereas Qr decreased significantly by 0.81 mm/yr (p
- Long-Term Trends of Specific Conductance in Waters Discharged by Coal-Mine
Valley Fills in Central Appalachia, USA
- Authors: Daniel M. Evans; Carl E. Zipper, Patricia F. Donovan, W. Lee Daniels
Abstract: Anthropogenic salinization of freshwaters is a global concern. Coal surface mining causes release of dissolved sulfate, bicarbonate, calcium, magnesium, and other ions to surface waters in central Appalachia, USA, through practices that include mine rock disposal in valley fills (VFs). This region's surface waters naturally have low salinity, with specific conductance (SC, a salinity indicator) generally
- Assessment of Quality for Middle Level and High School Student-Generated
Water Quality Data
- Authors: John M. Peckenham; Sarah K. Peckenham
Abstract: Student scientists have analyzed groundwater used for drinking water in rural areas to understand groundwater quality. This was part of a greater effort to understand risks to drinking water. The data produced by middle level and high school students have not been accepted by experts because of concerns about method and student accuracy. We assessed the inherent errors associated with method accuracy, student precision, and sample variability to establish bounds for attainable trueness in water analyses. Analytical test kits and probes were evaluated for the determination of pH, conductivity, chloride, hardness, iron, total soluble metals, and nitrate. In terms of precision, all methods met or exceeded design specifications. Method trueness was variable and in general ranged from good to poor depending on method. A gage reproducibility and repeatability analysis of instrumental methods (pH and conductivity) partitioned the variances into student error (12-46%), instrumental error (8-21%), and random error (45-68%). Overall, student-generated data met some of the quality objectives consistent with the method limitations. Some methods exhibited a systematic bias and data adjustment may be necessary. Given good management of the student analyst process, it is possible to make precise and accurate measurements consistent with the methods specifications.
- Price Determination and Efficiency in the Market for South Platte Basin
Ditch Company Shares
- Authors: Matthew T. Payne; Mark Griffin Smith, Clay J. Landry
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Water scarcity presents an obstacle to economic development in the western United States. Water rights markets help improve water allocation, allowing states to derive the highest economic benefit from available resources, and supporting new uses and economic development. However, the implicit (marginal) prices of water rights attributes are uncertain. To address this problem, we apply econometric analysis to a unique dataset to estimate the implicit values that market participants place on the attributes of shares of ditch company water rights in Colorado's South Platte River Basin. Our analysis demonstrates that ditch company share buyers value proximity of water diversion, reliability of water deliveries, and temporal flexibility of water use. To assess reliability we introduce the use of the coefficient of variation to capture, in one variable, the randomness of supply from ditch company shares that are not a single water right, but a portfolio of rights with different appropriation dates. Finally, we test and correct for spatial autocorrelation for the first time in a study of water market prices.
- Estimation of Nonpoint Source Nitrate Concentrations in Indiana Rivers
Based on Agricultural Drainage in the Watershed
- Authors: Yan Jiang; Jane R. Frankenberger, Yinghui Sui, Laura C. Bowling
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Subsurface tile‐drained agricultural fields are known to be important contributors to nitrate in surface water in the Midwest, but the effect of these fields on nitrate at the watershed scale is difficult to quantify. Data for 25 watersheds monitored by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and located near a U.S. Geological Survey stream gage were used to investigate the relationship between flow‐weighted mean concentration (FWMC) of nitrate‐N and the subsurface tile‐drained area (DA) of the watershed. The tile DA was estimated from soil drainage class, land use, and slope. Nitrate loads from point sources were estimated based on reported flows of major permitted facilities with mean nitrate‐N concentrations from published sources. Linear regression models exhibited a statistically significant relationship between annual/monthly nonpoint source (NPS) nitrate‐N and DA percentage. The annual model explained 71% of the variation in FWMC of nitrate‐N. The annual and monthly models were tested in 10 additional watersheds, most with absolute errors within 1 mg/l in the predicted FWMC. These models can be used to estimate NPS nitrate for unmonitored watersheds in similar areas, especially for drained agricultural areas where model performance was strongest, and to predict the nitrate reduction when various tile drainage management techniques are employed.
- Impacts of 21st‐Century Climate Change on Hydrologic Extreme in the
Pacific Northwest Region of North America
- Authors: Ingrid M. Tohver; Alan F. Hamlet, Se‐Yeun Lee
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Climate change projections for the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of North America include warmer temperatures (T), reduced precipitation (P) in summer months, and increased P during all other seasons. Using a physically based hydrologic model and an ensemble of statistically downscaled global climate model scenarios produced by the Columbia Basin Climate Change Scenarios Project, we examine the nature of changing hydrologic extremes (floods and low flows) under natural conditions for about 300 river locations in the PNW. The combination of warming, and shifts in seasonal P regimes, results in increased flooding and more intense low flows for most of the basins in the PNW. Flood responses depend on average midwinter T and basin type. Mixed rain and snow basins, with average winter temperatures near freezing, typically show the largest increases in flood risk because of the combined effects of warming (increasing contributing basin area) and more winter P. Decreases in low flows are driven by loss of snowpack, drier summers, and increasing evapotranspiration in the simulations. Energy‐limited basins on the west side of the Cascades show the strongest declines in low flows, whereas more arid, water‐limited basins on the east side of the Cascades show smaller reductions in low flows. A fine‐scale analysis of hydrologic extremes over the Olympic Peninsula echoes the results for the larger rivers discussed above, but provides additional detail about topographic gradients.
- Prediction of Annual Streambank Erosion for Sequoia National Forest,
- Authors: Hilda Kwan; Sherman Swanson
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Many bank erosion models have limitations that restrict their use in wildland settings. Scientists and land managers at the Sequoia National Forest would like to understand the mechanisms and rates of streambank erosion to evaluate management issues and post‐wildfire effects. This study uses bank erosion hazard index (BEHI) and near‐bank stress (NBS) methods developed in Rosgen (2006 Watershed Assessment of River Stability and Sediment Supply [WARSSS]) for predicting streambank erosion in a geographic area that is dominated by colluvium and in which streambank erosion modeling has not been previously evaluated. BEHI evaluates bank susceptibility to erosion based on bank angle, bank and bankfull height, rooting depth and density, surface protection, and stratification of material within the banks. NBS assesses energy distribution against the bank measured as a ratio of bankfull near‐bank maximum depth to mean bankfull depth. We compared BEHI classes and NBS to actual bank erosion measured from 2008 to 2012. This index predicted streambank erosion with clear separation among BEHI ratings with R2 values of 0.76 for extreme, 0.37 for high/very high, 0.49 for moderate, and 0.70 for low BEHI. The relationships between measured erosion and BEHI extend the application of BEHI/NBS to a new region where they can inform management priorities, afforestation, stream/riparian restoration projects, and potentially burned area rehabilitation.
