- Comparing Costs of Onsite Best Management Practices to Nutrient Credits
for Stormwater Management: A Case Study in Virginia
- Authors: Alicia L. Nobles; Jonathan L. Goodall, G. Michael Fitch
Abstract: Best management practices (BMPs) are widely used to mitigate impacts of increased impervious surfaces on stormwater runoff. However, there is limited detailed and up-to-date information available on the cost of designing, constructing, and maintaining BMPs over their lifetime. The objective of this study is to analyze BMPs recently constructed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to quantify their total cost per pound of phosphorus removed annually. A motivating factor for the study is recent changes to regulatory guidelines in Virginia which allow for full or partial substitution of purchased nutrient credits in lieu of constructing onsite BMPs to achieve compliance with stormwater quality regulations. Results of the analysis of nine BMPs found their cost ranged from $20,100 to $74,900, in 2014 dollars, per pound ($44,313-$165,126 per kg) of phosphorus removed. Based on these results and assuming current credit prices procured by VDOT, purchasing nutrient credits is a cost-effective option for the agency, especially when factoring in the cost of additional right of way for the BMP. Based on this finding, we expect compliance with stormwater quality regulations through credit purchases to become more widely used in Virginia. Moving forward, we suggest more direct tracking of BMP costs to support comparisons between BMP costs across a range of types and conditions to credit purchases for meeting stormwater regulations.
- The Watershed Flow and Allocation Model: An NHDPlus-Based Watershed
Modeling Approach for Multiple Scales and Conditions
- Authors: Michele C. Eddy; Fekadu G. Moreda, Robert M. Dykes, Brandon Bergenroth, Aaron Parks, James Rineer
Abstract: The Watershed Flow and Allocation model (WaterFALL®) provides segment-specific, daily streamflow at both gaged and ungaged locations to generate the hydrologic foundation for a variety of water resources management applications. The model is designed to apply across the spatially explicit and enhanced National Hydrography Dataset (NHDPlus) stream and catchment network. To facilitate modeling at the NHDPlus catchment scale, we use an intermediate-level rainfall-runoff model rather than a complex process-based model. The hydrologic model within WaterFALL simulates rainfall-runoff processes for each catchment within a watershed and routes streamflow between catchments, while accounting for withdrawals, discharges, and onstream reservoirs within the network. The model is therefore distributed among each NHDPlus catchment within the larger selected watershed. Input parameters including climate, land use, soils, and water withdrawals and discharges are georeferenced to each catchment. The WaterFALL system includes a centralized database and server-based environment for storing all model code, input parameters, and results in a single instance for all simulations allowing for rapid comparison between multiple scenarios. We demonstrate and validate WaterFALL within North Carolina at a variety of scales using observed streamflows to inform quantitative and qualitative measures, including hydrologic flow metrics relevant to the study of ecological flow management decisions.
- Fish and Invertebrate Flow-Biology Relationships to Support the
Determination of Ecological Flows for North Carolina
- Authors: Jennifer Phelan; Tom Cuffney, Lauren Patterson, Michele Eddy, Robert Dykes, Sam Pearsall, Chris Goudreau, Jim Mead, Fred Tarver
Abstract: A method was developed to characterize fish and invertebrate responses to flow alteration in the state of North Carolina. This method involved using 80th percentile linear quantile regressions to relate six flow metrics to the diversity of riffle-run fish and benthic Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) richness. All twelve flow-biology relationships were found to be significant, with both benthos and fish showing negative responses to ecodeficits and reductions in flow. The responses of benthic richness to reduced flows were consistent and generally greater than that of fish diversity. However, the riffle-run fish guild showed the greatest reductions in diversity in response to summer ecodeficits. The directional consistency and differential seasonal sensitivities of fish and invertebrates to reductions in flow highlight the need to consider seasonality when managing flows. In addition, all relationships were linear, and therefore do not provide clear thresholds to support ecological flow determinations and flow prescriptions to prevent the degradation of fish and invertebrate communities in North Carolina rivers and streams. A method of setting ecological flows based on the magnitude of change in biological condition that is acceptable to society is explored.
- Flow-Biology Relationships Based on Fish Habitat Guilds in North Carolina
- Authors: Lauren Patterson; Jennifer Phelan, Chris Goudreau, Robert Dykes
Abstract: The health of freshwater biota is dependent on streamflow, yet identification of the flow regimes required to maintain ecological integrity remains challenging to states in the United States seeking to establish ecological flows. We tested the relationship between decreases in streamflow and Shannon-Weaver diversity index of fish species for four flow-based habitat guilds: riffle, riffle-run, pool-run, and pool in North Carolina. We found species that prefer shallow habitats, such as riffles and riffle-runs were the most sensitive to decreases in streamflow; whereas no significant relationships were found for pool or pool-run species. The sensitivity to decreases in streamflow was greatest during summer and fall, when streams are naturally lower. When all fish habitat guilds were included in the assessment of flow-biology relationships, there were no significant relationships to decreases in streamflow. As the sensitivity of fish to reductions in streamflow is not constant across habitat guilds, combining all fish species together for flow-biology analyses may greatly underestimate the response of fish species to decreases in flow and should be acknowledged when establishing ecological flows.
