- A Comprehensive Python Toolkit for Accessing High‐Throughput Computing
to Support Large Hydrologic Modeling Tasks
- Authors: Scott D. Christensen; Nathan R. Swain, Norman L. Jones, E. James Nelson, Alan D. Snow, Herman G. Dolder
Abstract: The National Flood Interoperability Experiment (NFIE) was an undertaking that initiated a transformation in national hydrologic forecasting by providing streamflow forecasts at high spatial resolution over the whole country. This type of large‐scale, high‐resolution hydrologic modeling requires flexible and scalable tools to handle the resulting computational loads. While high‐throughput computing (HTC) and cloud computing provide an ideal resource for large‐scale modeling because they are cost‐effective and highly scalable, nevertheless, using these tools requires specialized training that is not always common for hydrologists and engineers. In an effort to facilitate the use of HTC resources the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project, CI‐WATER, has developed a set of Python tools that can automate the tasks of provisioning and configuring an HTC environment in the cloud, and creating and submitting jobs to that environment. These tools are packaged into two Python libraries: CondorPy and TethysCluster. Together these libraries provide a comprehensive toolkit for accessing HTC to support hydrologic modeling. Two use cases are described to demonstrate the use of the toolkit, including a web app that was used to support the NFIE national‐scale modeling.
- Continental‐Scale River Flow Modeling of the Mississippi River Basin
Using High‐Resolution NHDPlus Dataset
- Abstract: As a key component of the National Flood Interoperability Experiment (NFIE), this article presents the continental scale river flow modeling of the Mississippi River Basin (MRB), using high‐resolution river data from NHDPlus. The Routing Application for Parallel computatIon of Discharge (RAPID) was applied to the MRB with more than 1.2 million river reaches for a 10‐year study (2005‐2014). Runoff data from the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model was used as input to RAPID. This article investigates the effect of topography on RAPID performance, the differences between the VIC‐RAPID streamflow simulations in the HUC‐2 regions of the MRB, and the impact of major dams on the streamflow simulations. The model performance improved when initial parameter values, especially the Muskingum K parameter, were estimated by taking topography into account. The statistical summary indicates the RAPID model performs better in the Ohio and Tennessee Regions and the Upper and Lower Mississippi River Regions in comparison to the western part of the MRB, due to the better performance of the VIC model. The model accuracy also increases when lakes and reservoirs are considered in the modeling framework. In general, results show the VIC‐RAPID streamflow simulation is satisfactory at the continental scale of the MRB.
- Evaluating Flow Diversion Impacts to Groundwater‐Dependent Riparian
Vegetation with Flow Alteration and Groundwater Model Analysis
- Authors: Deborah L. Hathaway; Gilbert Barth, Katie Kirsch
Abstract: An approach for assessing the potential ecologic response of groundwater‐dependent riparian vegetation to flow alteration is developed, focusing on change to groundwater. Groundwater requirements for riparian vegetation are reviewed in conjunction with flow alteration statistics. Where flow alteration coincides with groundwater‐related vegetation sensitivities, scenarios are developed for groundwater simulation. Groundwater depths and recession rates in the riparian zone are simulated for baseline and altered stream hydrographs, with changes to river stage and width represented with a transient, flow‐dependent boundary condition. Potential flow diversion from the Upper Gila River in New Mexico is examined. Statistical flow alteration analysis, applying prospective diversions to a 76‐year record of daily flow, shows that flows in the winter‐spring months and within the high‐pulse to small flood range are subject to greatest potential change. Groundwater simulation scenarios are developed for these flow conditions in representative dry, near‐average, and wet years. Differences in groundwater elevations, generally less than 0.25 m during the flow alteration period, dissipate rapidly following cessation of diversion. Relating groundwater depth, recession rates and range of fluctuations to riparian vegetation needs, we find adverse ecological response is not expected from groundwater impacts for the flow alteration examined.
- Synthesis of Common Management Concerns Associated with Dam Removal
- Abstract: Managers make decisions regarding if and how to remove dams in spite of uncertainty surrounding physical and ecological responses, and stakeholders often raise concerns about certain negative effects, regardless of whether these concerns are warranted at a particular site. We used a dam‐removal science database supplemented with other information sources to explore seven frequently raised concerns, herein Common Management Concerns (CMCs). We investigate the occurrence of these concerns and the contributing biophysical controls. The CMCs addressed are the following: degree and rate of reservoir sediment erosion, excessive channel incision upstream of reservoirs, downstream sediment aggradation, elevated downstream turbidity, drawdown impacts on local water infrastructure, colonization of reservoir sediments by nonnative plants, and expansion of invasive fish. Biophysical controls emerged for some of the concerns, providing managers with information to assess whether a given concern is likely to occur at a site. To fully assess CMC risk, managers should concurrently evaluate site conditions and identify the ecosystem or human uses that will be negatively affected if the biophysical phenomenon producing the CMC occurs. We show how many CMCs have one or more controls in common, facilitating the identification of multiple risks at a site, and demonstrate why CMC risks should be considered in the context of other factors such as natural watershed variability and disturbance history.
- Who Should Be an Author?
