- Downstream Dissipation of Storm Flow Heat Pulses: A Case Study and its
- Authors: Kayleigh A. Somers; Emily S. Bernhardt, Brian L. McGlynn, Dean L. Urban
Abstract: Storms in urban areas route heat and other pollutants from impervious surfaces, via drainage networks, into streams with well‐described negative consequences on physical structure and biological integrity. We used heat pulses associated with urban storms as a tracer for pavement‐derived stormwater inputs, providing a conservative estimate of the frequency with which these pollutants are transported into and through protected stream reaches. Our study was conducted within a 1.5‐km reach in Durham, North Carolina, whose headwaters begin in suburban stormwater pipes before flowing through 1 km of protected, 100‐year‐old forest. We recorded heat‐pulse magnitudes and distances travelled downstream, analyzing how they varied with storm and antecedent flow conditions. We found heat pulses >1°C traveled more than 1 km downstream of urban inputs in 11 storms over one year. This best‐case management scenario of a reach within a protected forest shows that urban impacts can travel far downstream of inputs. Air temperature and flow intensity controlled heat‐pulse magnitude, while heat‐pulse size, mean flow, and total precipitation controlled dissipation distance. As temperatures and sudden storms intensify with climate change, heat‐pulse magnitude and dissipation distance will likely increase. Streams in urbanized landscapes, such as Durham municipality, where 98.9% of streams are within 1 downstream km of stormwater outfalls, will be increasingly impacted by urban stormwaters.
- Long‐Term Trends in Streamflow and Precipitation in Northwest
California and Southwest Oregon, 1953‐2012
- Authors: J. Eli Asarian; Jeffrey D. Walker
Abstract: Using nonparametric Mann‐Kendall tests, we assessed long‐term (1953‐2012) trends in streamflow and precipitation in Northern California and Southern Oregon at 26 sites regulated by dams and 41 “unregulated” sites. Few (9%) sites had significant decreasing trends in annual precipitation, but September precipitation declined at 70% of sites. Site characteristics such as runoff type (groundwater, snow, or rain) and dam regulation influenced streamflow trends. Decreasing streamflow trends outnumbered increasing trends for most months except at regulated sites for May‐September. Summer (July‐September) streamflow declined at many sites, including 73% of unregulated sites in September. Applying a LOESS regression model of antecedent precipitation vs. average monthly streamflow, we evaluated the underlying streamflow trend caused by factors other than precipitation. Decreasing trends in precipitation‐adjusted streamflow substantially outnumbered increasing trends for most months. As with streamflow, groundwater‐dominated sites had a greater percent of declining trends in precipitation‐adjusted streamflow than other runoff types. The most pristine surface‐runoff‐dominated watersheds within the study area showed no decreases in precipitation‐adjusted streamflow during the summer months. These results suggest that streamflow decreases at other sites were likely due to more increased human withdrawals and vegetation changes than to climate factors other than precipitation quantity.
- Estimating Evapotranspiration for Dryland Cropping Systems in the Semiarid
Texas High Plains Using SWAT
- Authors: Gary W. Marek; Prasanna H. Gowda, Steven R. Evett, R. Louis Baumhardt, David K. Brauer, Terry A. Howell, Thomas H. Marek, R. Srinivasan
Abstract: The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is one of the most widely used watershed models for simulating hydrology in response to agricultural management practices. However, limited studies have been performed to evaluate the SWAT model's ability to estimate daily and monthly evapotranspiration (ET) in semiarid regions. ET values were simulated using ArcSWAT 2012 for a lysimeter field managed under dryland conditions at the USDA‐ARS Conservation and Production Research Laboratory at Bushland, Texas, and compared with measured lysimeter values from 2000 to 2010. Two scenarios were performed to compare SWAT's performance: (1) use of default plant leaf area index (LAI) values in the embedded plant database and (2) adjusted LAI values. Scenario 1 resulted in an “unsatisfactory” Nash‐Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) of 0.42 and 0.38 for the calibration and validation periods, respectively. Scenario 2 resulted in a “satisfactory” NSE value for the calibration period while achieving a “good” NSE of 0.70 for the validation period. SWAT generally underestimated ET at both the daily and monthly levels. Overestimation during fallow years may be due to the limitations of the pothole function used to simulate furrow diking. Users should be aware of potential errors associated with using default LAI parameters. Inaccuracies in ET estimation may also stem from errors in the plant stress functions, particularly when evaluating water management practices for dryland watersheds.