- Evaluating Flow Metric-Based Stream Classification Systems to Support the
Determination of Ecological Flows in North Carolina
- Authors: Michele C. Eddy; Jennifer Phelan, Lauren Patterson, Jessie Allen, Sam Pearsall
Abstract: Hydroecological classification systems are typically based on an assemblage of streamflow metrics and seek to divide streams into ecologically relevant classes. Assignment of streams to classes is suggested as an initial step in the process of establishing ecological flow standards. We used two distinct hydroecological river classification systems available within North Carolina to evaluate the ability of a hydrologic model to assign the same classes as those determined by observed streamflows and to assess the transferability of such systems to ungaged streams. Class assignments were examined by rate of overall matches, rate of class matches, spatial variability in matches, and time period used in class assignment. The findings of this study indicate assignments of stream class: (1) are inconsistent among different classification systems; (2) differ between observed and modeled data; and (3) are sensitive to the period of record within observed data. One clear source of inconsistency/sensitivity in class assignments lies with the use of threshold values for metrics that distinguish stream classes, such that even small changes in metric values can result in different class assignments. Because these two hydroecological classification systems are representative of other classification systems that rely on quantitative decision thresholds, it can be surmised that the use of such systems based on stream flow metrics is not a reliable approach for guiding ecological flow determinations.
- Featured Collection Introduction: North Carolina Ecological Flows
- Authors: Sam Pearsall; Michele Eddy, Jennifer Phelan
- Estimating Root Zone Soil Moisture at Continental Scale Using Neural
- Authors: Xiaojun Pan; Kurt C. Kornelsen, Paulin Coulibaly
Abstract: This study investigates the feasibility of artificial neural networks (ANNs) to retrieve root zone soil moisture (RZSM) at the depths of 20 cm (SM20) and 50 cm (SM50) at a continental scale, using surface information. To train the ANNs to capture interactions between land surface and various climatic patterns, data of 557 stations over the continental United States were collected. A sensitivity analysis revealed that the ANNs were able to identify input variables that directly affect the water and energy balance in root zone. The data important for RZSM retrieval in a large area included soil texture, surface soil moisture, and the cumulative values of air temperature, surface soil temperature, rainfall, and snowfall. The results showed that the ANNs had high skill in retrieving SM20 with a correlation coefficient above 0.7 in most cases, but were less effective at estimating SM50. The comparison of the ANNs showed that using soil texture data improved the model performance, especially for the estimation of SM50. It was demonstrated that the ANNs had high flexibility for applications in different climatic regions. The method was used to generate RZSM in North America using Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) soil moisture data, and achieved a spatial soil moisture pattern comparable to that of Global Land Data Assimilation System Noah model with comparable performance to the SMOS surface soil moisture retrievals. The models can be efficient alternatives to assimilate remote sensing soil moisture data for shallow RZSM retrieval.
- Book Reviews
- Authors: Richard H. McCuen
- Does Including Soil Moisture Observations Improve Operational Streamflow
Forecasts in Snow-Dominated Watersheds?
- Authors: Adrian A. Harpold; Kent Sutcliffe, Jordan Clayton, Angus Goodbody, Shareily Vazquez
Abstract: Changing climate and growing water demand are increasing the need for robust streamflow forecasts. Historically, operational streamflow forecasts made by the Natural Resources Conservation Service have relied on precipitation and snow water equivalent observations from Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) sites. We investigate whether also including SNOTEL soil moisture observations improve April-July streamflow volume forecast accuracy at 0, 1, 2, and 3-month lead times at 12 watersheds in Utah and California. We found statistically significant improvement in 0 and 3-month lead time accuracy in 8 of 12 watersheds and 10 of 12 watersheds for 1 and 2-month lead times. Surprisingly, these improvements were insensitive to soil moisture metrics derived from soil physical properties. Forecasts were made with volumetric water content (VWC) averaged from October 1 to the forecast date. By including VWC at the 0-month lead time the forecasts explained 7.3% more variability and increased the streamflow volume accuracy by 8.4% on average compared to standard forecasts that already explained an average 77% of the variability. At 1 to 3-month lead times, the inclusion of soil moisture explained 12.3-26.3% more variability than the standard forecast on average. Our findings indicate including soil moisture observations increased statistical streamflow forecast accuracy and thus, could potentially improve water supply reliability in regions affected by changing snowpacks.
- Estimation of Catchment Nutrient Loads in New Zealand Using Monthly Water
Quality Monitoring Data
- Authors: T.H. Snelder; R.W. McDowell, C.E. Fraser
Abstract: Causes of variation between loads estimated using alternative calculation methods and their repeatability were investigated using 20 years of daily flow and monthly concentration samples for 77 rivers in New Zealand. Loads of dissolved and total nitrogen and phosphorus were calculated using the Ratio, L5, and L7 methods. Estimates of loads and their precision associated with short-term records of 5, 10, and 15 years were simulated by subsampling. The representativeness of the short-term loads was quantified as the standard deviation of the 20 realizations. The L7 method generally produced more realistic loads with the highest precision and representativeness. Differences between load estimates were shown to be associated with poor agreement between the data and the underlying model. The best method was shown to depend on the match between the model and functional and distributional characteristics of the data, rather than on the contaminant. Short-term load estimates poorly represented the long-term load estimate, and deviations frequently exceeded estimated imprecision. The results highlight there is no single preferred load calculation method, the inadvisability of “unsupervised” load estimation and the importance of inspecting concentration-flow, unit load-flow plots and regression residuals. Regulatory authorities should be aware that the precision of loads estimated from monthly data are likely to be “optimistic” with respect to the actual repeatability of load estimates.