- Authors: Parker J. Wigington
- Investigation of the Curve Number Method For Surface Runoff Estimation In
- Abstract: This study tests the applicability of the curve number (CN) method within the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to estimate surface runoff at the watershed scale in tropical regions. To do this, surface runoff simulated using the CN method was compared with observed runoff in numerous rainfall‐runoff events in three small tropical watersheds located in the Upper Blue Nile basin, Ethiopia. The CN method generally performed well in simulating surface runoff in the studied watersheds (Nash‐Sutcliff efficiency [NSE] > 0.7; percent bias [PBIAS]
- Boosted Regression Tree Models to Explain Watershed Nutrient
Concentrations and Biological Condition
- Authors: Heather E. Golden; Charles R. Lane, Amy G. Prues, Ellen D'Amico
Abstract: Boosted regression tree (BRT) models were developed to quantify the nonlinear relationships between landscape variables and nutrient concentrations in a mesoscale mixed land cover watershed during base‐flow conditions. Factors that affect instream biological components, based on the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI), were also analyzed. Seasonal BRT models at two spatial scales (watershed and riparian buffered area [RBA]) for nitrite‐nitrate (NO2‐NO3), total Kjeldahl nitrogen, and total phosphorus (TP) and annual models for the IBI score were developed. Two primary factors — location within the watershed (i.e., geographic position, stream order, and distance to a downstream confluence) and percentage of urban land cover (both scales) — emerged as important predictor variables. Latitude and longitude interacted with other factors to explain the variability in summer NO2‐NO3 concentrations and IBI scores. BRT results also suggested that location might be associated with indicators of sources (e.g., land cover), runoff potential (e.g., soil and topographic factors), and processes not easily represented by spatial data indicators. Runoff indicators (e.g., Hydrological Soil Group D and Topographic Wetness Indices) explained a substantial portion of the variability in nutrient concentrations as did point sources for TP in the summer months. The results from our BRT approach can help prioritize areas for nutrient management in mixed‐use and heavily impacted watersheds.
- Application of Wavelet Coherence Method to Investigate Karst Spring
Discharge Response to Climate Teleconnection Patterns
- Authors: Xueli Huo; Liyuan Lei, Zhongfang Liu, Yonghong Hao, Bill X. Hu, Hongbin Zhan
Abstract: The impact of climate teleconnections on the regional hydrometeorology has been well studied, but very little effort has been made to relate climate teleconnections with groundwater flow variation. In this study, we used a wavelet coherence method to analyze monthly climate indices, precipitation, and spring discharge data, and investigated the relation between major teleconnection patterns (the Arctic Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, El Niño‐Southern Oscillation, and Indian Ocean Dipole) and karst hydrological process in Niangziguan Springs Basin, China. The results indicate precipitation and spring discharges correlate well with climate indices at intra‐ and inter‐annual time scales. Further, the climate indices are mainly correlated with precipitation at shorter periodicities, but correlated with spring discharge at longer scales. The difference reflects the modulation of karst aquifers on precipitation‐spring discharge during the processes of precipitation infiltration into the ground, and subsequent transformation into spring discharge. When teleconnection signals are transmitted into spring discharge via precipitation infiltration and groundwater propagation, some high‐frequency climatic signals are likely to be filtered, attenuated, and delayed, thus only low‐frequency climatic signals are preserved in spring discharge.
- Quantifying Legacy Phosphorus Using a Mass Balance Approach and
- Authors: A.R. Mittelstet; D.E. Storm
Abstract: Classic agricultural‐conservation practices may not address decades of phosphorus (P) accumulation, known as legacy P. Identifying and quantifying legacy P sources are necessary to identify the most cost‐efficient conservation practices. A method was developed to identify and quantify legacy P at the watershed scale using a mass‐balance approach and uncertainty analysis. The method was applied to two nutrient‐rich watersheds in northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. Each P import and export to and from the two watersheds was identified and quantified using a probability distribution and uncertainty analysis. The P retained in the soils, reservoirs, and stream systems were estimated from 1925 to 2015. Over 8.5 and 6.1 kg/ha/year of P were added to the Illinois River and Eucha‐Spavinaw watersheds with 53 and 55% from poultry production, respectively. Other major historical sources were attributed to human population and commercial fertilizer. Though currently the net addition of P in the watersheds is small due to the export of approximately 90% of the poultry litter, historically only 14‐19% of all P imported to the Illinois River and Eucha‐Spavinaw watersheds was removed via the reservoir spillways, poultry litter, and food exports. The majority of the retained P is located in the soil, 3.6‐5.8 kg/ha/year, and stream systems, 0.01‐3.0 per ha/year.
- Integrating Seasonal Information on Nutrients and Benthic Algal Biomass
into Stream Water Quality Monitoring
- Authors: Christopher P. Konrad; Mark D. Munn
Abstract: Benthic chlorophyll a (BChl a) and environmental factors that influence algal biomass were measured monthly from February through October in 22 streams from three agricultural regions of the United States. At‐site maximum BChl a ranged from 14 to 406 mg/m2 and generally varied with dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN): 8 out of 9 sites with at‐site median DIN >0.5 mg/L had maximum BChl a >100 mg/m2. BChl a accrued and persisted at levels within 50% of at‐site maximum for only one to three months. No dominant seasonal pattern for algal biomass accrual was observed in any region. A linear model with DIN, water surface gradient, and velocity accounted for most of the cross‐site variation in maximum chlorophyll a (adjusted R2 = 0.7), but was no better than a single value of DIN = 0.5 mg/L for distinguishing between low and high‐biomass sites. Studies of nutrient enrichment require multiple samples to estimate algal biomass with sufficient precision given the magnitude of temporal variability of algal biomass. An effective strategy for regional stream assessment of nutrient enrichment could be based on a relation between maximum BChl a and DIN based on repeat sampling at sites selected to represent a gradient in nutrients and application of the relation to a larger number of sites with synoptic nutrient information.
