- The Great Lakes Hydrography Dataset: Consistent, Binational Watersheds for
the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin
- Authors: Danielle K. Forsyth; Catherine M. Riseng, Kevin E. Wehrly, Lacey A. Mason, John Gaiot, Tom Hollenhorst, Craig M. Johnston, Conrad Wyrzykowski, Gust Annis, Chris Castiglione, Kent Todd, Mike Robertson, Dana M. Infante, Lizhu Wang, James E. McKenna, Gary Whelan
Abstract: Ecosystem‐based management of the Laurentian Great Lakes, which spans both the United States and Canada, is hampered by the lack of consistent binational watersheds for the entire Basin. Using comparable data sources and consistent methods, we developed spatially equivalent watershed boundaries for the binational extent of the Basin to create the Great Lakes Hydrography Dataset (GLHD). The GLHD consists of 5,589 watersheds for the entire Basin, covering a total area of approximately 547,967 km2, or about twice the 247,003 km2 surface water area of the Great Lakes. The GLHD improves upon existing watershed efforts by delineating watersheds for the entire Basin using consistent methods; enhancing the precision of watershed delineation using recently developed flow direction grids that have been hydrologically enforced and vetted by provincial and federal water resource agencies; and increasing the accuracy of watershed boundaries by enforcing embayments, delineating watersheds on islands, and delineating watersheds for all tributaries draining to connecting channels. In addition, the GLHD is packaged in a publically available geodatabase that includes synthetic stream networks, reach catchments, watershed boundaries, a broad set of attribute data for each tributary, and metadata documenting methodology. The GLHD provides a common set of watersheds and associated hydrography data for the Basin that will enhance binational efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes.
- Variability and Trends in Runoff Efficiency in the Conterminous United
- Authors: Gregory J. McCabe; David M. Wolock
Abstract: Variability and trends in water‐year runoff efficiency (RE) — computed as the ratio of water‐year runoff (streamflow per unit area) to water‐year precipitation — in the conterminous United States (CONUS) are examined for the 1951 through 2012 period. Changes in RE are analyzed using runoff and precipitation data aggregated to United States Geological Survey 8‐digit hydrologic cataloging units (HUs). Results indicate increases in RE for some regions in the north‐central CONUS and large decreases in RE for the south‐central CONUS. The increases in RE in the north‐central CONUS are explained by trends in climate, whereas the large decreases in RE in the south‐central CONUS likely are related to groundwater withdrawals from the Ogallala aquifer to support irrigated agriculture.
- Issue Information
- PubDate: 2016-06-01T07:29:38.715655-05:
- NHDPlusHR: A National Geospatial Framework for Surface‐Water
- Authors: Roland J. Viger; Alan Rea, Jeffrey D. Simley, Karen M. Hanson
Abstract: The U.S. Geological Survey is developing a new geospatial hydrographic framework for the United States, called the National Hydrography Dataset Plus High Resolution (NHDPlusHR), that integrates a diversity of the best‐available information, robustly supports ongoing dataset improvements, enables hydrographic generalization to derive alternate representations of the network while maintaining feature identity, and supports modern scientific computing and Internet accessibility needs. This framework is based on the High Resolution National Hydrography Dataset, the Watershed Boundaries Dataset, and elevation from the 3‐D Elevation Program, and will provide an authoritative, high precision, and attribute‐rich geospatial framework for surface‐water information for the United States. Using this common geospatial framework will provide a consistent basis for indexing water information in the United States, eliminate redundancy, and harmonize access to, and exchange of water information.
- Application of SPARROW Modeling to Understanding Contaminant Fate and
Transport from Uplands to Streams
- Authors: Scott W. Ator; Ana Maria Garcia
Abstract: Understanding spatial variability in contaminant fate and transport is critical to efficient regional water‐quality restoration. An approach to capitalize on previously calibrated spatially referenced regression (SPARROW) models to improve the understanding of contaminant fate and transport was developed and applied to the case of nitrogen in the 166,000 km2 Chesapeake Bay watershed. A continuous function of four hydrogeologic, soil, and other landscape properties significant (α = 0.10) to nitrogen transport from uplands to streams was evaluated and compared among each of the more than 80,000 individual catchments (mean area, 2.1 km2) in the watershed. Budgets (including inputs, losses or net change in storage in uplands and stream corridors, and delivery to tidal waters) were also estimated for nitrogen applied to these catchments from selected upland sources. Most (81%) of such inputs are removed, retained, or otherwise processed in uplands rather than transported to surface waters. Combining SPARROW results with previous budget estimates suggests 55% of this processing is attributable to denitrification, 23% to crop or timber harvest, and 6% to volatilization. Remaining upland inputs represent a net annual increase in landscape storage in soils or biomass exceeding 10 kg per hectare in some areas. Such insights are important for planning watershed restoration and for improving future watershed models.