- Numerical and Qualitative Contrasts of Two Statistical Models for Water
Quality Change in Tidal Waters
- Authors: Marcus W. Beck; Rebecca R. Murphy
Abstract: Two statistical approaches, weighted regression on time, discharge, and season and generalized additive models, have recently been used to evaluate water quality trends in estuaries. Both models have been used in similar contexts despite differences in statistical foundations and products. This study provided an empirical and qualitative comparison of both models using 29 years of data for two discrete time series of chlorophyll-a (chl-a) in the Patuxent River estuary. Empirical descriptions of each model were based on predictive performance against the observed data, ability to reproduce flow-normalized trends with simulated data, and comparisons of performance with validation datasets. Between-model differences were apparent but minor and both models had comparable abilities to remove flow effects from simulated time series. Both models similarly predicted observations for missing data with different characteristics. Trends from each model revealed distinct mainstem influences of the Chesapeake Bay with both models predicting a roughly 65% increase in chl-a over time in the lower estuary, whereas flow-normalized predictions for the upper estuary showed a more dynamic pattern, with a nearly 100% increase in chl-a in the last 10 years. Qualitative comparisons highlighted important differences in the statistical structure, available products, and characteristics of the data and desired analysis.
- PRISM vs. CFSR Precipitation Data Effects on Calibration and Validation of
- Authors: D.E. Radcliffe; R. Mukundan
Abstract: Precipitation is one of the most important drivers in watershed models. Our objective was to compare two sources of interpolated precipitation data in terms of their effect on calibration and validation of two Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) models. One model was a suburban watershed in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. The precipitation sources were Parameter-elevation Relationships on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) data on a 4-km grid and climate forecast system reanalysis (CFSR) data on a 38-km grid. The PRISM data resulted in a better fit to the calibration data (Nash Sutcliffe efficiency [NSE] = 0.64, Kling-Gupta efficiency [KGE] = 0.74, p-factor = 0.84, and r-factor = 0.43) than the CFSR data (NSE = 0.47, KGE = 0.53, p-factor = 0.67, and r-factor = 0.39). Validation results were similar. Sensitive parameters were similar in both the PRISM and CFSR models, but fitted values indicated more rapid groundwater flow to the streams with the PRISM data. The same comparison was made in the Big Creek watershed located approximately 1,000 km away, in central Louisiana. Results were similar with a more responsive groundwater system indicating PRISM data may produce better predictions of streamflow because of a more accurate estimate of rainfall within a watershed or because of a denser grid. Our study implies PRISM is providing a better estimate than CFSR of precipitation within a watershed when rain gauge data are not available, resulting in more accurate simulations of streamflows at the watershed outlet. Editor's note: This paper is part of the featured series on SWAT Applications for Emerging Hydrologic and Water Quality Challenges. See the February 2017 issue for the introduction and background to the series.
- Modes of Variability of Annual and Seasonal Rainfall in Mexico
- Authors: Gabriela Alvarez-Olguin; Carlos Escalante-Sandoval
Abstract: The aim of this study is to identify temporal and spatial variability patterns of annual and seasonal rainfall in Mexico. A set of 769 weather stations located in Mexico was examined. The country was divided into 12 homogeneous rainfall regions via principal component analysis. A Pettitt test was conducted to perform a homogeneity analysis for detecting abrupt changes in mean rainfall levels, and a Mann-Kendall test was conducted to examine the presence of monotonically increasing/decreasing patterns in the data. In total, 14.4% of the annual series was deemed nonstationary. Fourteen percent of the samples were nonstationary in the winter and summer, and 9% were nonstationary in the spring and autumn. According to the results, the nonstationarity of some seasonal rainfall series may be associated with the presence of atmospheric phenomena (e.g., El Niño/Southern Oscillation, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, and North Atlantic Oscillation). A rainfall frequency analysis was performed for the nonstationary annual series, and significant differences in the return levels x^T can be expected for the scenarios analyzed. The identification of areas that are more susceptible to changes in rainfall levels will improve water resource management plans in the country, and it is expected that these plans will take into account nonstationary theory.