- Reconstructions of Columbia River Streamflow from Tree‐Ring Chronologies
in the Pacific Northwest, USA
- Authors: Jeremy S. Littell; Gregory T. Pederson, Stephen T. Gray, Michael Tjoelker, Alan F. Hamlet, Connie A. Woodhouse
Abstract: We developed Columbia River streamflow reconstructions using a network of existing, new, and updated tree‐ring records sensitive to the main climatic factors governing discharge. Reconstruction quality is enhanced by incorporating tree‐ring chronologies where high snowpack limits growth, which better represent the contribution of cool‐season precipitation to flow than chronologies from trees positively sensitive to hydroclimate alone. The best performing reconstruction (back to 1609 CE) explains 59% of the historical variability and the longest reconstruction (back to 1502 CE) explains 52% of the variability. Droughts similar to the high‐intensity, long‐duration low flows observed during the 1920s and 1940s are rare, but occurred in the early 1500s and 1630s‐1640s. The lowest Columbia flow events appear to be reflected in chronologies both positively and negatively related to streamflow, implying low snowpack and possibly low warm‐season precipitation. High flows of magnitudes observed in the instrumental record appear to have been relatively common, and high flows from the 1680s to 1740s exceeded the magnitude and duration of observed wet periods in the late‐19th and 20th Century. Comparisons between the Columbia River reconstructions and future projections of streamflow derived from global climate and hydrologic models show the potential for increased hydrologic variability, which could present challenges for managing water in the face of competing demands.
- Toward an Alignment of Stormwater Flow and Urban Space
- Authors: Bruce K. Ferguson
Abstract: Urban stormwater practices are individually diverse, but they are components of an overall urban watershed system. This study proposes a conceptual model of that system, including its component spatial areas, their arrangement along the flow route, and their associations with urban land uses and values. The model defines three spatial areas along the flow route which have evolved over time into their present forms: (1) the source area, which is arranged and furnished primarily or entirely for human use, accommodation, and comfort; (2) the perimeter area, where specialized stormwater facilities carry away source‐area runoff or buffer downstream areas from its impacts; and (3) the downstream area, which receives the discharges from the perimeter or directly from the source area. Each area presents a specific combination of stormwater features and human interactions, and excludes others. Considering stormwater flows and functions in the context of physical urban spaces brings into view the spaces’ urban structures and interacting agendas. This model allows practitioners to navigate conceptually through the system, and to focus appropriate objectives and structures on each project site.
- Modeling the Highly Dynamic Loading of Mercury Species in the Carson River
and Lahontan Reservoir System, Nevada
- Authors: Rosemary W.H. Carroll; John J. Warwick
Abstract: The semiarid Carson River — Lahontan Reservoir system in Nevada, United States is highly contaminated with mercury (Hg) from historic mining with contamination dispersed throughout channel and floodplain deposits. Work builds on previous research using a fully dynamic numerical model to outline a complete conceptualization of the system that includes transport and fate of both sorbed and dissolved constituents. Flow regimes are defined to capture significant mechanisms of Hg loading that include diffusion, channel pore water advective flux, bank erosion, and overbank deposition. Advective flux of pore water is required to reduce dilution and likely represents colloidal‐mediated transport. Fluvial concentrations span several orders of magnitude with spatial and temporal trends simulated within 10‐24% error for all modeled species. Over the simulation period, 1991‐2008, simulated loads are 582 kg/yr (THg2+), 4.72 kg/yr (DHg2+), 0.54 kg/yr (TMeHg), and 0.07 kg/yr (DMeHg) with bank erosion processes the principal mechanism of loading for both total and dissolved species. Prediction error in the reservoir is within one‐order of magnitude and considered qualitative; however, simulated results indicate internal cycling within the receiving reservoir accounts for only 1% of the reservoir's water column contamination, with river channel sediment sources more influential in the upper reservoir and bank erosion processes having greater influence in the lower reservoir.
- Issue Information
- PubDate: 2016-08-02T01:03:01.841086-05:
- Spatial and Temporal Variations in Eastern U.S. Hydrology: Responses to
Global Climate Variability
- Authors: Dongmei Feng; Edward Beighley, Randall Hughes, David Kimbro
Abstract: Coastal ecosystems are dependent on terrestrial freshwater export which is affected by both climate trends and natural climate variability. However, the relative role of these factors is not clear. Here, both climate trends and internal climate variabilities at different time scales are related to variations in terrestrial freshwater export into the eastern United States (U.S.) coastal region. For the recent 35‐year period, the intensified hydro‐meteorological processes (annual precipitation or evapotranspiration) may explain the observed streamflow variability in the northeast. However, in the southeast, streamflow is positively correlated with climate variability induced by the Pacific Ocean conditions (El Nino‐Southern Oscillation [ENSO] and Pacific Decadal Oscillation) rather than Atlantic Ocean conditions (Atlantic Multi‐decadal Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation). The centroid location for volume of terrestrial freshwater export integrated along the eastern U.S. has a positive temporal trend and is negatively correlated with ENSO conditions, suggesting the northward trend in freshwater export to U.S. eastern coast may be disturbed by the natural climate variability, especially ENSO conditions, i.e., the center of freshwater mass moves southward (northward) during El Nino (La Nina) years. The results indicate the spatial and temporal variations in freshwater export from the eastern U.S. are affected by both climate change and inter‐annual climate variability during the recent 35‐year period (1980‐2014).