- The USGS Water Availability and Use Science Program: Needs, Establishment,
and Goals of a Water Census
- Authors: Ari M. Michelsen; Sonya Jones, Eric Evenson, David Blodgett
Abstract: Many reports have recognized the need for a national water census for the United States and have called upon the U.S. Geological Survey to undertake this challenge. For example, the National Science and Technology Council stated: “The United States has a strong need for an ongoing census of water that describes the status of our Nation's water resource at any point in time and identifies trends over time.” Responding to the need for this information, the U.S. Congress established the SECURE Water Act. The directives are to provide a more accurate assessment of the status of the water resources of the United States; determine the quantity of water available for beneficial uses; identify long‐term trends in water availability; assist in determination of the quality of the water resources; and develop the basis for an improved ability to forecast the availability of water for future economic, energy production, and environmental uses. This article provides summary and new information on the process and progress on work to estimate water budget components nationwide, involvement of stakeholder interests, efforts to examine water‐use characteristics throughout the Nation, studies of water availability in geographically focused areas and the initiation of methods to provide open access to existing and new water resources information contributing to Open Water Data Initiative (OWDI) efforts and objectives.
- Spatial and Temporal Variation of Water Temperature Regimes on the
Snoqualmie River Network
- Authors: E. Ashley Steel; Colin Sowder, Erin E. Peterson
Abstract: Although mean temperatures change annually and are highly correlated with elevation, the entire thermal regime on the Snoqualmie River, Washington, USA does not simply shift with elevation or season. Particular facets of the thermal regime have unique spatial patterns on the river network and at particular times of the year. We used a spatially and temporally dense temperature dataset to generate 13 temperature metrics representing popular summary measures (e.g., minimum, mean, or maximum temperature) and wavelet variances over each of seven time windows. Spatial stream‐network models which account for within‐network dependence were fit using three commonly used predictors of riverine thermal regime (elevation, mean annual discharge, and percent commercial area) to each temperature metric in each time window. Predictors were strongly related (r2 > 0.6) to common summaries of the thermal regime but were less effective at describing other facets of the thermal regime. Relationships shifted with season and across facets. Summer mean temperatures decreased strongly with increasing elevation but this relationship was weaker for winter mean temperatures and winter minimum temperatures; it was reversed for mean daily range and there was no relationship between elevation and wavelet variances. We provide examples of how enriched information about the spatial and temporal complexities of natural thermal regimes can improve management and monitoring of aquatic resources.
- Characterizing Drought in Irrigated Agricultural Systems: The Surface
Water Delivery Index (SWDI)
- Authors: David J. Hoekema; Jae Hyeon Ryu
Abstract: Quantifying surface water shortages in arid and semiarid agricultural regions is challenging because limited water supplies are distributed over long distances based on complex water management systems constrained by legal, economic, and social frameworks that evolve with time. In such regions, the water supply is often derived in a climate dramatically different from where the water is diverted to meet agricultural demand. The existing drought indices which rely on local climate do not portray the complexities of the economic and legal constraints on water delivery. Nor do these indices quantify the shortages that occur in drought. Therefore, this research proposes a methodological approach to define surface water shortages in irrigated agricultural systems using a newly developed index termed the Surface Water Delivery Index (SWDI). The SWDI can be used to uniformly quantify surface water deficits/shortages at the end of the irrigation season. Results from the SWDI clearly illustrate how water shortages in droughts identified by the existing indices (e.g., SPI and PDSI) vary strongly both within and between basins. Some surface water entities are much more prone to water shortages than other entities based both on their source of water supply and water right portfolios.
- Book Reviews
- Authors: Zhiqiang Deng; Vibhava Srivastava
- Using OpenMI and a Model MAP to Integrate WaterML2 and NetCDF Data Sources
into Flood Modeling of Genoa, Italy
- Authors: Quillon Harpham; Julien Lhomme, Antonio Parodi, Elisabetta Fiori, Bert Jagers, Antonella Galizia
Abstract: Extreme hydrometeorological events such as flash floods have caused considerable loss of life and damage to infrastructure over recent years. Flood events in the Mediterranean region between 1990 and 2006 caused over 4,500 fatalities and cost over €29 billion in damage, with Italy one of the worst affected countries. The Distributed Computing Infrastructure for Hydro‐Meteorology (DRIHM) project is a European initiative aiming at providing an open, fully integrated eScience environment for predicting, managing, and mitigating the risks related to such extreme weather phenomena. Incorporating both modeled and observational data sources, it enables seamless access to a set of computing resources with the objective of providing a collection of services for performing experiments with numerical models in meteorology, hydrology, and hydraulics. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how this flexible modeling architecture has been constructed using a set of standards including the NetCDF and WaterML2 file formats, in‐memory coupling with OpenMI, controlled vocabularies such as CF Standard Names, ISO19139 metadata, and a Model MAP (Metadata, Adaptors, Portability) gateway concept for preparing numerical models for standardized use. Hydraulic results, including the impact to buildings and hazards to people, are given for the use cases of the severe and fatal flash floods, which occurred in Genoa, Italy in November 2011 and October 2014.