- Adaptive Water Resource Planning in the South Saskatchewan River Basin:
Use of Scenarios of Hydroclimatic Variability and Extremes
- Abstract: The South Saskatchewan River Basin is one of Canada's most threatened watersheds, with water supplies in most subbasins over‐allocated. In 2013, stakeholders representing irrigation districts, the environment, and municipalities collaborated with researchers and consultants to explore opportunities to improve the resiliency of the management of the Oldman and South Saskatchewan River subbasins. Streamflow scenarios for 2025‐2054 were constructed by the novel approach of regressing historical river flows against indices of large‐scale ocean‐atmosphere climate oscillations to derive statistical streamflow models, which were then run using projected climate indices from global climate models. The impacts of some of the most extreme scenarios were simulated using the hydrologic mass‐balance model Operational Analysis and Simulation of Integrated Systems (OASIS). Based on stakeholder observations, the project participants proposed and evaluated potential risk management and adaption strategies, e.g., modifying existing infrastructure, building new infrastructure, changing operations to supplement environmental flows, reducing demand, and sharing supply. The OASIS model was applied interactively at live modeling sessions with stakeholders to explore practical adaptation strategies. Our results, which serve as recommendations for policy makers, showed that forecast‐based rationing together with new expanded storage could dramatically reduce water shortages.
- Social Demand for Ecosystem Services and Implications for Watershed
- Abstract: We performed a sociocultural preference assessment for a suite of ecosystem services provided by the Kiamichi River watershed in the south‐central United States, a region with intense water conflict. The goal was to examine how a social assessment of services could be used to weigh tradeoffs among water resource uses for future watershed management and planning. We identified the ecosystem services beneficiaries groups, analyzed perception for maintaining services, assessed differences in the importance and perceived trends for ecosystem services, and explored the perceived impact on ecosystem services arising from different watershed management scenarios. Results show habitat for species and water regulation were two ecosystem services all beneficiaries agreed were important. The main discrepancies among stakeholder groups were found for water‐related services. The identification of potential tradeoffs between services under different flow scenarios promotes a dynamic management strategy for allocating water resources, one that mitigates potential conflicts. While it is widely accepted the needs of all beneficiaries should be considered for the successful incorporation of ecosystem services into watershed management, the number of studies actually using the sociocultural perspective in ecosystem service assessment is limited. Our study demonstrates it is both possible and useful to quantify social demand of ecosystem services in watershed management.
- Book Reviews
- Authors: Paul J. Pickett; Brian C. Chaffin
- Predicting Streambed Sediment and Water Column Escherichia coli Levels at
- Authors: Pramod K. Pandey; Michelle L. Soupir, Charles D. Ikenberry, Chris R. Rehmann
Abstract: A sub‐model for the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is developed to predict Escherichia coli levels in the streambed sediment as well as in the water column. New formulations to estimate the levels of E. coli in streambed sediment and the water column are derived. These equations include calculations of E. coli resuspension from the streambed sediment to the water column, E. coli deposition from the water column to the streambed sediment, E. coli growth in the streambed sediment and the water column, and instream E. coli routing. These formulations were programmed in FORTRAN and integrated into SWAT. The modified SWAT model was applied to Squaw Creek Watershed, Iowa, to predict E. coli levels in the stream. Escherichia coli concentrations in the streambed sediment and the water column were monitored extensively in this watershed, and observations were used to verify the model predictions. The model proposed here can predict E. coli concentrations in streambed sediment as well as in the water column. Approximately 58% of the predictions of E. coli levels in the bed sediment were within 1 order of magnitude from the observed value, and in the water column 83% of the predictions of E. coli levels were within 1 order of magnitude. Results suggest that the proposed model will help predictions of instream bacterial contamination.