- The Influence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation on Annual Floods in the
Rivers of Western Canada
- Abstract: We analyzed annual peak flow series from 127 naturally flowing or naturalized streamflow gauges across western Canada to examine the impact of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) on annual flood risk, which has been previously unexamined in detail. Using Spearman's rank correlation ρ and permutation tests on quantile‐quantile plots, we show that higher magnitude floods are more likely during the negative phase of the PDO than during the positive phase (shown at 38% of the stations by Spearman's rank correlations and at 51% of the stations according to the permutation tests). Flood frequency analysis (FFA) stratified according to PDO phase suggests that higher magnitude floods may also occur more frequently during the negative PDO phase than during the positive phase. Our results hold throughout much of this region, with the upper Fraser River Basin, the Columbia River Basin, and the North Saskatchewan River Basin particularly subject to this effect. Our results add to other researchers' work questioning the wholesale validity of the key assumption in FFA that the annual peak flow series at a site is independently and identically distributed. Hence, knowledge of large‐scale climate state should be considered prior to the design and construction of infrastructure.
- Groundwater Level Trends and Drivers in Two Northern New England Glacial
- Authors: James B. Shanley; Ann T. Chalmers, Thomas J. Mack, Thor E. Smith, Philip T. Harte
Abstract: We evaluated long‐term trends and predictors of groundwater levels by month from two well‐studied northern New England forested headwater glacial aquifers: Sleepers River, Vermont, 44 wells, 1992‐2013; and Hubbard Brook, New Hampshire, 15 wells, 1979‐2004. Based on Kendall Tau tests with Sen slope determination, a surprising number of well‐month combinations had negative trends (decreasing water levels) over the respective periods. Sleepers River had slightly more positive than negative trends overall, but among the significant trends (p
- Testing and Improving Temperature Thresholds for Snow and Rain Prediction
in the Western United States
- Authors: Seshadri Rajagopal; Adrian A. Harpold
Abstract: The phase of precipitation at the land surface is critical to determine the timing and amount of water available for hydrological and ecological systems. However, there are few techniques to directly observe the precipitation phase and many prediction tools apply a single temperature threshold (e.g., 0°C) to determine phase. In this paper, we asked two questions: (1) what is the accuracy of default and station optimized daily temperature thresholds for predicting precipitation phase and (2) what are the regions and conditions in which typical temperature‐based precipitation phase predictions are most suited. We developed a ground truth dataset of rain vs. snow using an expert decision‐making system based on precipitation, snow depth, and snow water equivalent observations. This dataset was used to evaluate the accuracy of three temperature‐threshold‐based techniques of phase classification. Optimizing the temperature threshold improved the prediction of precipitation phase by 34% compared to using 0°C threshold. Developing a temperature threshold based on station elevation improved the error by 12% compared with using the 0°C temperature threshold. We also found the probability of snow as a function of temperature differed among ecoregions, which suggests a varied response to future climate change. These results highlight a current weakness in our ability to predict the effects of regional warming that could have uneven impacts on water and ecological resources.
- Role of Riparian Areas in Atmospheric Pesticide Deposition and Its
Potential Effect on Water Quality
- Authors: Clifford P. Rice; Krystyna Bialek, Cathleen J. Hapeman, Gregory W. McCarty
Abstract: Riparian buffers are known to mitigate hydrologic losses of nutrients and other contaminants as they exit agricultural fields. The vegetation of riparian buffers can also trap atmospheric contaminants, and these pollutants can subsequently be delivered via rain to the riparian buffer floor. These processes, however, are poorly understood especially for pesticide residues. Therefore, we conducted a four‐year study examining stemflow and throughfall to a riparian buffer which was adjacent a cultured Zea mays field treated with atrazine and metolachlor. Stemflow is rain contacting the tree canopy traveling down smaller to larger branches and down the tree trunk, whereas throughfall is rain that may or may not contact leaves and branches and reaches the earth. Stemflow concentrations of the herbicides were larger than throughfall concentrations and accounted for 5‐15% of the atrazine and 6‐66% of the metolachlor depositional fluxes under the canopy. Larger depositional fluxes were measured when leaves were more fully emerged and temperatures and humidity were elevated. Rain collected outside the riparian buffer on the field side and on the back side revealed the trees trapped the herbicide residues. Herbicide loading to the riparian buffer stream was found to be linked to tree canopy deposition and subsequent washoff during rain events. These results indicate that in agricultural areas canopy washoff can be an important source of pesticides to surface waters.
- Evaluating Infiltration Requirements for New Development Using Extreme
Storm Transposition: A Case Study from Dane County, WI
- Authors: Nicholas G. Hayden; Kenneth W. Potter, David S. Liebl
Abstract: Changes in land use and extreme rainfall trends can lead to increased flood vulnerability in many parts of the world, especially for urbanized watersheds. This study investigates the performance of existing stormwater management strategies for the Upper Yahara watershed in Dane County, WI to determine whether they are adequate to protect urban and suburban development from an extreme rainfall. Using extreme storm transposition, we model the performance of the stormwater infiltration practices required for new development under current county ordinances. We find during extreme rainfall the volume of post‐development runoff from impervious surfaces from a typical site would increase by over 55% over pre‐development conditions. We recommend the ordinance be strengthened to reduce vulnerability to flooding from future urban expansion and the likely increase in the magnitude and frequency of extreme storms.