- Large Biases in Regression‐Based Constituent Flux Estimates: Causes
and Diagnostic Tools
- Authors: Robert M. Hirsch
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: It has been documented in the literature that, in some cases, widely used regression‐based models can produce severely biased estimates of long‐term mean river fluxes of various constituents. These models, estimated using sample values of concentration, discharge, and date, are used to compute estimated fluxes for a multiyear period at a daily time step. This study compares results of the LOADEST seven‐parameter model, LOADEST five‐parameter model, and the Weighted Regressions on Time, Discharge, and Season (WRTDS) model using subsampling of six very large datasets to better understand this bias problem. This analysis considers sample datasets for dissolved nitrate and total phosphorus. The results show that LOADEST‐7 and LOADEST‐5, although they often produce very nearly unbiased results, can produce highly biased results. This study identifies three conditions that can give rise to these severe biases: (1) lack of fit of the log of concentration vs. log discharge relationship, (2) substantial differences in the shape of this relationship across seasons, and (3) severely heteroscedastic residuals. The WRTDS model is more resistant to the bias problem than the LOADEST models but is not immune to them. Understanding the causes of the bias problem is crucial to selecting an appropriate method for flux computations. Diagnostic tools for identifying the potential for bias problems are introduced, and strategies for resolving bias problems are described.
- Hydrologic Controls on Nitrogen and Phosphorous Dynamics in Relict Oxbow
Wetlands Adjacent to an Urban Restored Stream
- Authors: Melanie D. Harrison; Andrew J. Miller, Peter M. Groffman, Paul M. Mayer, Sujay S. Kaushal
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Although wetlands are known to be sinks for nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), their function in urban watersheds remains unclear. We analyzed water and nitrate (NO3−) and phosphate (PO43−) dynamics during precipitation events in two oxbow wetlands that were created during geomorphic stream restoration in Baltimore County, Maryland that varied in the nature and extent of connectivity to the adjacent stream. Oxbow 1 (Ox1) received 1.6‐4.2% and Oxbow 2 (Ox2) received 4.2‐7.4% of cumulative streamflow during storm events from subsurface seepage (Ox1) and surface flow (Ox2). The retention time of incoming stormwater ranged from 0.2 to 6.7 days in Ox1 and 1.8 to 4.3 days in Ox2. Retention rates in the wetlands ranged from 0.25 to 2.74 g N/m2/day in Ox1 and 0.29 to 1.94 g N/m2/day in Ox2. Percent retention of the NO3−‐N load that entered the wetlands during the storm events ranged from 64 to 87% and 23 to 26%, in Ox1 and Ox2, respectively. During all four storm events, Ox1 and Ox2 were a small net source of dissolved PO43− to the adjacent stream (i.e., more P exited than entered the wetland), releasing P at a rate of 0.23‐20.83 mg P/m2/day and 3.43‐24.84 mg P/m2/day, respectively. N and P removal efficiency of the oxbows were regulated by hydrologic connectivity, hydraulic loading, and retention time. Incidental oxbow wetlands have potential to receive urban stream and storm flow and to be significant N sinks, but they may be sources of P in urban watersheds.
- Daily Bank Erosion Rates in the Lower Yellow River before and after Dam
- Authors: Junqiang Xia; Tao Li, Xiaojuan Li, Xiaolei Zhang, Quanli Zong
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: During the period of water impoundment and sediment detention of the Sanmenxia Reservoir, riverbank erosion processes played a key role in the channel evolution of the Lower Yellow River (LYR). However, research into bank erosion rates of the LYR has been neglected due to the lack of direct field monitoring. In this study, an indirect method is proposed to determine bank erosion rates at daily time scales by outlining a detailed calculation procedure using measured hydrological data. A total of 810 data points of daily bank erosion rates before and after the construction of Sanmenxia Dam was calculated at seven hydrometric sections along the LYR, with the corresponding values of the bank stability coefficient and the width‐to‐depth ratio also being calculated. Empirical relations were then developed to estimate the daily bank erosion rates, using these parameters at the sections. Temporal and spatial variability in daily bank erosion rates in the LYR before and after dam construction were also investigated, revealing that: (1) the bank erosion rates had a mean value of 16.7‐29.1 m/day in the braided reach, with a maximum value of 290.0 m/day, while they were relatively low in the meandering reach, with a mean value of 2.5 m/day; (2) the erosion rates before dam construction were slightly greater than those after dam construction, with the difference reaching 5‐10 m/day in the braided reach, decreasing in the transitional reach gradually, and being slight in the meandering reach.
- Potential Impacts of Climate Change on the Reliability of Water and
Hydropower Supply from a Multipurpose Dam in South Korea
- Authors: Jong Y. Park; Seong J. Kim
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Future climate change is a source of growing concerns for the supply of energy and resources, and it may have significant impacts on industry and the economy. Major effects are likely to arise from changes to the freshwater resources system, due to the connection of energy generation to these water systems. Using future climate data downscaled by a stochastic weather generator, this study investigates the potential impacts of climate change on long‐term reservoir operations at the Chungju multipurpose dam in South Korea, specifically considering the reliability of the supply of water and hydropower. A reservoir model, Hydrologic Engineering Center‐Reservoir System Simulation (HEC‐ResSim), was used to simulate the ability of the dam to supply water and hydropower under different conditions. The hydrologic model Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used to determine the HEC‐ResSim boundary conditions, including daily dam inflow from the 6,642 km2 watershed into the 2.75 Gm3 capacity reservoir. Projections of the future climate indicate that temperature and precipitation during 2070‐2099 (2080s) show an increase of +4.1°C and 19.4%, respectively, based on the baseline (1990‐2009). The results from the models suggest that, in the 2080s, the average annual water supply and hydropower production would change by +19.8 to +56.5% and by +33.9 to 92.3%, respectively. Model simulations suggest that under the new climatic conditions, the reliability of water and hydropower supply would be generally improved, as a consequence of increased dam inflow.