- Issue Information
- PubDate: 2016-12-01T09:13:25.074554-05:
- Featured Series Introduction: SWAT Applications for Emerging Hydrologic
and Water Quality Challenges
- Authors: Venkatesh Merwade; Claire Baffaut, Katrin Bieger, Laurie Boithias, Hendrik Rathjens
- Testing of the Modified Streambank Erosion and Instream Phosphorus
Routines for the SWAT Model
- Authors: A.R. Mittelstet; D.E. Storm, G.A. Fox
Abstract: In some watersheds, streambanks are a source of two major pollutants, phosphorus (P) and sediment. P originating from both uplands and streambanks can be transported and stored indefinitely on floodplains, streambanks, and in closed depressions near the stream. The objectives of this study were to (1) test the modified streambank erosion and instream P routines for the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model in the Barren Fork Creek watershed in northeast Oklahoma, (2) predict P in the watershed with and without streambank-derived P, and (3) determine the significance of streambank erosion P relative to overland P sources. Measured streambank and channel parameters were incorporated into a flow-calibrated SWAT model and used to estimate streambank erosion and P for the Barren Fork Creek using modified streambank erosion and instream P routines. The predicted reach-weighted streambank erosion was 40 kg/m vs. the measured 42 kg/m. Streambank erosion contributed 47% of the total P to the Barren Fork Creek and improved P predictions compared to observed data, especially during the high-flow events. Of the total P entering the stream system, approximately 65% was removed via the watershed outlet and 35% was stored in the floodplain and stream system. This study successfully applied the SWAT model's modified streambank erosion and instream P routines and demonstrated that streambank-derived P can improve P modeling at the watershed scale. Editor's note: This paper is part of the featured series on SWAT Applications for Emerging Hydrologic and Water Quality Challenges. See the February 2017 issue for the introduction and background to the series.
- Spatial and Temporal Evaluation of Hydrological Response to Climate and
Land Use Change in Three South Dakota Watersheds
- Authors: Manashi Paul; Mohammad Adnan Rajib, Laurent Ahiablame
Abstract: This study analyzed changes in hydrology between two recent decades (1980s and 2010s) with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) in three representative watersheds in South Dakota: Bad River, Skunk Creek, and Upper Big Sioux River watersheds. Two SWAT models were created over two discrete time periods (1981-1990 and 2005-2014) for each watershed. National Land Cover Datasets 1992 and 2011 were, respectively, ingested into 1981-1990 and 2005-2014 models, along with corresponding weather data, to enable comparison of annual and seasonal runoff, soil water content, evapotranspiration (ET), water yield, and percolation between these two decades. Simulation results based on the calibrated models showed that surface runoff, soil water content, water yield, and percolation increased in all three watersheds. Elevated ET was also apparent, except in Skunk Creek watershed. Differences in annual water balance components appeared to follow changes in land use more closely than variation in precipitation amounts, although seasonal variation in precipitation was reflected in seasonal surface runoff. Subbasin-scale spatial analyses revealed noticeable increases in water balance components mostly in downstream parts of Bad River and Skunk Creek watersheds, and the western part of Upper Big Sioux River watershed. Results presented in this study provide some insight into recent changes in hydrological processes in South Dakota watersheds. Editor's note: This paper is part of the featured series on SWAT Applications for Emerging Hydrologic and Water Quality Challenges. See the February 2017 issue for the introduction and background to the series.
- Introduction to SWAT+, A Completely Restructured Version of the Soil and
Water Assessment Tool
- Authors: Katrin Bieger; Jeffrey G. Arnold, Hendrik Rathjens, Michael J. White, David D. Bosch, Peter M. Allen, Martin Volk, Raghavan Srinivasan
Abstract: SWAT+ is a completely restructured version of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) that was developed to face present and future challenges in water resources modeling and management and to meet the needs of the worldwide user community. It is expected to improve code development and maintenance; support data availability, analysis, and visualization; and enhance the model's capabilities in terms of the spatial representation of elements and processes within watersheds. The most important change is the implementation of landscape units and flow and pollutant routing across the landscape. Also, SWAT+ offers more flexibility than SWAT in defining management schedules, routing constituents, and connecting managed flow systems to the natural stream network. To test the basic hydrologic function of SWAT+, it was applied to the Little River Experimental Watershed (Georgia) without enhanced overland routing and compared with previous models. SWAT+ gave similar results and inaccuracies as these models did for streamflow and water balance. Taking full advantage of the new capabilities of SWAT+ regarding watershed discretization and landscape and river interactions is expected to improve simulations in future studies. While many capabilities of SWAT have already been enhanced in SWAT+ and new capabilities have been added, the model will continue to evolve in response to advancements in scientific knowledge and the demands of the growing worldwide user community. Editor's note: This paper is part of the featured series on SWAT Applications for Emerging Hydrologic and Water Quality Challenges. See the February 2017 issue for the introduction and background to the series.
- Coupling of the Water Cycle with Patterns of Urban Growth in the Baltimore
Metropolitan Region, United States
- Authors: Aditi S. Bhaskar; Claire Jantz, Claire Welty, Scott A. Drzyzga, Andrew J. Miller
Abstract: Regional municipal water plans typically do not recognize complex coupling patterns or that increased withdrawals in one location can result in changes in water availability in others. We investigated the interaction between urban growth and water availability in the Baltimore metropolitan region where urban growth has occurred beyond the reaches of municipal water systems into areas that rely on wells in low-productivity Piedmont aquifers. We used the urban growth model SLEUTH and the hydrologic model ParFlow.CLM to evaluate this interaction with urban growth scenarios in 2007 and 2030. We found decreasing groundwater availability outside of the municipal water service area. Within the municipal service area we found zones of increasing storage resulting from increased urban growth, where reduced vegetation cover dominated the effect of urbanization on the hydrologic cycle. We also found areas of decreasing storage, where expanding impervious surfaces played a larger role. Although the magnitude of urban growth and change in water availability for the simulation period were generally small, there was considerable spatial heterogeneity of changes in subsurface storage. This suggests that there are locally concentrated areas of groundwater sensitivity to urban growth where water shortages could occur or where drying up of headwater streams would be more likely. The simulation approach presented here could be used to identify early warning indicators of future risk.