- A Multi‐Scale Analysis of Low‐Rise Apartment Water Demand through
Integration of Water Consumption, Land Use, and Demographic Data
- Authors: Saeed Ghavidelfar; Asaad Y. Shamseldin, Bruce W. Melville
Abstract: Over the past decades, multi‐unit housing developments have been vastly expanded across urban areas due to the population growth. To properly supply water to this growing sector, it is essential to understand the determinants of its water use. However, this task has largely remained unexplored through the empirical study of water demand mainly due to the scarcity of data in this sector. This study integrated apartment water consumption, property characteristics, weather, water pricing, and census microdata to overcome this issue. Using a rich source of GIS‐based urban databases in Auckland, New Zealand, the study developed a large dataset containing the information of 18,000 low‐rise apartments to evaluate the determinants of water use both in the household scale and aggregated scale. The household‐scale demand analysis helped to assess the heterogeneity in responses to the demand drivers specifically water price across different consumer groups, whereas the aggregated analysis revealed the determinants behind the spatial variation in water demand at the census area unit level. Through applying panel data models, the study revealed the household size as the most important determinant of apartment water use in Auckland, where other socioeconomic factors, building features, and water pricing were not significant determinants. This knowledge of determinants of water demand can help water planners to better manage water demand in the compact urban environments.
- Open Water Data in Space and Time
- Authors: David R. Maidment
Abstract: An Open Water Data Initiative has been established by the federal government to enhance water information sharing across the United States (U.S.) using standardized web services for geospatial and temporal data. In a parallel effort, the National Weather Service has established a new National Water Center on the Tuscaloosa campus of the University of Alabama, at which a new National Water Model starts operations in June 2016, to continually simulate and forecast streamflow discharge throughout the continental U.S. These two developments support the interoperability of streamflow and hydrologic information in time and space from modeled and observed sources through the use of open standards to share water information.
- Expansion of the MANAGE Database with Forest and Drainage Studies
- Authors: Daren R. Harmel; Laura E. Christianson, Matthew W. McBroom, Douglas R. Smith, Kori D. Higgs
Abstract: The “Measured Annual Nutrient loads from AGricultural Environments” (MANAGE) database was published in 2006 to expand an early 1980s compilation of nutrient export (load) data from cultivated and pasture/range land at the field or farm scale. Then in 2008, MANAGE was updated with 15 additional studies, and nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations in runoff were added. Since then, MANAGE has undergone significant expansion adding N and P water quality along with relevant management and site characteristic data from: (1) 30 runoff studies from forested land uses, (2) 91 drainage water quality studies from drained land, and (3) 12 additional runoff studies from cultivated and pasture/range land uses. In this expansion, an application timing category was added to the existing fertilizer data categories (rate, placement, formulation) to facilitate analysis of 4R Nutrient Stewardship, which emphasizes right fertilizer source, rate, time, and place. In addition, crop yield and N and P uptake data were added, although this information was only available for 21 and 7% of studies, respectively. Inclusion of these additional data from cultivated, pasture/range, and forest land uses as well as artificially drained agricultural land should facilitate expanded spatial analyses and improved understanding of regional differences, management practice effectiveness, and impacts of land use conversions and management techniques. The current version is available at www.ars.usda.gov/spa/manage-nutrient.
- A High‐Resolution National‐Scale Hydrologic Forecast System from a
Global Ensemble Land Surface Model
- Abstract: Warning systems with the ability to predict floods several days in advance have the potential to benefit tens of millions of people. Accordingly, large‐scale streamflow prediction systems such as the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service or the Global Flood Awareness System are limited to coarse resolutions. This article presents a method for routing global runoff ensemble forecasts and global historical runoff generated by the European Centre for Medium‐Range Weather Forecasts model using the Routing Application for Parallel computatIon of Discharge to produce high spatial resolution 15‐day stream forecasts, approximate recurrence intervals, and warning points at locations where streamflow is predicted to exceed the recurrence interval thresholds. The processing method involves distributing the computations using computer clusters to facilitate processing of large watersheds with high‐density stream networks. In addition, the Streamflow Prediction Tool web application was developed for visualizing analyzed results at both the regional level and at the reach level of high‐density stream networks. The application formed part of the base hydrologic forecasting service available to the National Flood Interoperability Experiment and can potentially transform the nation's forecast ability by incorporating ensemble predictions at the nearly 2.7 million reaches of the National Hydrography Plus Version 2 Dataset into the national forecasting system.
- The Great Lakes Hydrography Dataset: Consistent, Binational Watersheds for
the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin
- Authors: Danielle K. Forsyth; Catherine M. Riseng, Kevin E. Wehrly, Lacey A. Mason, John Gaiot, Tom Hollenhorst, Craig M. Johnston, Conrad Wyrzykowski, Gust Annis, Chris Castiglione, Kent Todd, Mike Robertson, Dana M. Infante, Lizhu Wang, James E. McKenna, Gary Whelan
Abstract: Ecosystem‐based management of the Laurentian Great Lakes, which spans both the United States and Canada, is hampered by the lack of consistent binational watersheds for the entire Basin. Using comparable data sources and consistent methods, we developed spatially equivalent watershed boundaries for the binational extent of the Basin to create the Great Lakes Hydrography Dataset (GLHD). The GLHD consists of 5,589 watersheds for the entire Basin, covering a total area of approximately 547,967 km2, or about twice the 247,003 km2 surface water area of the Great Lakes. The GLHD improves upon existing watershed efforts by delineating watersheds for the entire Basin using consistent methods; enhancing the precision of watershed delineation using recently developed flow direction grids that have been hydrologically enforced and vetted by provincial and federal water resource agencies; and increasing the accuracy of watershed boundaries by enforcing embayments, delineating watersheds on islands, and delineating watersheds for all tributaries draining to connecting channels. In addition, the GLHD is packaged in a publically available geodatabase that includes synthetic stream networks, reach catchments, watershed boundaries, a broad set of attribute data for each tributary, and metadata documenting methodology. The GLHD provides a common set of watersheds and associated hydrography data for the Basin that will enhance binational efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes.