- A 576‐Year Weber River Streamflow Reconstruction from Tree Rings for
Water Resource Risk Assessment in the Wasatch Front, Utah
- Authors: Matthew F. Bekker; R. Justin DeRose, Brendan M. Buckley, Roger K. Kjelgren, Nathan S. Gill
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: We present a 576‐year tree‐ring‐based reconstruction of streamflow for northern Utah's Weber River that exhibits considerable interannual and decadal‐scale variability. While the 20th Century instrumental period includes several extreme individual dry years, it was the century with the fewest such years of the entire reconstruction. Extended droughts were more severe in duration, magnitude, and intensity prior to the instrumental record, including the most protracted drought of the record, which spanned 16 years from 1703 to 1718. Extreme wet years and periods are also a regular feature of the reconstruction. A strong early 17th Century pluvial exceeds the early 20th Century pluvial in magnitude, duration, and intensity, and dwarfs the 1980s wet period that caused significant flooding along the Wasatch Front. The long‐term hydroclimatology of northern Utah is marked by considerable uncertainty; hence, our reconstruction provides water managers with a more complete record of water resource variability for assessment of the risk of droughts and floods for one of the largest and most rapidly growing population centers in the Intermountain West.
- GIS‐Based Stream Classification in a Mountain Watershed for
- Authors: Brian S. Caruso
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: This study analyzed stream characteristics in a mountain watershed in southwestern Colorado and developed a three‐level hierarchical classification scheme using national datasets to demonstrate jurisdictional evaluation as “waters of the United States (U.S.)” under U.S. Clean Water Act Section 404 at the watershed scale. The National Hydrography Dataset and USGS StreamStats were used with field observations to classify streams in the 53 km2 Cement Creek Watershed based on flow duration (Level 1), stream order (Level 2), and other biophysical metrics (Level 3). Kruskal‐Wallis tests and discriminant analysis showed significant differences among Level 2 classes. Level 3 classification used cluster analysis for stream length, distance to the downstream traditional navigable water (TNW), and the ratio of mean annual flow from the source stream to the TNW. Results showed all perennial and intermittent streams are jurisdictional relatively permanent waters (RPWs), which include over a third of all streams, 64% are intermittent or ephemeral, and almost half are ephemeral first order. All ephemeral reaches are non‐RPWs requiring significant nexus evaluation to determine jurisdiction. These ephemeral first‐order streams can contribute 5% of the annual flow to the TNW at the confluence, while the Cement Creek main stem contributes 21% of the TNW flow. The study demonstrated that the classification provides key biophysical and regulatory information to aid jurisdictional evaluations in mountain watersheds.
- Water Appropriation Systems for Adapting to Water Shortages in Iraq
- Authors: Dina A. Salman; Saud A. Amer, Frank A. Ward
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Climate variability and population growth have intensified the search internationally for measures to adapt to fluctuations in water supplies. An example can be found in the lower part of the transboundary Tigris‐Euphrates Basin where water shortages in 2008‐2009 resulted in high economic costs to irrigation farmers. Losses to irrigators in the lower basin have made a compelling case to identify flexible methods to adapt to water shortage. Few published studies have systematically examined ways to enhance the flexibility of water appropriation systems to adapt to water shortage. This article addresses an ongoing challenge in water governance by examining how profitability at both the farm and basin levels is affected by various water appropriation systems. Four water appropriation systems are compared for impacts on farm income under each of three water supply scenarios. Results show that a (1) proportional sharing of water shortages among provinces and (2) unrestricted water trading rank as the top two appropriation systems. The shadow price of water for irrigation rises from zero at a full water supply level to US$93/1,000 m3 when supply falls to 20% of full levels. Similar methods could be used to analyze challenges facing the design or implementation of water appropriation systems in the world's irrigated regions.
- Hydrologic Impact Assessment of Land Cover Change and Stormwater
Management Using the Hydrologic Footprint Residence
- Authors: M.H. Giacomoni; R. Gomez, E.Z. Berglund
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Urbanization impacts the stormwater regime through increased runoff volumes and velocities. Detention ponds and low impact development (LID) strategies may be implemented to control stormwater runoff. Typically, mitigation strategies are designed to maintain postdevelopment peak flows at predevelopment levels for a set of design storms. Peak flow does not capture the extent of changes to the hydrologic flow regime, and the hydrologic footprint residence (HFR) was developed to calculate the area and duration of inundated land during a storm. This study couples a cellular automata land cover change model with a hydrologic and hydraulic framework to generate spatial projections of future development on the fringe of a rapidly urbanizing metropolitan area. The hydrologic flow regime is characterized for existing and projected land cover patterns under detention pond and LID‐based control, using the HFR and peak flow values. Results demonstrate that for less intense and frequent rainfall events, LID solutions are better with respect to HFR; for larger storms, detention pond strategies perform better with respect to HFR and peak flow.
- Multiscale Analysis of Hydrology in a Mountaintop Mine‐Impacted
- Authors: Nicolas P. Zegre; Andrew J. Miller, Aaron Maxwell, Samuel J. Lamont
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: In the Appalachian region of the eastern United States, mountaintop removal mining (MTM) is a dominant driver of land‐cover change, impacting 6.8% of the largely forested 4.86 million ha coal fields region. Recent catastrophic flooding and documented biological impairment downstream of MTM has drawn sharp criticism to this practice. Despite its extent, scale, and use since the 1970s, the impact of MTM on hydrology is poorly understood. Therefore, the goal of this study was a multiscale evaluation to establish the nature of hydrologic impacts associated with MTM. To quantify the extent of MTM, land‐cover change over the lifetime of this practice is estimated for a mesoscale watershed in southern West Virginia. To assess hydrologic impacts, we conducted long‐term trend analyses to evaluate for systematic changes in hydrology at the mesoscale, and conducted hydrometric and response time modeling to characterize storm‐scale responses of a MTM‐impacted headwater catchment. Results show a general trend in the conversion of forests to mines, and significant decreases in maximum streamflow and variability, and increases in base‐flow ratio attributed to valley fills and deep mine drainage. Decreases in variability are shown across spatial and temporal scales having important implications for water quantity and quality. However, considerable research is necessary to understand how MTM impacts hydrology. In an effort to inform future research, we identify existing knowledge gaps and limitations of our study.