- Evaluation of the European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative Soil
Moisture Product over China Using Variance Reduction Factor
- Authors: Xiaoji Shen; Ru An, Jonathan Arthur Quaye-Ballard, Ling Zhang, Zhe Wang
Abstract: In this study, we evaluated the European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative soil moisture product v02.1 (ESA CCI SM v02.1) using in situ observations collected at 547 stations in China from 1991 to 2013. A conventional validation was first conducted, and the triple collocation errors of ESA CCI SM and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting reanalysis data were approximately 0.053 and 0.050 m3/m3, respectively. To obtain more reliable validation results, the average soil moisture of the in situ observations per ESA CCI SM pixel was also used as the validation sites. Variance reduction factor (VRF) was adopted to quantify the accuracy of the soil moisture validation sites, and the average VRF was estimated at 4.88%. The validation results were enhanced by excluding validation sites with VRF errors greater than 5% from the statistical analysis. Although the ESA CCI SM underestimated the in situ observations with a Bias of 0.05 m3/m3, a moderately high correlation coefficient of 0.44 and a relatively small unbiased root-mean-square difference of 0.05 m3/m3 were observed. This study provides information on the utilization of ESA CCI SM for ecological protection, climate change, and hydrological forecasting. It also suggests the adoption of VRF for future error corrections of satellite-based products.
- Impacts of Changes in Precipitation Amount and Distribution on Water
Resources Studied Using a Model Rainwater Harvesting System
- Authors: Behzad Asadieh; Nir Y. Krakauer
Abstract: Water supply reliability is expected to be affected by both precipitation amount and distribution changes under recent and future climate change. We compare historical (1951-2010) changes in annual-mean and annual-maximum daily precipitation in the global set of station observations from Global Historical Climatology Network and climate models from the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP), and develop the study to 2011-2099 for model projections under high radiative forcing scenario (RCP8.5). We develop a simple rainwater harvesting system (RWHS) model and drive it with observational and modeled precipitation. We study the changes in mean and maximum precipitation along with changes in the reliability of the model RWHS as tools to assess the impact of changes in precipitation amount and distribution on reliability of precipitation-fed water supplies. Results show faster increase in observed maximum precipitation (10.14% per K global warming) than mean precipitation (7.64% per K), and increased reliability of the model RWHS driven by observed precipitation by an average of 0.2% per decade. The ISI-MIP models show even faster increase in maximum precipitation compared to mean precipitation. However, they imply decreases in mean reliability, for an average 0.15% per decade. Compared to observations, climate models underestimate the increasing trends in mean and maximum precipitation and show the opposite direction of change in reliability of a model water supply system.
- Effects of Land Use and Sample Location on Nitrate-Stream Flow Hysteresis
Descriptors during Storm Events
- Authors: Lawrence S. Feinson; Jacob Gibs, Thomas E. Imbrigiotta, Jessica D. Garrett
Abstract: The U.S. Geological Survey's New Jersey and Iowa Water Science Centers deployed ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometric sensors at water-quality monitoring sites on the Passaic and Pompton Rivers at Two Bridges, New Jersey, on Toms River at Toms River, New Jersey, and on the North Raccoon River near Jefferson, Iowa to continuously measure in-stream nitrate plus nitrite as nitrogen (NO3 + NO2) concentrations in conjunction with continuous stream flow measurements. Statistical analysis of NO3 + NO2 vs. stream discharge during storm events found statistically significant links between land use types and sampling site with the normalized area and rotational direction of NO3 + NO2-stream discharge (N-Q) hysteresis patterns. Statistically significant relations were also found between the normalized area of a hysteresis pattern and several flow parameters as well as the normalized area adjusted for rotational direction and minimum NO3 + NO2 concentrations. The mean normalized hysteresis area for forested land use was smaller than that of urban and agricultural land uses. The hysteresis rotational direction of the agricultural land use was opposite of that of the urban and undeveloped land uses. An r2 of 0.81 for the relation between the minimum normalized NO3 + NO2 concentration during a storm vs. the normalized NO3 + NO2 concentration at peak flow suggested that dilution was the dominant process controlling NO3 + NO2 concentrations over the course of most storm events.