- Variability and Trends in Runoff Efficiency in the Conterminous United
- Authors: Gregory J. McCabe; David M. Wolock
Abstract: Variability and trends in water‐year runoff efficiency (RE) — computed as the ratio of water‐year runoff (streamflow per unit area) to water‐year precipitation — in the conterminous United States (CONUS) are examined for the 1951 through 2012 period. Changes in RE are analyzed using runoff and precipitation data aggregated to United States Geological Survey 8‐digit hydrologic cataloging units (HUs). Results indicate increases in RE for some regions in the north‐central CONUS and large decreases in RE for the south‐central CONUS. The increases in RE in the north‐central CONUS are explained by trends in climate, whereas the large decreases in RE in the south‐central CONUS likely are related to groundwater withdrawals from the Ogallala aquifer to support irrigated agriculture.
- NHDPlusHR: A National Geospatial Framework for Surface‐Water
- Authors: Roland J. Viger; Alan Rea, Jeffrey D. Simley, Karen M. Hanson
Abstract: The U.S. Geological Survey is developing a new geospatial hydrographic framework for the United States, called the National Hydrography Dataset Plus High Resolution (NHDPlusHR), that integrates a diversity of the best‐available information, robustly supports ongoing dataset improvements, enables hydrographic generalization to derive alternate representations of the network while maintaining feature identity, and supports modern scientific computing and Internet accessibility needs. This framework is based on the High Resolution National Hydrography Dataset, the Watershed Boundaries Dataset, and elevation from the 3‐D Elevation Program, and will provide an authoritative, high precision, and attribute‐rich geospatial framework for surface‐water information for the United States. Using this common geospatial framework will provide a consistent basis for indexing water information in the United States, eliminate redundancy, and harmonize access to, and exchange of water information.
- The USGS Water Availability and Use Science Program: Needs, Establishment,
and Goals of a Water Census
- Authors: Ari M. Michelsen; Sonya Jones, Eric Evenson, David Blodgett
Abstract: Many reports have recognized the need for a national water census for the United States and have called upon the U.S. Geological Survey to undertake this challenge. For example, the National Science and Technology Council stated: “The United States has a strong need for an ongoing census of water that describes the status of our Nation's water resource at any point in time and identifies trends over time.” Responding to the need for this information, the U.S. Congress established the SECURE Water Act. The directives are to provide a more accurate assessment of the status of the water resources of the United States; determine the quantity of water available for beneficial uses; identify long‐term trends in water availability; assist in determination of the quality of the water resources; and develop the basis for an improved ability to forecast the availability of water for future economic, energy production, and environmental uses. This article provides summary and new information on the process and progress on work to estimate water budget components nationwide, involvement of stakeholder interests, efforts to examine water‐use characteristics throughout the Nation, studies of water availability in geographically focused areas and the initiation of methods to provide open access to existing and new water resources information contributing to Open Water Data Initiative (OWDI) efforts and objectives.
- Using OpenMI and a Model MAP to Integrate WaterML2 and NetCDF Data Sources
into Flood Modeling of Genoa, Italy
- Authors: Quillon Harpham; Julien Lhomme, Antonio Parodi, Elisabetta Fiori, Bert Jagers, Antonella Galizia
Abstract: Extreme hydrometeorological events such as flash floods have caused considerable loss of life and damage to infrastructure over recent years. Flood events in the Mediterranean region between 1990 and 2006 caused over 4,500 fatalities and cost over €29 billion in damage, with Italy one of the worst affected countries. The Distributed Computing Infrastructure for Hydro‐Meteorology (DRIHM) project is a European initiative aiming at providing an open, fully integrated eScience environment for predicting, managing, and mitigating the risks related to such extreme weather phenomena. Incorporating both modeled and observational data sources, it enables seamless access to a set of computing resources with the objective of providing a collection of services for performing experiments with numerical models in meteorology, hydrology, and hydraulics. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how this flexible modeling architecture has been constructed using a set of standards including the NetCDF and WaterML2 file formats, in‐memory coupling with OpenMI, controlled vocabularies such as CF Standard Names, ISO19139 metadata, and a Model MAP (Metadata, Adaptors, Portability) gateway concept for preparing numerical models for standardized use. Hydraulic results, including the impact to buildings and hazards to people, are given for the use cases of the severe and fatal flash floods, which occurred in Genoa, Italy in November 2011 and October 2014.