- A Recourse‐Based Interval Fuzzy Programming Model for
Point‐Nonpoint Source Effluent Trading under Uncertainty
- Authors: Y.P. Li; G.H. Huang, H.Z. Li, J. Liu
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: In this study, a recourse‐based interval fuzzy programming (RIFP) model is developed for tackling uncertainties expressed as fuzzy, interval, and/or probabilistic forms in an effluent trading program. It can incorporate preregulated water‐pollution control policies directly into its optimization process, such that an effective linkage between environmental regulations and economic implications (i.e., penalties) caused by improper policies due to uncertainty existence can be provided. The RIFP model is applied to point‐nonpoint source effluent trading of the Xiangxi River in China. The efficiency of trading efforts between water quality improvement and net system benefit under different degrees of satisfying discharge limits is analyzed. The results are able to help support (1) formulation of water‐pollution control strategies under various economic objectives and system‐reliability constraints, (2) selection of the desired effluent trading pattern for point and nonpoint sources, and (3) generation of tradeoffs among system benefit, satisfaction degree, and pollutant mitigation under multiple uncertainties. Compared with the traditional regulatory approaches, the results demonstrate that the water‐pollution control program can be performed more cost‐effectively through trading than nontrading.
- Linking Landscape Characteristics and High Stream Nitrogen in the Oregon
Coast Range: Red Alder Complicates Use of Nutrient Criteria
- Authors: Effie A. Greathouse; Jana E. Compton, John Van Sickle
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Red alder (Alnus rubra), a nitrogen(N)‐fixing deciduous broadleaf tree, can strongly influence N concentrations in western Oregon and Washington. We compiled a database of stream N and GIS‐derived landscape characteristics in order to examine geographic variation in N across the Oregon Coast Range. Basal area of alder, expressed as a percent of watershed area, accounted for 37% and 38% of the variation in summer nitrate and total N (TN) concentrations, respectively. Relationships between alder and nitrate were strongest in winter when streamflow and landscape connections are highest. Distance to the coast and latitude, potential surrogates for sea salt inputs, and watershed area were also related to nitrate concentrations in an all‐subsets regression analysis, which accounted for 46% of the variation in summer nitrate concentrations. The model with the lowest Akaike's Information Criterion did not include developed or agricultural land cover, probably because few watersheds in our database had substantial levels of these land cover classes. Our results provide evidence, at a regional scale, that background sources and processes cause many Coast Range streams to exceed proposed nutrient criteria, and that the prevalence of a single tree species (N‐fixing red alder) exerts a dominant control over stream N concentrations across this region.
- Quantifying the Impact of Renewable Energy Futures on Cooling Water Use
- Authors: Jonathan Baker; Kenneth Strzepek, William Farmer, C. Adam Schlosser
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: This article presents an empirically based model, WiCTS (Withdrawal and Consumption for Thermoelectric Systems), to estimate regional water withdrawals and consumption implied by any electricity generation portfolio. WiTCS uses water use rates, developed at the substate level, to predict water use by scaling the rates with predicted energy generation. The capability of WiCTS is demonstrated by assessing the impact of renewable electricity generation scenarios on water use in the United States (U.S.) through 2050. The energy generation scenarios are taken from the Renewable Energy Futures Study performed by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy. Results indicate reductions in water use are achieved under these renewable energy scenarios. The analysis further explores the impact of two modifications to the modeling framework. The first modification presumes geothermal and concentrated solar power generation technologies employ water‐intensive cooling systems vs. cooling technology that requires no water. The second modification presumes all water‐intensive cooling technologies use closed cycle cooling (as opposed to once‐through cooling) technologies by 2050. Results based on one of the renewable generation scenarios indicate water use increases by over 20% under the first modification, and water consumption increases by approximately 40% while water withdrawals decrease by over 85% under the second modification.
- Automation of a Hydrodynamic Model of the Delaware Estuary for Rapid Water
Quality Simulations of Pollutant Releases
- Authors: John Yagecic; Namsoo Suk
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: To facilitate the rapid simulation of accidental pollution releases, the Delaware River Basin Commission has developed applications which completely automate data retrieval and processing for the development of a hydrodynamic model input file, as well as running the model. Overnight, every night, the applications retrieve from the internet multiple datasets for constructing freshwater inflow and tidal boundary time series. The hydrodynamic model is run automatically, using the recently written model input file. When no release has occurred, the hydrodynamic output file is not used and is simply overwritten on the following evening, from the updated hydrodynamic model run. Automating the hydrodynamic model portion of the simulation dramatically reduces the time required to simulate the transport of an accidental release to the Delaware Estuary.
- The Atmosphere can be a Source of Certain Water Soluble Volatile Organic
Compounds in Urban Streams
- Authors: Scott J. Kenner; David A. Bender, James F. Pankow, John S. Zogorski
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Surface water and air volatile organic compound (VOC) data from 10 U.S. Geological Survey monitoring sites were used to evaluate the potential for direct transport of VOCs from the atmosphere to urban streams. Analytical results of 87 VOC compounds were screened by evaluating the occurrence and detection levels in both water and air, and equilibrium concentrations in water (Cws) based on the measured air concentrations. Four compounds (acetone, methyl tertiary butyl ether, toluene, and m‐ & p‐xylene) were detected in more than 20% of water samples, in more than 10% of air samples, and more than 10% of detections in air were greater than long‐term method detection levels (LTMDL) in water. Benzene was detected in more than 20% of water samples and in more than 10% of air samples. Two percent of benzene detections in air were greater than one‐half the LTMDL in water. Six compounds (chloroform, p‐isopropyltoluene, methylene chloride, perchloroethene, 1,1,1‐trichloroethane, and trichloroethene) were detected in more than 20% of water samples and in more than 10% of air samples. Five VOCs, toluene, m‐ & p‐xylene, methyl tert‐butyl ether (MTBE), acetone, and benzene were identified as having sufficiently high concentrations in the atmosphere to be a source to urban streams. MTBE, acetone, and benzene exhibited behavior that was consistent with equilibrium concentrations in the atmosphere.