- Recycling Irrigation Reservoir Stratification and Implications for Crop
Health and Production
- Abstract: Recycling irrigation reservoirs (RIRs) are an emerging aquatic ecosystem and water resource of global significance. This study investigated the vertical distribution of water temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO), and pH in eight RIRs at two nurseries each in Virginia and Maryland from 2011 to 2014. Monomictic thermal stratification was observed from April to October in all RIRs, despite their shallow depths (0.75‐3.89 m). The strongest stratification had a top‐bottom temperature difference of 21.53°C. The top‐bottom temperature difference was positively correlated with water column depth, air temperature, and daily light integral (p
- Large‐Scale Fine‐Resolution Hydrological Modeling Using
Parameter Regionalization in the Missouri River Basin
- Authors: Prasad Daggupati; Debjani Deb, Raghavan Srinivasan, Dhanesh Yeganantham, Vikram M. Mehta, Norman J. Rosenberg
Abstract: This study simulated crop and water yields in the Missouri River Basin (MRB; 1,371,000 km2), one of the largest river basins in the United States, using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) at a fine resolution of 12‐digit Hydrological Unit Codes (HUCs) using the regionalization calibration approach. Very few studies have simulated the entire MRB, and those that have developed were at a coarser resolution of 8‐digit HUCs and were minimally calibrated. The MRB was first divided into three subbasins and was further divided into eleven regions. A “head watershed” was selected in each region and was calibrated for crop and water yields. The parameters from the calibrated head watershed were extrapolated to other subwatersheds in the region to complete comprehensive spatial calibration. The simulated crop yields at the head watersheds were in close agreement with observed crop yields. Spatial validation of the aggregated crop yields resulted in reasonable predictions for all crops except dryland corn in a few regions. Simulated and observed water yields in head watersheds and also in the validation locations were in close agreement in naturalized streams and poor agreement in streams with high groundwater‐surface water interactions and/or reservoirs found upstream of the gauges. Overall, the SWAT model was able to reasonably capture the hydrological and crop growth dynamics occurring in the basin despite some limitations.
- Identification of Putative Geographically Isolated Wetlands of the
Conterminous United States
- Authors: Charles R. Lane; Ellen D'Amico
Abstract: Geographically isolated wetlands (GIWs) are wetlands completely surrounded by uplands. While common throughout the United States (U.S.), there have heretofore been no nationally available, spatially explicit estimates of GIW extent, complicating efforts to understand the myriad biogeochemical, hydrological, and habitat functions of GIWs and hampering conservation and management efforts at local, state, and national scales. We used a 10‐m geospatial buffer as a proxy for hydrological or ecological connectivity of National Wetlands Inventory palustrine and lacustrine wetland systems to nationally mapped and available stream, river, and lake data. We identified over 8.3 million putative GIWs across the conterminous U.S., encompassing nearly 6.5 million hectares of wetland resources (average size 0.79 ± 4.81 ha, median size 0.19 ha). Putative GIWs thus represent approximately 16% of the freshwater wetlands of the conterminous U.S. The water regime for the majority of the putative GIWs was temporarily or seasonally flooded, suggesting a vulnerability to ditching or hydrologic abstraction, sedimentation, or alterations in precipitation patterns. Additional analytical applications of this readily available geospatially explicit mapping product (e.g., hydrological modeling, amphibian metapopulation, or landscape ecological analyses) will improve our understanding of the abundance and extent, effect, connectivity, and relative importance of GIWs to other aquatic systems of the conterminous U.S.