- An Analysis of Water Data Systems to Inform the Open Water Data Initiative
- Authors: David Blodgett; Emily Read, Jessica Lucido, Tad Slawecki, Dwane Young
Abstract: Improving access to data and fostering open exchange of water information is foundational to solving water resources issues. In this vein, the Department of the Interior's Assistant Secretary for Water and Science put forward the charge to undertake an Open Water Data Initiative (OWDI) that would prioritize and accelerate work toward better water data infrastructure. The goal of the OWDI is to build out the Open Water Web (OWW). We therefore considered the OWW in terms of four conceptual functions: water data cataloging, water data as a service, enriching water data, and community for water data. To describe the current state of the OWW and identify areas needing improvement, we conducted an analysis of existing systems using a standard model for describing distributed systems and their business requirements. Our analysis considered three OWDI‐focused use cases—flooding, drought, and contaminant transport—and then examined the landscape of other existing applications that support the Open Water Web. The analysis, which includes a discussion of observed successful practices of cataloging, serving, enriching, and building community around water resources data, demonstrates that we have made significant progress toward the needed infrastructure, although challenges remain. The further development of the OWW can be greatly informed by the interpretation and findings of our analysis.
- Optimal Reorganization of NASA Earth Science Data for Enhanced
Accessibility and Usability for the Hydrology Community
- Authors: William Teng; Hualan Rui, Richard Strub, Bruce Vollmer
Abstract: A long‐standing “Digital Divide” in data representation exists between the preferred way of data access by the hydrology community and the common way of data archival by earth science data centers. Typically, in hydrology, earth surface features are expressed as discrete spatial objects (e.g., watersheds), and time‐varying data are contained in associated time series. Data in earth science archives, although stored as discrete values (of satellite swath pixels or geographical grids), represent continuous spatial fields, one file per time step. This Divide has been an obstacle, specifically, between the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. and NASA earth science data systems. In essence, the way data are archived is conceptually orthogonal to the desired method of access. Our recent work has shown an optimal method of bridging the Divide, by enabling operational access to long‐time series (e.g., 36 years of hourly data) of selected NASA datasets. These time series, which we have termed “data rods,” are pre‐generated or generated on‐the‐fly. This optimal solution was arrived at after extensive investigations of various approaches, including one based on “data curtains.” The on‐the‐fly generation of data rods uses “data cubes,” NASA Giovanni, and parallel processing. The optimal reorganization of NASA earth science data has significantly enhanced the access to and use of the data for the hydrology user community.
- Developing Peak Discharges for Future Flood Risk Studies Using IPCC's
CMIP5 Climate Model Results and USGS WREG Program
- Authors: Sivasankkar Selvanathan; Mathini Sreetharan, Krista Rand, Dmitry Smirnov, Janghwoan Choi, Mathew Mampara
Abstract: Extreme climate events, floods, and drought, cause huge impact on daily lives. In order to produce society resilient to extreme events, it is necessary to assess the impact of frequent and high intensity storm events on design parameters. This article describes a methodology to develop future peak “design discharges” throughout the United States that can be used as a guidance to map future floodplains. In order to develop a lower and upper limit for anticipated peak flow discharges, two future growth scenarios — Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs)‐RCP 2.6 and 8.5 were identified as the weak and strong climate scenario respectively based on the output from the global climate models. The Generalized Least Square technique in United States Geological Survey's Weighted Multiple Regression (WREG) program was used to develop regression equations that relate peak discharges to basin and climate parameters of the contributing watershed. The design discharges reflect the most recent climate model results. Number of frost days, heavy rainfall days, high temperature days, and snow depth were found to be the common extreme climate parameters influencing the regression equations. This methodology can be extended to other flood frequency events if rainfall data is available. The future discharges can be utilized in hydraulics models to estimate floodplains that can assist in resilient infrastructure planning and outline climate change adaptation strategies.
- Supporting Diverse Data Providers in the Open Water Data Initiative:
Communicating Water Data Quality and Fitness of Use
- Authors: Sara Larsen; Stuart Hamilton, Jessica Lucido, Bradley Garner, Dwane Young
Abstract: Shared, trusted, timely data are essential elements for the cooperation needed to optimize economic, ecologic, and public safety concerns related to water. The Open Water Data Initiative (OWDI) will provide a fully scalable platform that can support a wide variety of data from many diverse providers. Many of these will be larger, well‐established, and trusted agencies with a history of providing well‐documented, standardized, and archive‐ready products. However, some potential partners may be smaller, distributed, and relatively unknown or untested as data providers. The data these partners will provide are valuable and can be used to fill in many data gaps, but can also be variable in quality or supplied in nonstandardized formats. They may also reflect the smaller partners' variable budgets and missions, be intermittent, or of unknown provenance. A challenge for the OWDI will be to convey the quality and the contextual “fitness” of data from providers other than the most trusted brands. This article reviews past and current methods for documenting data quality. Three case studies are provided that describe processes and pathways for effective data‐sharing and publication initiatives. They also illustrate how partners may work together to find a metadata reporting threshold that encourages participation while maintaining high data integrity. And lastly, potential governance is proposed that may assist smaller partners with short‐ and long‐term participation in the OWDI.
- From Global to Local: Providing Actionable Flood Forecast Information in a
Cloud‐Based Computing Environment
- Authors: J. Fidel Perez; Nathan R. Swain, Herman G. Dolder, Scott D. Christensen, Alan D. Snow, E. James Nelson, Norman L. Jones
Abstract: Global and continental scale flood forecast provide coarse resolution flood forecast, but from the perspective of emergency management, flood warnings should be detailed and specific to local conditions. The desired refinement can be provided by the use of downscaling global scale models and through the use of distributed hydrologic models to produce a high‐resolution flood forecast. Three major challenges associated with transforming global flood forecasting to a local scale are addressed in this work. The first is using open‐source software tools to provide access to multiple data sources and lowering the barriers for users in management agencies at local level. This can be done through the Tethys Platform that enables web water resources modeling applications. The second is finding a practical solution for the computational requirements associated with running complex models and performing multiple simulations. This is done using Tethys Cluster that manages distributed and cloud computing resources as a companion to the Tethys Platform for web app development. The third challenge is discovering ways to downscale the forecasts from the global extent to the local context. Three modeling strategies have been tested to address this, including downscaling of coarse resolution global runoff models to high‐resolution stream networks and routing with Routing Application for Parallel computatIon of Discharge (RAPID), the use of hierarchical Gridded Surface and Subsurface Hydrologic Analysis (GSSHA) distributed models, and pre‐computed distributed GSSHA models.