- Channel Roughness in North Carolina Mountain Streams
- Authors: Jason M. Zink; Gregory D. Jennings
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Channel roughness, often described by Manning's n, is used to represent the amount of resistance that flow encounters, and has direct implications on velocity and discharge. Ideally, n is calculated from a long‐term record of channel discharge and hydraulic geometry. In the absence of these data, a combination of photo references and a validated qualitative method is preferable to simply choosing n arbitrarily or from a table. The purpose of this study was to use United States Geological Survey (USGS) streamflow data to calculate roughness coefficients for streams in the mountains of North Carolina. Five USGS gage stations were selected for this study, representing drainage areas between 71.5 and 337 km2. Photo references of the study sites are presented. Measured discharges were combined with hydraulic geometry at a cross‐section to calculate roughness coefficients for flows of interest. At bankfull flow, n ranged between 0.039 and 0.064 for the five study sites. Roughness coefficients were not constant for all flows in a channel, and fluctuated over a large range. At all sites, roughness was highest during low‐flow conditions, then quickly decreased as flow increased, up to the bankfull elevation.
- Effects of Land Use and Climate Change on Stream Temperature I: Daily Flow
and Stream Temperature Projections
- Authors: Joseph A. Daraio; Jerad D. Bales
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Freshwater mussels (order Unionida) are a highly imperiled group of organisms that are at risk from rising stream temperatures (T). There is a need to understand the potential effects of land use (LU) and climate change (CC) on stream T and have a measure of uncertainty. We used available downscaled climate projections and LU change simulations to simulate the potential effects on average daily stream T from 2020 to 2060. Monte Carlo simulations were run, and a novel technique to analyze results was used to assess changes in hydrologic and stream T response. Simulations of daily mean T were used as input to our stochastic hourly T model. CC effects were on average two orders of magnitude greater than LU impacts on mean daily stream T. LU change affected stream T primarily in headwater streams, on average up to 2.1°C over short durations, and projected CC affected stream T, on average 2.1‐3.3°C by 2060. Daily mean flow and T ratios from Monte Carlo simulations indicated greater variance in the response of streamflow (up to 55%) to LU change than in the response of stream T (up to 9%), and greater variance in headwater stream segments compared to higher order stream segments for both streamflow and T response. Simulations indicated that combined effects of climate and LU change were not additive, suggesting a complex interaction and that forecasting long‐term stream T response requires simulating CC and LU change simultaneously.
- Effects of Land Use and Climate Change on Stream Temperature II: Threshold
Exceedance Duration Projections for Freshwater Mussels
- Authors: Joseph A. Daraio; Jerad D. Bales, Tamara J. Pandolfo
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: We developed a stochastic hourly stream temperature model (SHSTM) to estimate probability of exceeding given threshold temperature (T) for specified durations (24 and 96 h) to assess potential impacts on freshwater mussels in the upper Tar River, North Carolina. Simulated daily mean stream T from climate change (CC) and land‐use (LU) change simulations for 2021‐2030 and 2051‐2060 were used as input to the SHSTM. Stream T observations in 2010 revealed only two sites with T above 30°C for >24 h and Ts were never >31°C for more than 24 h at any site. The SHSTM suggests that the probability, P, that T will exceed 32°C for at least 96 h in a given year increased from P = 0, in the 20th Century, to P = 0.05 in 2021‐2030 and to P = 0.14 in 2051‐2060. The SHSTM indicated that CC had greater effects on P for 24 and 96 h durations than LU change. Increased P occurred primarily in higher order stream segments in the downstream reaches of the basin. The SHSTM indicated that hourly stream T responded to LU change on the daily scale and did not affect stream T for durations >24 h. The SHSTM indicated that known thermal thresholds for freshwater mussels could be exceeded within the next 50 years in many parts of the upper Tar River basin in North Carolina, which could have negative consequences on the recruitment of freshwater mussels.
- Estimating Sediment and Nutrient Loads in Four Western Lake Superior
- Authors: Elaine M. Ruzycki; Richard P. Axler, George E. Host, Jerald R. Henneck, Norman R. Will
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Total suspended solids (TSS) and total phosphorus (TP) have been shown to be strongly correlated with turbidity in watersheds. High‐frequency in situ turbidity can provide estimates of these potential pollutants over a wide range of hydrologic conditions. Concentrations and loads were estimated in four western Lake Superior trout streams from 2005 to 2010 using regression models relating continuous turbidity data to grab sample measures of TSS and TP during differing flow regimes. TSS loads estimated using the turbidity surrogate were compared with those made using FLUX software, a standard assessment technique based on discharge and grab sampling for TSS. More traditional rating curve methodology was not suitable because of the high variability in the particulates vs. discharge relationship. Stream‐specific turbidity and TSS data were strongly correlated (r2 = 0.5 to 0.8; p
- Can Desalination and Clean Energy Combined Help to Alleviate Global Water
- Authors: Aditya Sood; Vladimir Smakhtin
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: The major present hindrance in using desalination to help alleviate global water scarcity is the cost of this technology, which, in turn is due to energy cost involved. This study examines historical trends in desalination and breaks up the cost of desalination into energy based and nonenergy based. It then develops the learning curves (relationship between cumulative production and market price) for desalination. Assuming that the photovoltaic (PV) technology will be the dominant form of energy used in the desalination process, the existing PV learning curve and desalination learning curve are combined to explore the viability of large‐scale adoption of desalination in the future. The world has been divided into seven regions and it is assumed that water demand from desalinated water will be met only within the 100‐km coastal belt. It is shown that, in most of the regions, other than sub‐Saharan Africa, Central America, and South Asia (where water tariffs are low), the desalination (without considering energy) becomes viable by 2040. For PV technology, less than 1 million MW per annum growth is required till 2050 to make it affordable. Globally, desalination with renewable energy can become a viable option to replace domestic and industrial water demand in the 100‐km coastal belt by 2050.