- Book Reviews
- Authors: Richard H. McCuen
- Impacts of Human Behavioral Heterogeneity on the Benefits of Probabilistic
Flood Warnings: An Agent-Based Modeling Framework
- Authors: Erhu Du; Samuel Rivera, Ximing Cai, Laura Myers, Andrew Ernest, Barbara Minsker
Abstract: Flood forecasts and warnings are intended to reduce flood-related property damages and loss of human life. Considerable research has improved flood forecasting accuracy (e.g., more accurate prediction of the occurrence of flood events) and lead time. However, the delivery of improved forecast information alone is not necessarily sufficient to reduce flood damage and loss of life, as people have varying responses and reactions to flood warnings. This study develops an agent-based modeling framework that evaluates the impacts of heterogeneity in human behaviors (i.e., variation in behaviors in response to flood warnings), as well as residential density, on the benefits of flood warnings. The framework is coupled with a traffic model to simulate evacuation processes within a road network under various flood warning scenarios. The results show the marginal benefit associated with providing better flood warnings is significantly constrained if people behave in a more risk-tolerant manner, especially in high-density residential areas. The results also show significant impacts of human behavioral heterogeneity on the benefits of flood warnings, and thus stress the importance of considering human behavioral heterogeneity in simulating flood warning-response systems. Further study is suggested to more accurately model human responses and behavioral heterogeneity, as well as to include more attributes of residential areas to estimate and improve the benefits of flood warnings.
- AutoRAPID: A Model for Prompt Streamflow Estimation and Flood Inundation
Mapping over Regional to Continental Extents
- Authors: Michael L. Follum; Ahmad A. Tavakoly, Jeffrey D. Niemann, Alan D. Snow
Abstract: This article couples two existing models to quickly generate flow and flood-inundation estimates at high resolutions over large spatial extents for use in emergency response situations. Input data are gridded runoff values from a climate model, which are used by the Routing Application for Parallel computatIon of Discharge (RAPID) model to simulate flow rates within a vector river network. Peak flows in each river reach are then supplied to the AutoRoute model, which produces raster flood inundation maps. The coupled tool (AutoRAPID) is tested for the June 2008 floods in the Midwest and the April-June 2011 floods in the Mississippi Delta. RAPID was implemented from 2005 to 2014 for the entire Mississippi River Basin (1.2 million river reaches) in approximately 45 min. Discretizing a 230,000-km2 area in the Midwest and a 109,500-km2 area in the Mississippi Delta into thirty-nine 1° by 1° tiles, AutoRoute simulated a high-resolution (~10 m) flood inundation map in 20 min for each tile. The hydrographs simulated by RAPID are found to perform better in reaches without influences from unrepresented dams and without backwater effects. Flood inundation maps using the RAPID peak flows vary in accuracy with F-statistic values between 38.1 and 90.9%. Better performance is observed in regions with more accurate peak flows from RAPID and moderate to high topographic relief.
- Authors: Julia E. Kelso; Michelle A. Baker
- Conceptual Framework for the National Flood Interoperability Experiment
- Authors: David R. Maidment
Abstract: The National Flood Interoperability Experiment is a research collaboration among academia, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service, and government and commercial partners to advance the application of the National Water Model for flood forecasting. In preparation for a Summer Institute at the National Water Center in June-July 2015, a demonstration version of a near real-time, high spatial resolution flood forecasting model was developed for the continental United States. The river and stream network was divided into 2.7 million reaches using the National Hydrography Dataset Plus geospatial dataset and it was demonstrated that the runoff into these stream reaches and the discharge within them could be computed in 10 min at the Texas Advanced Computing Center. This study presents a conceptual framework to connect information from high-resolution flood forecasting with real-time observations and flood inundation mapping and planning for local flood emergency response.
- The Role of Wetlands for Mitigating Economic Damage from Hurricanes
- Authors: J. Luke Boutwell; John V. Westra
Abstract: Coastal communities along the United States coast often experience significant economic damage resulting from the impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes. Research suggests that certain factors that affect economic damages are increasing the vulnerability of coastal communities. Population growth, which increases vulnerability by placing valuable lives and assets in the path of storms, is expected to increase. Climate change has the potential to cause more frequent and intense storms, and coastal wetland loss is contributing to the vulnerability of coastal populations. Wetlands conservation and restoration is often advocated for as a means of reducing the impacts of coastal storms. The relationship between wetlands and storm surge energy is understood relatively well in physical terms, but very little economic analysis has been conducted to estimate the degree to which wetlands reduce economic impacts. Using factor analysis, the relationships among coastal populations, wetlands, storm intensity, and economic damage are explored. The factor analysis suggests that wetland presence is associated with a reduction in economic damages from coastal storms. Factor score analysis suggests that the proportion of damage explained by wetland presence is smaller for more intense storms. These results are consistent with those found in the physical science literature and have potentially large consequences for how wetlands are used in risk reduction.