- The Road to NHDPlus — Advancements in Digital Stream Networks and
- Authors: Richard B. Moore; Thomas G. Dewald
Abstract: A progression of advancements in Geographic Information Systems techniques for hydrologic network and associated catchment delineation has led to the production of the National Hydrography Dataset Plus (NHDPlus). NHDPlus is a digital stream network for hydrologic modeling with catchments and a suite of related geospatial data. Digital stream networks with associated catchments provide a geospatial framework for linking and integrating water‐related data. Advancements in the development of NHDPlus are expected to continue to improve the capabilities of this national geospatial hydrologic framework. NHDPlus is built upon the medium‐resolution NHD and, like NHD, was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Geological Survey to support the estimation of streamflow and stream velocity used in fate‐and‐transport modeling. Catchments included with NHDPlus were created by integrating vector information from the NHD and from the Watershed Boundary Dataset with the gridded land surface elevation as represented by the National Elevation Dataset. NHDPlus is an actively used and continually improved dataset. Users recognize the importance of a reliable stream network and associated catchments. The NHDPlus spatial features and associated data tables will continue to be improved to support regional water quality and streamflow models and other user‐defined applications.
- Emerging Tools for Continuous Nutrient Monitoring Networks: Sensors
Advancing Science and Water Resources Protection
- Authors: Brian A. Pellerin; Beth A. Stauffer, Dwane A. Young, Daniel J. Sullivan, Suzanne B. Bricker, Mark R. Walbridge, Gerard A. Clyde, Denice M. Shaw
Abstract: Sensors and enabling technologies are becoming increasingly important tools for water quality monitoring and associated water resource management decisions. In particular, nutrient sensors are of interest because of the well‐known adverse effects of nutrient enrichment on coastal hypoxia, harmful algal blooms, and impacts to human health. Accurate and timely information on nutrient concentrations and loads is integral to strategies designed to minimize risk to humans and manage the underlying drivers of water quality impairment. Using nitrate sensors as the primary example, we highlight the types of applications in freshwater and coastal environments that are likely to benefit from continuous, real‐time nutrient data. The concurrent emergence of new tools to integrate, manage, and share large datasets is critical to the successful use of nutrient sensors and has made it possible for the field of continuous monitoring to rapidly move forward. We highlight several near‐term opportunities for federal agencies, as well as the broader scientific and management community, that will help accelerate sensor development, build and leverage sites within a national network, and develop open data standards and data management protocols that are key to realizing the benefits of a large‐scale, integrated monitoring network. Investing in these opportunities will provide new information to guide management and policies designed to protect and restore our nation's water resources.
- Extracting Snow Cover Time Series Data from Open Access Web Mapping Tile
- Abstract: The probability of the presence of snow cover at a given location over time is a critical input to hydrologic simulation models in snowpack‐driven watersheds. While a number of open access web mapping tile services exist for viewing images of current and historical snow cover over large regions, no equally accessible tools exist for extracting numerical time series data of snow cover probability defined at particular point locations. This article presents the design, development, and testing of a new open source script and web application for snow cover probability time series extraction from map images. The script is deployed as a web app using the Tethys framework making it accessible to novice users through a user interface. A WaterML web‐API gives access to third‐party applications for automation and embedding in modeling tools. The full design of the script is presented such that it can serve as a model for similar or extended tools that may be developed by others. A set of use case experiments is presented demonstrating the full functionality of the script and its limitations, and an example application for ground validation of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer snow cover dataset is discussed.
- Featured Collection Introduction: Open Water Data Initiative
- Authors: Jerad Bales
Pages: 811 - 815
- A New Open‐Access HUC‐8 Based Downscaled CMIP‐5 Climate Model
Forecast Dataset for the Conterminous United States
- Pages: 906 - 915
Abstract: Watershed‐scale hydrologic simulation models generally require climate data inputs including precipitation and temperature. These climate inputs can be derived from downscaled global climate simulations which have the potential to drive runoff forecasts at the scale of local watersheds. While a simulation designed to drive a local watershed model would ideally be constructed at an appropriate scale, global climate simulations are, by definition, arbitrarily determined large rectangular spatial grids. This paper addresses the technical challenge of making climate simulation model results readily available in the form of downscaled datasets that can be used for watershed scale models. Specifically, we present the development and deployment of a new Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) based database which has been prepared through a scaling and weighted averaging process for use at the level of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC)‐8 watersheds. The resulting dataset includes 2,106 virtual observation sites (watershed centroids) each with 698 associated time series datasets representing average monthly temperature and precipitation between 1950 and 2099 based on 234 unique climate model simulations. The new dataset is deployed on a HydroServer and distributed using WaterOneFlow web services in the WaterML format. These methods can be adapted for downscaled General Circulation Model (GCM) results for specific drainage areas smaller than HUC‐8. Two example use cases for the dataset also are presented.
- Book Review
- Authors: Vibhava Srivastava
Pages: 1009 - 1010