- Evaluating Hydrologically Connected Surface Water and Groundwater Using a
- Authors: Ruopu Li; Mahesh Pun, Jesse Bradley, Gengxin Ou, Jim Schneider, Brandi Flyr, Jessie Winter, Sudhansh Chinta
Abstract: Determination of the nature and extent of the connection between groundwater and surface water is of paramount importance to managing water supplies. The development of analyses that detail the surface water‐groundwater system may lead to more effective utilization of available water. A tool was developed to help determine the effects of groundwater and surface water interactions. The software tool includes two graphic user interfaces to allow full compatibility with numerical MODFLOW groundwater models. This case study shows the tool, in conjunction with MODFLOW groundwater models and carefully designed scenarios, can successfully calculate the rates of stream‐groundwater interactions, thereby providing the basis for designating management areas with the most significant hydrologic impact. This tool can be applied in other regions with similar settings and needs for integrated water management.
- Irrigation Water Allocation Using an Inexact Two‐Stage Quadratic
Programming with Fuzzy Input under Climate Change
- Authors: Mo Li; Ping Guo, Vijay P. Singh, Jie Zhao
Abstract: Agricultural irrigation accounts for nearly 70% of the total water use around the world. Uncertainties and climate change together exacerbate the complexity of optimal allocation of water resources for irrigation. An interval‐fuzzy two‐stage stochastic quadratic programming model is developed for determining the plans for water allocation for irrigation with maximum benefits. The model is shown to be applicable when inputs are expressed as discrete, fuzzy or random. In order to reflect the effect of marginal utility on benefit and cost, the model can also deal with nonlinearities in the objective function. Results from applying the model to a case study in the middle reaches of the Heihe River basin, China, show schemes for water allocation for irrigation of different crops in every month of the crop growth period under various flow levels are effective for achieving high economic benefits. Different climate change scenarios are used to analyze the impact of changing water requirement and water availability on irrigation water allocation. The proposed model can aid the decision maker in formulating desired irrigation water management policies in the wake of uncertainties and changing environment.
- An Analysis of Water Data Systems to Inform the Open Water Data Initiative
- Authors: David Blodgett; Emily Read, Jessica Lucido, Tad Slawecki, Dwane Young
Abstract: Improving access to data and fostering open exchange of water information is foundational to solving water resources issues. In this vein, the Department of the Interior's Assistant Secretary for Water and Science put forward the charge to undertake an Open Water Data Initiative (OWDI) that would prioritize and accelerate work toward better water data infrastructure. The goal of the OWDI is to build out the Open Water Web (OWW). We therefore considered the OWW in terms of four conceptual functions: water data cataloging, water data as a service, enriching water data, and community for water data. To describe the current state of the OWW and identify areas needing improvement, we conducted an analysis of existing systems using a standard model for describing distributed systems and their business requirements. Our analysis considered three OWDI‐focused use cases—flooding, drought, and contaminant transport—and then examined the landscape of other existing applications that support the Open Water Web. The analysis, which includes a discussion of observed successful practices of cataloging, serving, enriching, and building community around water resources data, demonstrates that we have made significant progress toward the needed infrastructure, although challenges remain. The further development of the OWW can be greatly informed by the interpretation and findings of our analysis.
- Optimal Reorganization of NASA Earth Science Data for Enhanced
Accessibility and Usability for the Hydrology Community
- Authors: William Teng; Hualan Rui, Richard Strub, Bruce Vollmer
Abstract: A long‐standing “Digital Divide” in data representation exists between the preferred way of data access by the hydrology community and the common way of data archival by earth science data centers. Typically, in hydrology, earth surface features are expressed as discrete spatial objects (e.g., watersheds), and time‐varying data are contained in associated time series. Data in earth science archives, although stored as discrete values (of satellite swath pixels or geographical grids), represent continuous spatial fields, one file per time step. This Divide has been an obstacle, specifically, between the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. and NASA earth science data systems. In essence, the way data are archived is conceptually orthogonal to the desired method of access. Our recent work has shown an optimal method of bridging the Divide, by enabling operational access to long‐time series (e.g., 36 years of hourly data) of selected NASA datasets. These time series, which we have termed “data rods,” are pre‐generated or generated on‐the‐fly. This optimal solution was arrived at after extensive investigations of various approaches, including one based on “data curtains.” The on‐the‐fly generation of data rods uses “data cubes,” NASA Giovanni, and parallel processing. The optimal reorganization of NASA earth science data has significantly enhanced the access to and use of the data for the hydrology user community.