- Evaluation of CFSR climate data for hydrologic prediction in
- Authors: Yihun Taddele Dile; Raghavan Srinivasan
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Data scarcity has been a huge problem in modeling the water resources of the Upper Blue Nile basin, Ethiopia. Satellite data and different statistical methods have been used to improve the quality of conventional meteorological data. This study assesses the applicability of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction's Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) climate data in modeling the hydrology of the region. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool was set up to compare the performance of CFSR weather with that of conventional weather in simulating observed streamflow at four river gauging stations in the Lake Tana basin — the upper part of the Upper Blue Nile basin. The conventional weather simulation performed satisfactorily (e.g., NSE ≥ 0.5) for three gauging stations, while the CFSR weather simulation performed satisfactorily for two. The simulations with CFSR and conventional weather yielded minor differences in the water balance components in all but one watershed, where the CFSR weather simulation gave much higher average annual rainfall, resulting in higher water balance components. Both weather simulations gave similar annual crop yields in the four administrative zones. Overall the simulation with the conventional weather performed better than the CFSR weather. However, in data‐scarce regions such as remote parts of the Upper Blue Nile basin, CFSR weather could be a valuable option for hydrological predictions where conventional gauges are not available.
- SWATmodel: A Multi‐Operating System, Multi‐Platform SWAT Model
Package in R
- Authors: Daniel R. Fuka; M. Todd Walter, Charlotte MacAlister, Tammo S. Steenhuis, Zachary M. Easton
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model (Arnold et al., ) is a popular watershed management tool. Currently, the SWAT model, actively supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Texas A&M, operates only on Microsoft® Windows, which hinders modelers that use other operating systems (OS). This technical note introduces the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN) distributed “SWATmodel” package which allows SWAT 2005 and 2012 to be widely distributed and run as a linear model‐like function on multiple OS and processor platforms. This allows researchers anywhere in the world using virtually any OS to run SWAT. In addition to simplifying the use of SWAT across computational platforms, the SWATmodel package allows SWAT modelers to utilize the analytical capabilities, statistical libraries, modeling tools, and programming flexibility inherent to R. The software allows watershed modelers to develop a simple hydrological watershed model conceptualization of the SWAT model and to obtain a first approximation of the minimum expected results a more complicated model should deliver. As a proof of concept, we test the SWAT model by initializing and calibrating 314 U.S. Geological Survey stream gages in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and present the results.
- Filyos River Streamflow Reconstruction from Tree‐Ring Chronologies
with Nonparametric Approaches
- Authors: Nermin Şarlak
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: The article presents nonparametric methods based on K nearest neighbors (KNNs), modified KNNs, and local polynomial techniques to reconstruct streamflow ensembles from tree‐ring data in Filyos River region (Turkey). Three methods were tested using cross‐validation for the overlap period, 1963‐1997 for which the tree‐ring and streamflow data are available. It was found that for the study where the length of the overlap period was limited, a nonparametric method based on a local polynomial technique provides simulations that have a slightly better solution than the other methods. After verification using standard statistical techniques, these methods were utilized to develop streamflow reconstructions from tree‐ring data for the paleo‐hydrologic period (1657‐1963). These reconstructions of seasonal low and high flows were discussed with the obtained flood duration curve. They were also compared with the historical archives and other tree‐ring reconstructions data available in the same river. Overall, the utility and limitations of these methods and the resulting streamflow simulations were discussed to assess the long‐term discharge behavior of Filyos River and to evaluate water supply reliability.
- Potential Economic Impacts of Environmental Flows Following a Possible
Listing of Endangered Texas Freshwater Mussels
- Authors: Brad D. Wolaver; Cassandra E. Cook, David L. Sunding, Stephen F. Hamilton, Bridget R. Scanlon, Michael H. Young, Xianli Xu, Robert C. Reedy
Pages: n/a - n/a
Abstract: Texas water resources, already taxed by drought and population growth, could be further stressed by possible listings of endangered aquatic species. This study estimated potential economic impacts of environmental flows (EFs) for five freshwater unionid mussels in three Central Texas basins (Brazos, Colorado, and Guadalupe‐San Antonio Rivers) that encompass 36% of Texas (~246,000 km2). A water availability model projected reductions in water supply to power, commercial and industrial, municipal, and agriculture sectors in response to possible EFs for mussels. Single‐year economic impacts were calculated using publicly available data with and without water transfers. Benefits of EFs should also be assessed, should critical habitat be proposed. Potential economic losses were highest during droughts, but were nominal (
- Spatial Variability in Nutrient Transport by HUC8, State, and Subbasin
Based on Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin SPARROW Models
- Authors: Dale M. Robertson; David A. Saad, Gregory E. Schwarz
Pages: 988 - 1009
Abstract: Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) loading from the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB) has been linked to hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. With geospatial datasets for 2002, including inputs from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), and monitored loads throughout the MARB, SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) watershed models were constructed specifically for the MARB, which reduced simulation errors from previous models. Based on these models, N loads/yields were highest from the central part (centered over Iowa and Indiana) of the MARB (Corn Belt), and the highest P yields were scattered throughout the MARB. Spatial differences in yields from previous studies resulted from different descriptions of the dominant sources (N yields are highest with crop‐oriented agriculture and P yields are highest with crop and animal agriculture and major WWTPs) and different descriptions of downstream transport. Delivered loads/yields from the MARB SPARROW models are used to rank subbasins, states, and eight‐digit Hydrologic Unit Code basins (HUC8s) by N and P contributions and then rankings are compared with those from other studies. Changes in delivered yields result in an average absolute change of 1.3 (N) and 1.9 (P) places in state ranking and 41 (N) and 69 (P) places in HUC8 ranking from those made with previous national‐scale SPARROW models. This information may help managers decide where efforts could have the largest effects (highest ranked areas) and thus reduce hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Assessment of Alternative Methods for Statistically Downscaling Daily GCM
Precipitation Outputs to Simulate Regional Streamflow
- Authors: Syewoon Hwang; Wendy D. Graham
Pages: 1010 - 1032
Abstract: This study applied three statistical downscaling methods: (1) bias correction and spatial disaggregation at daily time scale (BCSD_daily); (2) a modified version of BCSD which reverses the order of spatial disaggregation and bias correction (SDBC), and (3) the bias correction and stochastic analog method (BCSA) to downscale general circulation model daily precipitation outputs to the subbasin scale for west‐central Florida. Each downscaled climate input dataset was then used in an integrated hydrologic model to examine differences in ability to simulate retrospective streamflow characteristics. Results showed the BCSD_daily method consistently underestimated mean streamflow because the highly spatially correlated small precipitation events produced by this method resulted in overestimation of evapotranspiration. Highly spatially correlated large precipitation events produced by the SDBC method resulted in overestimation of the standard deviation of wet season daily streamflow and the magnitude/frequency of high streamflow events. BCSA showed better performance than the other methods in reproducing spatiotemporal statistics of daily precipitation and streamflow. This study demonstrated differences in statistical downscaling techniques propagate into significant differences in streamflow predictions, and underscores the need to carefully select a downscaling method that reproduces precipitation characteristics important for the hydrologic system under consideration.