- Temporal and Spatial Trends in Nutrient and Sediment Loading to Lake
Tahoe, California-Nevada, USA
- Authors: Robert Coats; Jack Lewis, Nancy Alvarez, Patricia Arneson
Abstract: Since 1980, the Lake Tahoe Interagency Monitoring Program (LTIMP) has provided stream-discharge and water quality data—nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and suspended sediment—at more than 20 stations in Lake Tahoe Basin streams. To characterize the temporal and spatial patterns in nutrient and sediment loading to the lake, and improve the usefulness of the program and the existing database, we have (1) identified and corrected for sources of bias in the water quality database; (2) generated synthetic datasets for sediments and nutrients, and resampled to compare the accuracy and precision of different load calculation models; (3) using the best models, recalculated total annual loads over the period of record; (4) regressed total loads against total annual and annual maximum daily discharge, and tested for time trends in the residuals; (5) compared loads for different forms of N and P; and (6) tested constituent loads against land use-land cover (LULC) variables using multiple regression. The results show (1) N and P loads are dominated by organic N and particulate P; (2) there are significant long-term downward trends in some constituent loads of some streams; and (3) anthropogenic impervious surface is the most important LULC variable influencing water quality in basin streams. Many of our recommendations for changes in water quality monitoring and load calculation methods have been adopted by the LTIMP.
- Modeling the Effects of Tile Drain Placement on the Hydrologic Function of
Farmed Prairie Wetlands
- Authors: Brett Werner; John Tracy, W. Carter Johnson, Richard A. Voldseth, Glenn R. Guntenspergen, Bruce Millett
Abstract: The early 2000s saw large increases in agricultural tile drainage in the eastern Dakotas of North America. Agricultural practices that drain wetlands directly are sometimes limited by wetland protection programs. Little is known about the impacts of tile drainage beyond the delineated boundaries of wetlands in upland catchments that may be in agricultural production. A series of experiments were conducted using the well-published model WETLANDSCAPE that revealed the potential for wetlands to have significantly shortened surface water inundation periods and lower mean depths when tile is placed in certain locations beyond the wetland boundary. Under the soil conditions found in agricultural areas of South Dakota in North America, wetland hydroperiod was found to be more sensitive to the depth that drain tile is installed relative to the bottom of the wetland basin than to distance-based setbacks. Because tile drainage can change the hydrologic conditions of wetlands, even when deployed in upland catchments, tile drainage plans should be evaluated more closely for the potential impacts they might have on the ecological services that these wetlands currently provide. Future research should investigate further how drainage impacts are affected by climate variability and change.
- An Analysis of Patterns and Trends in United States Stormwater Utility
- Authors: Kandace Kea; Randel Dymond, Warren Campbell
Abstract: Several factors, such as municipality location and population, are thought to influence trends among stormwater utilities (SWUs); however, no analysis of the relationship between these factors and SWU characteristics has been performed. This article corroborates hypothesized relationships and identifies trends and patterns in the establishment, funding mechanism, and magnitude of SWUs by analyzing location, population density, home value, and year of establishment for a comprehensive national SWU database with data for 1,490 SWUs. The equivalent residential unit (ERU), a SWU that charges based on impervious area, was the most prevalent funding mechanism in all National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Regions of the United States except the West and West-North-Central. The ERU was also found in larger cities with high population densities, whereas the Flat Fee, a SWU that charges a single rate for all properties, was found in smaller towns. Higher home values were correlated with higher monthly fees for 28% of the municipalities analyzed. The residential equivalence factor, a SWU that charges based on runoff produced, was popular in municipalities with higher home values, whereas the Flat Fee was popular in municipalities with lower home values. The number of SWUs established increased with Phase I municipal separate stormwater and sewer system (MS4) permit and Phase II small MS4 permit deadlines. Summary tables provide guidance to aid municipalities considering a SWU.
- Water Management Decision Making in the Face of Multiple Forms of
Uncertainty and Risk
- Authors: Morey Burnham; Zhao Ma, Joanna Endter-Wada, Tim Bardsley
Abstract: In the Wasatch Range Metropolitan Area of Northern Utah, water management decision makers confront multiple forms of uncertainty and risk. Adapting to these uncertainties and risks is critical for maintaining the long-term sustainability of the region's water supply. This study draws on interview data to assess the major challenges climatic and social changes pose to Utah's water future, as well as potential solutions. The study identifies the water management adaptation decision-making space shaped by the interacting institutional, social, economic, political, and biophysical processes that enable and constrain sustainable water management. The study finds water managers and other water actors see challenges related to reallocating water, including equitable water transfers and stakeholder cooperation, addressing population growth, and locating additional water supplies, as more problematic than the challenges posed by climate change. Furthermore, there is significant disagreement between water actors over how to best adapt to both climatic and social changes. This study concludes with a discussion of the path dependencies that present challenges to adaptive water management decision making, as well as opportunities for the pursuit of a new water management paradigm based on soft-path solutions. Such knowledge is useful for understanding the institutional and social adaptations needed for water management to successfully address future uncertainties and risks.