- Evaluation of Methods for Delineating Riparian Zones in a Semi‐Arid
- Authors: Jessica A. Salo; David M. Theobald, Thomas C. Brown
Abstract: Riparian zones in semi‐arid, mountainous regions provide a disproportionate amount of the available wildlife habitat and ecosystem services. Despite their importance, there is little guidance on the best way to map riparian zones for broad spatial extents (e.g., large watersheds) when detailed maps from field data or high‐resolution imagery and terrain data are not available. Using well‐established accuracy metrics (e.g., kappa, precision, computational complexity), we evaluated eight methods commonly used to map riparian zones. Focusing on a semi‐arid, mountainous watershed, we found that the most accurate and robust method for mapping riparian zones combines data on upstream drainage area and valley topography. That method performed best regardless of stream order, and was most effective when implemented with fine resolution topographic and stream line data. Other commonly used methods to model riparian zones, such as those based on fixed‐width buffers, yielded inaccurate results. We recommend that until very‐high resolution (
- Policy Frameworks Influencing Outdoor Water‐use Restrictions
- Authors: Anita Milman; Colin Polsky
Abstract: Water‐use efficiency in the United States (U.S.) has improved in recent years. Yet continued population growth coupled with increasingly conservation‐oriented regulatory frameworks suggest that residential water suppliers will have to realize additional efficiency gains in coming decades. Outdoor water‐use restrictions (OWRs) appear to be an increasingly prevalent demand‐side management policy tool. To date little research has investigated the policy mechanisms that govern OWR adoption and influence the prevalence of OWRs. This article fills this gap with an assessment of state‐level policies influencing local‐level restrictions on residential outdoor water use in each of the 48 contiguous U.S. states, and with a detailed illustration of the cross‐scalar dynamic of one state's policy framework in practice. An examination of the implementation of OWRs in 24 neighboring towns in Massachusetts across the 2003‐2012 period indicates the interplay between state‐level and local‐level policies leads to OWRs implementation over extended time‐periods, even when drought conditions are not present. This finding suggests OWRs are being used as a tool for general‐purpose water conservation rather than as a stopgap measure justified by temporary water shortage conditions. Future research should investigate how local‐level water savings vary with differing state‐level approaches.
- Recent Changes in Stream Flashiness and Flooding, and Effects of Flood
Management in North Carolina and Virginia
- Abstract: The southeastern United States has undergone anthropogenic changes in landscape structure, with the potential to increase (e.g., urbanization) and decrease (e.g., reservoir construction) stream flashiness and flooding. Assessment of the outcome of such change can provide insight into the efficacy of current strategies and policies to manage water resources. We (1) examined trends in precipitation, floods, and stream flashiness and (2) assessed the relative influence of land cover and flow‐regulating features (e.g., best management practices and artificial water bodies) on stream flashiness from 1991 to 2013. We found mean annual precipitation decreased, which coincided with decreasing trends in floods. In contrast, stream flashiness, overall, showed an increasing trend during the period of study. However, upon closer examination, 20 watersheds showed stable stream flashiness, whereas 5 increased and 6 decreased in flashiness. Urban watersheds were among those that increased or decreased in flashiness. Watersheds that increased in stream flashiness gained more urban cover, lost more forested cover and had fewer best management practices installed than urban watersheds that decreased in stream flashiness. We found best management practices are more effective than artificial water bodies in regulating flashy floods. Flashiness index is a valuable and straightforward metric to characterize changes in streamflow and help to assess the efficacy of management interventions.
- Nitrate Dynamics in Two Streams Impacted by Wastewater Treatment Plant
Discharge: Point Sources or Sinks?
- Authors: Brian G. Rahm; Nicole B. Hill, Stephen B. Shaw, Susan J. Riha
Abstract: We examined nitrate processing in headwater stream reaches downstream of two wastewater treatment plant outfalls during low streamflow. Our objectives were to quantify nitrate mass flux before and after effluent discharge and to use field and laboratory techniques to assess the mechanism of nitrate uptake. Microcosm experiments were utilized to determine the location of nitrate processing, and molecular biomarkers were used to detect and quantify microbial denitrification. At one site, downstream nitrate mass flux was significantly (p = 0.01) lower than sum of upstream and wastewater effluent fluxes, indicating rapid stream assimilation of incoming nitrate in the vicinity of the point source. Microcosm experiments supported the theory that nitrate processing occurs in sediments. Molecular assays for denitrifcation‐associated functional genes nosZ, nirS, and nirK, provided evidence that effluent contained enriched denitrifying communities relative to ambient stream water. Nitrate loss at the site with greater uptake was correlated with sulfate loss (p
- Discharge and Nutrient Transport between Lakes in a Hydrologically Complex
Area of Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota, 2010‐2012
- Authors: Victoria G. Christensen; Eric S. Wakeman, Ryan P. Maki
Abstract: An acoustic Doppler velocity meter (ADVM) was deployed in the narrows between Namakan and Kabetogama Lakes in Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota, from November 3, 2010, through October 3, 2012. The ADVM can account for wind, seiche, and changing flow direction in hydrologically complex areas. The objectives were to (1) estimate discharge and document the direction of water flow, (2) assess whether specific conductance can be used to determine flow direction, and (3) document nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations at the narrows. The discharge direction through the narrows was seasonal. Water generally flowed out of Kabetogama Lake and into Namakan Lake throughout the ice‐covered season. During spring, water flow was generally from Namakan Lake to Kabetogama Lake. During the summer and fall, the water flowed in both directions, affected in part by wind. Water flowed into Namakan Lake 70% of water year 2011 and 56% of water year 2012. Nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations were highest during the summer months when water‐flow direction was unpredictable. The use of an ADVM was effective for assessing flow direction and provided flow direction under ice. The results indicated the eutrophic Kabetogama Lake may have a negative effect on the more pristine Namakan Lake. The results also provide data on the effects of the current water‐level management plan and may help determine if adjustments are necessary to help protect the aquatic ecosystem of Voyageurs National Park.