- Instream Restoration to Improve the Ecohydrologic Function of a Subalpine
Meadow: Pre‐implementation Modeling with HEC‐RAS
- Authors: Courtney E. Moore; Steven P. Loheide, Christopher S. Lowry, Jessica D. Lundquist
Pages: 1033 - 1050
Abstract: Vegetation in subalpine meadows in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is particularly vulnerable to lowering of groundwater levels because wet meadow vegetation is reliant upon shallow groundwater during the dry summer growing season. These ecosystems are especially vulnerable to channel incision as meadow aquifers are hydrologically connected to tributaries, and many have not yet recovered from previous anthropogenic influences. While instream restoration projects have become a common approach, lack of postrestoration monitoring and communication often result in a trial‐and‐error approach. In this study we demonstrate that preimplementation modeling of possible instream restoration solutions, chosen to raise stream stage and subsequently groundwater levels, is a useful tool for evaluating and comparing potential channel modifications. Modeling allows us to identify strategic locations and specific methods. Results show additional sediment depth and roughness on tributaries along with introduced woody debris (simulated by high roughness) on the Tuolumne River are the most effective means of raising stream stage. Results demonstrate that restoration efforts are most efficient in tributary streams. Managers and planners can more efficiently direct resources while minimizing the potential for negative impacts or failed restoration projects by modeling the possible effects of multiple restoration scenarios before implementation.
- Rapid Geomorphic and Habitat Stream Assessment Techniques Inform
Restoration Differently Based on Levels of Stream Disturbance
- Authors: Michael W. Habberfield; Stacey Sloan Blersch, Sean J. Bennett, Joseph F. Atkinson
Pages: 1051 - 1062
Abstract: Visual‐based rapid assessment techniques provide an efficient method for characterizing the restoration potential of streams, with many focusing on channel stability and instream habitat features. Few studies, however, have compared these techniques to see if they result in differing restoration priorities. Three rapid assessment techniques were contrasted at three wild trout streams in western New York with different amounts of channel disturbance. Two methods focused only on geomorphic stability, whereas the third addressed physical habitat condition. Habitat assessment scores were not correlated with scores for either geomorphic assessment method and they varied more between channels with different degrees of disturbance. A model based on dynamic equilibrium concepts best explains the variation among the streams and techniques because it accounts for a stream's capacity to maintain ecological integrity despite some inherent instability. Geomorphic indices can serve as effective proxies for biological indices in highly disturbed systems. Yet, this may not be the case in less disturbed systems, where geomorphic indices cannot differentiate channel adjustments that impact biota from those that do not. Dynamically stable streams can include both stable and unstable reaches locally as characterized by geomorphic methods and translating these results into restoration priorities may not be appropriate if interpretations are limited to the reach scale.
- Water Balances of Two Piedmont Headwater Catchments: Implications for
Regional Hydrologic Landscape Classification
- Authors: C. Dreps; A.L. James, G. Sun, J. Boggs
Pages: 1063 - 1079
Abstract: In the Piedmont of North Carolina, a traditionally water‐rich region, reservoirs that serve over 1 million people are under increasing pressure due to naturally occurring droughts and increasing land development. Innovative development approaches aim to maintain hydrologic conditions of the undisturbed landscape, but are based on insufficient target information. This study uses the hydrologic landscape concept to evaluate reference hydrology in small headwater catchments surrounding Falls Lake, a reservoir serving Raleigh and the greater Triangle area. Researchers collected one year of detailed data on water balance components, including precipitation, evapotranspiration, streamflow, and shallow subsurface storage from two headwater catchments representative of two hydrologic landscapes defined by differences in soils and topographic characteristics. The two catchments are similar in size and lie within the same physiographic region, and during the study period they showed similar water balances of 26‐30% Q, −4 to 5% ΔS, 59‐65% evapotranspiration, and 9‐10% G. However, the steeper, more elevated catchment exhibited perennial streamflow and nongrowing season runoff ratios (Q/P) of 33%, whereas the flat, low‐lying stream was drier during the growing season and exhibited Q/P ratios of 52% during the nongrowing season. A hydrologic landscape defined by topography and soil characteristics helps characterize local‐scale reference hydrology and may contribute to better land management decisions.
- Constructed Wetland Treatment of Nitrates: Removal Effectiveness and Cost
- Authors: Alan R. Collins; Neil Gillies
Pages: 898 - 908
Abstract: A constructed wetland (CW) was strategically placed to treat nitrates in groundwater as part of a watershed‐based farmer engagement process. Using stream water quality data collected before and after installation, this CW was found to reduce stream concentrations of nitrogen from nitrate (NO3‐N) during the growing season by about 0.14 mg/l at mean streamflow, a 17% reduction. Based upon realistic ecological and economic assumptions, about 80 kg of NO3‐N were removed annually by the CW at a cost of around US$30/kg. This per unit cost is at the low range of small wastewater treatment plant costs for nitrates, but higher than the costs of reduced fertilizer application.
