- 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.
- 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