- Developing Peak Discharges for Future Flood Risk Studies Using IPCC's
CMIP5 Climate Model Results and USGS WREG Program
- Authors: Sivasankkar Selvanathan; Mathini Sreetharan, Krista Rand, Dmitry Smirnov, Janghwoan Choi, Mathew Mampara
Abstract: Extreme climate events, floods, and drought, cause huge impact on daily lives. In order to produce society resilient to extreme events, it is necessary to assess the impact of frequent and high intensity storm events on design parameters. This article describes a methodology to develop future peak “design discharges” throughout the United States that can be used as a guidance to map future floodplains. In order to develop a lower and upper limit for anticipated peak flow discharges, two future growth scenarios — Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs)‐RCP 2.6 and 8.5 were identified as the weak and strong climate scenario respectively based on the output from the global climate models. The Generalized Least Square technique in United States Geological Survey's Weighted Multiple Regression (WREG) program was used to develop regression equations that relate peak discharges to basin and climate parameters of the contributing watershed. The design discharges reflect the most recent climate model results. Number of frost days, heavy rainfall days, high temperature days, and snow depth were found to be the common extreme climate parameters influencing the regression equations. This methodology can be extended to other flood frequency events if rainfall data is available. The future discharges can be utilized in hydraulics models to estimate floodplains that can assist in resilient infrastructure planning and outline climate change adaptation strategies.
- Supporting Diverse Data Providers in the Open Water Data Initiative:
Communicating Water Data Quality and Fitness of Use
- Authors: Sara Larsen; Stuart Hamilton, Jessica Lucido, Bradley Garner, Dwane Young
Abstract: Shared, trusted, timely data are essential elements for the cooperation needed to optimize economic, ecologic, and public safety concerns related to water. The Open Water Data Initiative (OWDI) will provide a fully scalable platform that can support a wide variety of data from many diverse providers. Many of these will be larger, well‐established, and trusted agencies with a history of providing well‐documented, standardized, and archive‐ready products. However, some potential partners may be smaller, distributed, and relatively unknown or untested as data providers. The data these partners will provide are valuable and can be used to fill in many data gaps, but can also be variable in quality or supplied in nonstandardized formats. They may also reflect the smaller partners' variable budgets and missions, be intermittent, or of unknown provenance. A challenge for the OWDI will be to convey the quality and the contextual “fitness” of data from providers other than the most trusted brands. This article reviews past and current methods for documenting data quality. Three case studies are provided that describe processes and pathways for effective data‐sharing and publication initiatives. They also illustrate how partners may work together to find a metadata reporting threshold that encourages participation while maintaining high data integrity. And lastly, potential governance is proposed that may assist smaller partners with short‐ and long‐term participation in the OWDI.
- From Global to Local: Providing Actionable Flood Forecast Information in a
Cloud‐Based Computing Environment
- Authors: J. Fidel Perez; Nathan R. Swain, Herman G. Dolder, Scott D. Christensen, Alan D. Snow, E. James Nelson, Norman L. Jones
Abstract: Global and continental scale flood forecast provide coarse resolution flood forecast, but from the perspective of emergency management, flood warnings should be detailed and specific to local conditions. The desired refinement can be provided by the use of downscaling global scale models and through the use of distributed hydrologic models to produce a high‐resolution flood forecast. Three major challenges associated with transforming global flood forecasting to a local scale are addressed in this work. The first is using open‐source software tools to provide access to multiple data sources and lowering the barriers for users in management agencies at local level. This can be done through the Tethys Platform that enables web water resources modeling applications. The second is finding a practical solution for the computational requirements associated with running complex models and performing multiple simulations. This is done using Tethys Cluster that manages distributed and cloud computing resources as a companion to the Tethys Platform for web app development. The third challenge is discovering ways to downscale the forecasts from the global extent to the local context. Three modeling strategies have been tested to address this, including downscaling of coarse resolution global runoff models to high‐resolution stream networks and routing with Routing Application for Parallel computatIon of Discharge (RAPID), the use of hierarchical Gridded Surface and Subsurface Hydrologic Analysis (GSSHA) distributed models, and pre‐computed distributed GSSHA models.