- Improvement in HSPF's Low‐Flow Predictions by Implementation of a
Power Law Groundwater Storage‐Discharge Relationship
- Authors: C.L. Schultz; S.N. Ahmed, R. Mandel, H.L.N. Moltz
Pages: 909 - 927
Abstract: We have enhanced the ability of a widely used watershed model, Hydrologic Simulation Program — FORTRAN (HSPF), to predict low flows by reconfiguring the algorithm that simulates groundwater discharge. During dry weather periods, flow in most streams consists primarily of base flow, that is, groundwater discharged from underlying aquifers. In this study, HSPF's groundwater storage‐discharge relationship is changed from a linear to a more general nonlinear relationship which takes the form of a power law. The nonlinear algorithm is capable of simulating streamflow recession curves that have been found in some studies to better match observed dry weather hydrographs. The altered version of HSPF is implemented in the Chesapeake Bay Program's Phase 5 Model, an HSPF‐based model that simulates nutrient and sediment loads to the Chesapeake Bay, and is tested in the upper Potomac River basin, a 29,950 km2 drainage area that is part of the Bay watershed. The nonlinear relationship improved median Nash‐Sutcliffe efficiencies for log daily flows at the model's 45 calibration points. Mean absolute percent error on low‐flow days dropped in five major Potomac River tributaries by up to 12 percentage points, and in the Potomac River itself by four percentage points, where low‐flow days were defined as days when observed flows were in the lowest 5th percentile range. Percent bias on low‐flow days improved by eight percentage points in the Potomac River, from −11 to −3%.
- A Hydrologic Data Screening Procedure for Exploring Monotonic Trends and
Shifts in Rainfall and Runoff Patterns
- Authors: Ma. Librada Chu; Abduwasiti Ghulam, Jason H. Knouft, Zaitao Pan
Pages: 928 - 942
Abstract: A thorough understanding of past and present hydrologic responses to changes in precipitation patterns is crucial for predicting future conditions. The main objectives of this study were to determine temporal changes in rainfall‐runoff relationship and to identify significant trends and abrupt shifts in rainfall and runoff time series. Ninety‐year rainfall and runoff time series datasets from the Gasconade and Meramec watersheds in east‐central Missouri were used to develop data screening procedure to assess changes in the rainfall and runoff temporal patterns. A statistically significant change in mean and variance was detected in 1980 in the rainfall and runoff time series within both watersheds. In addition, both the rainfall and runoff time series indicated the presence of nonstationary attributes such as statistically significant monotonic trends and/or change in mean and variance, which should be taken into consideration when using the time series to predict future scenarios. The annual peak runoff and the annual low flow in the Meramec watershed showed significant temporal changes compared to that in the Gasconade watershed. Water loss in both watersheds was found to be significantly increasing which is potentially due to the increase in groundwater pumping for water supply purposes.
- Flow, Organic, and Inorganic Sediment Yields from a Channelized Watershed
in the South Carolina Lower Coastal Plain
- Authors: Anand D. Jayakaran; Susan M. Libes, Daniel R. Hitchcock, Natasha L. Bell, David Fuss
Pages: 943 - 962
Abstract: Many small streams in coastal watersheds in the southeastern United States are modified for agricultural, residential, and commercial development. In the South Carolina Lower Coastal Plain, low‐relief topography and a shallow water table make stream channelization ubiquitous. To quantify the impacts of urbanization and stream channelization, we measured flow and sediment from an urbanizing watershed and a small forested watershed. Flow and sediment export rates were used to infer specific yields from forested and nonforested regions of the urbanizing watershed. Study objectives were to: (1) quantify the range of runoff‐to‐rainfall ratios; (2) quantify the range of specific sediment yields; (3) characterize the quantity and quality of particulate matter exported; and (4) estimate sediment yield attributable to agriculture, development, and channelization activities in the urbanizing watershed. Our results showed that the urban watershed exported over five times more sediment per unit area compared with the forested watershed. Sediment concentration was related to flow flashiness in the urban watershed and to flow magnitude in the forested watershed. Sediments from the forested watershed were dominated by organic matter, whereas mineral matter dominated sediment from the urban stream. Our results indicated that a significant shift in sediment quality and quantity are likely to occur as forested watersheds are transformed by urbanization in coastal South Carolina.
- Conjunctive Water Use in Confined Basalt Aquifers: An Evaluation Using
Geochemistry, a Numerical Model, and Historical Water Level
- Authors: Patrick D. Royer; Matthew Tonkin, Travis Hammond
Pages: 963 - 976
Abstract: As withdrawals from deep compartmentalized aquifers increasingly exceed recharge throughout the western United States, conjunctive water use management alternatives have become an applied research priority. This study highlights both details and limitations of the role of irrigation canal seepage as groundwater recharge, revealing the regional limitations of canal seepage as a dependable source of recharge in overdrawn aquifers. A suite of geochemical indicators were used together with a numerical model to evaluate current and future management scenarios focused on recharge derived from seepage from a region‐wide irrigation canal system. Twenty‐five years of static groundwater level data were used to relate spatial trends determined using geochemistry and groundwater modeling with “on‐the‐ground” management practices, which vary based on acreage, crop, and irrigation scheduling. Increasing groundwater age determined using isotope analysis, and declines in potentiometric heads, each correlate with increasing distance from the canal reaches. Predictive modeling indicates that if pumping is gradually reduced, as has been suggested by management agencies, that recharge from canal seepage will be negligible by 2035 due to regional groundwater through‐flow and the pattern of potentiometric head recovery. Unfortunately, historic hydrographs suggest that under current groundwater development conditions most wells are not sustainable, irrespective of proximity to the canal.
- Thermal Pollution Mitigation in Cold Water Stream Watersheds Using
- Authors: Daniel L. Long; Randel L. Dymond
Pages: 977 - 987
Abstract: This study examines the use of bioretention as a strategy to reduce the thermal impact associated with urban stormwater runoff in developing cold water stream watersheds. Temperature and flow data were collected during 10 controlled runs at a bioretention facility located in Blacksburg, Virginia. It was determined that bioretention has the ability to reduce the temperature of thermally charged stormwater runoff received from an asphalt surface. Significant reductions in peak and average temperatures (p