- Characterizing Runoff and Water Yield for Headwater Catchments in the
Southern Sierra Nevada
- Authors: Mohammad Safeeq; Carolyn T. Hunsaker
Abstract: In a Mediterranean climate where much of the precipitation falls during winter, snowpacks serve as the primary source of dry season runoff. Increased warming has led to significant changes in hydrology of the western United States. An important question in this context is how to best manage forested catchments for water and other ecosystem services? Answering this basic question requires detailed understanding of hydrologic functioning of these catchments. Here, we depict the differences in hydrologic response of 10 catchments. Size of the study catchments ranges from 50 to 475 ha, and they span between 1,782 and 2,373 m elevation in the rain-snow transitional zone. Mean annual streamflow ranged from 281 to 408 mm in the low elevation Providence and 436 to 656 mm in the high elevation Bull catchments, resulting in a 49 mm streamflow increase per 100 m (R2 = 0.79) elevation gain, despite similar precipitation across the 10 catchments. Although high elevation Bull catchments received significantly more precipitation as snow and thus experienced a delayed melt, this increase in streamflow with elevation was mainly due to a reduction in evapotranspiration (ET) with elevation (45 mm/100 m, R2 = 0.65). The reduction in ET was attributed to decline in vegetation density, growing season, and atmospheric demand with increasing elevation. These findings suggest changes in streamflow in response to climate warming may likely depend on how vegetation responds to those changes in climate.
- Pairing Modern and Paleolimnological Approaches to Evaluate the Nutrient
Status of Lakes in Upper Midwest National Parks
- Authors: David D. VanderMeulen; Brenda Moraska Lafrancois, Mark B. Edlund, Joy M. Ramstack Hobbs, Richard Damstra
Abstract: Understanding what constitutes a reference (background) nutrient condition for lakes is important for National Park Service managers responsible for preserving and protecting aquatic resources. For this study we characterize water quality conditions in 29 lakes across four national parks, and compare their nutrient status to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) nutrient reference criteria and alternative criteria recently proposed by others. Where appropriate we also compare the nutrient status of these 29 lakes to state or tribal nutrient reference criteria or standards. For lakes that exceed reference criteria we investigate physical and chemical patterns, and for a subset of lakes compare modern nutrient conditions to paleolimnological (i.e., diatom-inferred [DI]) nutrient reconstructions. Many lakes exceeded USEPA nutrient reference criteria, but met alternative less restrictive criteria. Modern nutrient conditions were also largely consistent with DI historic (pre-1900) nutrient conditions. Lakes exceeding alternative nutrient criteria and with elevated nutrient levels relative to DI historic conditions were mostly small, shallow, and dystrophic; continued attention to their nutrient dynamics and biological response is warranted. Coupling modern and paleolimnological data offer an innovative and scientifically defensible approach to understand long-term nutrient trends and provide greater context for comparison with reference conditions.
- Development and Comparison of Multiple Regression Models to Predict
Bankfull Channel Dimensions for Use in Hydrologic Models
- Authors: Katrin Bieger; Hendrik Rathjens, Jeffrey G. Arnold, Indrajeet Chaubey, Peter M. Allen
Abstract: Channel dimensions are important input variables for many hydrologic models. As measurements of channel geometry are not available in most watersheds, they are often predicted using bankfull hydraulic geometry relationships. This study aims at improving existing equations that relate bankfull width, depth, and cross‐sectional area to drainage area (DA) without limiting their use to well‐gauged watersheds. We included seven additional variables in the equations that can be derived from data that are generally required by hydrologic models anyway and conducted several multiple regression analyses to identify the ideal combination of additional variables for nationwide and regional models for each Physiographic Division of the United States (U.S.). Results indicate that including the additional variables in the regression equations generally improves predictions considerably. The selection of relevant variables varies by Physiographic Division, but average annual precipitation (PCP) and temperature (TMP) were generally found to improve the models the most. Therefore, we recommend using regression equations with three independent variables (DA, PCP, and TMP) to predict bankfull channel dimensions for hydrologic models. Furthermore, we recommend using the regional equations for watersheds within regions from which data were used for model development, whereas in all other parts of the U.S. and the rest of the world, the nationwide equations should be given preference.
- Institutional Constraints on Cost‐Effective Water Management: Selenium
Contamination in Colorado's Lower Arkansas River Valley
- Authors: Misti D. Sharp; Dana L.K. Hoag, Ryan T. Bailey, Erica C. Romero, Timothy K. Gates
Abstract: Ground and surface water selenium (Se) contamination is problematic throughout the world, leading to harmful impacts on aquatic life, wildlife, livestock, and humans. A groundwater reactive transport model was applied to a regional‐scale irrigated groundwater system in the Lower Arkansas River Basin in southeastern Colorado to identify management practices that remediate Se contamination. The system has levels of surface water and groundwater Se concentrations exceeding the respective chronic standard and guidelines. We evaluate potential solutions by combining the transport model with an assessment of the cost to employ those practices. We use a framework common in economics and engineering fields alike, the Pareto frontier, to show the impact of four different best management practices on the tradeoffs between Se and cost objectives. We then extend that analysis to include institutional constraints that affect the economic feasibility associated with each practice. Results indicate that although water‐reducing strategies have the greatest impact on Se, they are the hardest for farmers to implement given constraints common to western water rights institutions. Therefore, our analysis shows that estimating economic and environmental tradeoffs, as is typically done with a Pareto frontier, will not provide an accurate picture of choices available to farmers where institutional constraints should also be considered.
- 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
- Authors: Ahmad A. Tavakoly; Alan D. Snow, Cédric H. David, Michael L. Follum, David R. Maidment, Zong‐Liang Yang
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.
- 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.
- Reviewer Index - 2016
- Pages: 1539 - 1541