- The Road to NHDPlus — Advancements in Digital Stream Networks and
- Authors: Richard B. Moore; Thomas G. Dewald
Abstract: A progression of advancements in Geographic Information Systems techniques for hydrologic network and associated catchment delineation has led to the production of the National Hydrography Dataset Plus (NHDPlus). NHDPlus is a digital stream network for hydrologic modeling with catchments and a suite of related geospatial data. Digital stream networks with associated catchments provide a geospatial framework for linking and integrating water‐related data. Advancements in the development of NHDPlus are expected to continue to improve the capabilities of this national geospatial hydrologic framework. NHDPlus is built upon the medium‐resolution NHD and, like NHD, was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Geological Survey to support the estimation of streamflow and stream velocity used in fate‐and‐transport modeling. Catchments included with NHDPlus were created by integrating vector information from the NHD and from the Watershed Boundary Dataset with the gridded land surface elevation as represented by the National Elevation Dataset. NHDPlus is an actively used and continually improved dataset. Users recognize the importance of a reliable stream network and associated catchments. The NHDPlus spatial features and associated data tables will continue to be improved to support regional water quality and streamflow models and other user‐defined applications.
- Emerging Tools for Continuous Nutrient Monitoring Networks: Sensors
Advancing Science and Water Resources Protection
- Authors: Brian A. Pellerin; Beth A. Stauffer, Dwane A. Young, Daniel J. Sullivan, Suzanne B. Bricker, Mark R. Walbridge, Gerard A. Clyde, Denice M. Shaw
Abstract: Sensors and enabling technologies are becoming increasingly important tools for water quality monitoring and associated water resource management decisions. In particular, nutrient sensors are of interest because of the well‐known adverse effects of nutrient enrichment on coastal hypoxia, harmful algal blooms, and impacts to human health. Accurate and timely information on nutrient concentrations and loads is integral to strategies designed to minimize risk to humans and manage the underlying drivers of water quality impairment. Using nitrate sensors as the primary example, we highlight the types of applications in freshwater and coastal environments that are likely to benefit from continuous, real‐time nutrient data. The concurrent emergence of new tools to integrate, manage, and share large datasets is critical to the successful use of nutrient sensors and has made it possible for the field of continuous monitoring to rapidly move forward. We highlight several near‐term opportunities for federal agencies, as well as the broader scientific and management community, that will help accelerate sensor development, build and leverage sites within a national network, and develop open data standards and data management protocols that are key to realizing the benefits of a large‐scale, integrated monitoring network. Investing in these opportunities will provide new information to guide management and policies designed to protect and restore our nation's water resources.
- Extracting Snow Cover Time Series Data from Open Access Web Mapping Tile
- Abstract: The probability of the presence of snow cover at a given location over time is a critical input to hydrologic simulation models in snowpack‐driven watersheds. While a number of open access web mapping tile services exist for viewing images of current and historical snow cover over large regions, no equally accessible tools exist for extracting numerical time series data of snow cover probability defined at particular point locations. This article presents the design, development, and testing of a new open source script and web application for snow cover probability time series extraction from map images. The script is deployed as a web app using the Tethys framework making it accessible to novice users through a user interface. A WaterML web‐API gives access to third‐party applications for automation and embedding in modeling tools. The full design of the script is presented such that it can serve as a model for similar or extended tools that may be developed by others. A set of use case experiments is presented demonstrating the full functionality of the script and its limitations, and an example application for ground validation of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer snow cover dataset is discussed.
- Management of the Spring Snowmelt Recession in Regulated Systems
- Authors: Sarah Yarnell; Ryan Peek, Gerhard Epke, Amy Lind
Pages: 723 - 736
Abstract: In an effort to restore predictable ecologically relevant spring snowmelt recession flow patterns in rivers regulated by dams, this study defined a methodology by which spring flow regimes can be modeled in regulated systems from the quantifiable characteristics of spring snowmelt recessions in unregulated rivers. An analysis of eight unregulated rivers across the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California found that unregulated systems behaved similarly with respect to seasonal spring patterns and recession limb curvature, and thus prescribed flows could be designed in a manner that mimics those predictable characteristics. Using the methodology to quantify spring recession flows in terms of a daily percent decrease in flow, a series of flow recession scenarios were created for application in an existing hydrodynamic model for the regulated Rubicon River. The modeling results showed that flow recessions with slow ramping rates similar to those observed in unregulated rivers (less than 10% per day) were likely to be protective of native aquatic species, such as the Foothill yellow‐legged frog, while flows that receded at greater rates would likely result in desiccation of egg masses and potential stranding of tadpoles and fry. Furthermore, recession rates of less than 10% per day provided the most spatially diverse hydraulic habitat in the modeled domain for an appropriate duration in spring to support all native species guilds and maximize aquatic biodiversity.
- Identifying Urban Features from LiDAR for a High‐Resolution Urban
- Authors: Sonya R. Lopez; Reed M. Maxwell
Pages: 756 - 768
Abstract: Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), is relatively inexpensive, provides high spatial resolution sampling at great accuracy, and can be used to generate surface terrain and land cover datasets for urban areas. These datasets are used to develop high‐resolution hydrologic models necessary to resolve complex drainage networks in urban areas. This work develops a five‐step algorithm to generate indicator fields for tree canopies, buildings, and artificial structures using Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS‐GIS), and a common computing language, Matrix Laboratory. The 54 km2 study area in Parker, Colorado consists of twenty‐four 1,500 × 1,500 m LiDAR subsets at 1 m resolution with varying degrees of urbanization. The algorithm correctly identifies 96% of the artificial structures within the study area; however, application success is dependent upon urban extent. Urban land use fractions below 0.2 experienced an increase in falsely identified building locations. ParFlow, a three‐dimensional, grid‐based hydrological model, uses these building and artificial structure indicator fields and digital elevation model for a hydrologic simulation. The simulation successfully develops the complex drainage network and simulates overland flow on the impervious surfaces (i.e., along the gutters and off rooftops) made possible through this spatial analysis process.
- Augmenting Watershed Model Calibration with Incorporation of Ancillary
Data Sources and Qualitative Soft Data Sources
- Authors: Haw Yen; Michael J. White, James C. Ascough, Douglas R. Smith, Jeffrey G. Arnold
Pages: 788 - 798
Abstract: Watershed simulation models such as the Soil & Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) can be calibrated using “hard data” such as temporal streamflow observations; however, users may find upon examination of model outputs, that the calibrated models may not reflect actual watershed behavior. Thus, it is often advantageous to use “soft data” (i.e., qualitative knowledge such as expected denitrification rates that observed time series do not typically exist) to ensure that the calibrated model is representative of the real world. The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of coupling SWAT‐Check (a post‐evaluation framework for SWAT outputs) and IPEAT‐SD (Integrated Parameter Estimation and Uncertainty Analysis Tool‐Soft & hard Data evaluation) to constrain the bounds of soft data during SWAT auto‐calibration. IPEAT‐SD integrates 59 soft data variables to ensure SWAT does not violate physical processes known to occur in watersheds. IPEAT‐SD was evaluated for two case studies where soft data such as denitrification rate, nitrate attributed from subsurface flow to total discharge ratio, and total sediment loading were used to conduct model calibration. Results indicated that SWAT model outputs may not satisfy reasonable soft data responses without providing pre‐defined bounds. IPEAT‐SD provides an efficient and rigorous framework for users to conduct future studies while considering both soft data and traditional hard information measures in watershed modeling.
- Hydroshare: Sharing Diverse Environmental Data Types and Models as Social
Objects with Application to the Hydrology Domain
- Authors: Jeffery S. Horsburgh; Mohamed M. Morsy, Anthony M. Castronova, Jonathan L. Goodall, Tian Gan, Hong Yi, Michael J. Stealey, David G. Tarboton
Abstract: The types of data and models used within the hydrologic science community are diverse. New repositories have succeeded in making data and models more accessible, but are, in most cases, limited to particular types or classes of data or models and also lack the type of collaborative and iterative functionality needed to enable shared data collection and modeling workflows. File sharing systems currently used within many scientific communities for private sharing of preliminary and intermediate data and modeling products do not support collaborative data capture, description, visualization, and annotation. In this article, we cast hydrologic datasets and models as “social objects” that can be published, collaborated around, annotated, discovered, and accessed. This article describes the generic data model and content packaging scheme for diverse hydrologic datasets and models used by a new hydrologic collaborative environment called HydroShare to enable storage, management, sharing, publication, and annotation of the diverse types of data and models used by hydrologic scientists. The flexibility of HydroShare's data model and packaging scheme is demonstrated using multiple hydrologic data and model use cases that highlight its features.