- Development of a Cropland Management Dataset to Support U.S. Swat
- Authors: Michael White; Marilyn Gambone, Haw Yen, Prasad Daggupati, Katrin Bieger, Debjani Deb, Jeff Arnold
Abstract: The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is widely used in the United States (U.S.) to simulate hydrology and water quality simulation. Process‐based models like SWAT require a great deal of data to accurately represent the natural world, including topography, land use, soils, weather, and management. With the exception of management, all these data are available nationally from multiple sources. To date, credible SWAT studies in the U.S. have assembled suitable management data (operation scheduling, fertilization application rates, and plant growth parameterization). In this research, we develop a national management database for SWAT using existing U.S. Department of Agriculture data sources. These data are compatible with existing SWAT interfaces and are relatively easy to use. Although management data from local sources is preferred, these data are not always available. This work is intended to fill this void with more reasonable management data than the existing defaults. This national database covers all major cultivated crops and should facilitate improved SWAT applications in the U.S. These data were tested in two case studies and found to produce satisfactory SWAT predictions. The database developed in this research is freely available on the web.
- Applying Statistical Causal Analyses to Agricultural Conservation:
A Case Study Examining P Loss Impacts
- Authors: Song S. Qian; R. Daren Harmel
Abstract: Estimating the effect of agricultural conservation practices on reducing nutrient loss using observational data can be confounded by factors such as differing crop types and management practices. As we may not have the full knowledge of these confounding factors, conventional statistical meta‐analysis methods can be misleading. We discuss the use of two statistical causal analysis methods for quantifying the effects of water and soil conservation practices in reducing P loss from agricultural fields. With the propensity score method, a subset of data was used to form a treatment group and a control group with similar distributions of confounding factors. With the multilevel modeling method, data were stratified based on important confounding factors, and the conservation practice effect was evaluated for each stratum. Both methods resulted in similar estimates of the conservation practice effect (total P load reduction avg. ~70%). In addition, both methods show evidence of conservation practices reducing the incremental increase in total P export per unit increase in fertilizer application. These results are presented as examples of the types of outcomes provided by statistical causal analyses, not to provide definitive estimates of P loss reduction. The enhanced meta‐analysis methods presented within are applicable for improved assessment of agricultural practices and their effects and can be used for providing realistic parameter values for watershed‐scale modeling.
- Benchmarking Optical/Thermal Satellite Imagery for Estimating
Evapotranspiration and Soil Moisture in Decision Support Tools
- Abstract: Generally, one expects evapotranspiration (ET) maps derived from optical/thermal Landsat and MODIS satellite imagery to improve decision support tools and lead to superior decisions regarding water resources management. However, there is lack of supportive evidence to accept or reject this expectation. We “benchmark” three existing hydrologic decision support tools with the following benchmarks: annual ET for the ET Toolbox developed by the United States Bureau of Reclamation, predicted rainfall‐runoff hydrographs for the Gridded Surface/Subsurface Hydrologic Analysis model developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the average annual groundwater recharge for the Distributed Parameter Watershed Model used by Daniel B. Stephens & Associates. The conclusion of this benchmark study is that the use of NASA/USGS optical/thermal satellite imagery can considerably improve hydrologic decision support tools compared to their traditional implementations. The benefits of improved decision making, resulting from more accurate results of hydrologic support systems using optical/thermal satellite imagery, should substantially exceed the costs for acquiring such imagery and implementing the remote sensing algorithms. In fact, the value of reduced error in estimating average annual groundwater recharge in the San Gabriel Mountains, California alone, in terms of value of water, may be as large as $1 billion, more than sufficient to pay for one new Landsat satellite.
- Analytic Modeling of Rainwater Harvesting in the Brazilian Semiarid
- Abstract: During the past two decades, government efforts to provide water access to rural communities in Brazil's semiarid Northeast region have focused on building systems to capture and store rainwater, most importantly through the One Million Cisterns Program (P1MC). This article presents an analytic model based on daily precipitation data to evaluate the sustainability of rainwater capture. Application of this model to analysis of the P1MC reveals the heterogeneous climate in this region causes large spatial variability in the effectiveness of this program. In addition, the size of the area of capture, the run‐off coefficient of the roofs, and the amount of first‐flush diversion also have important effects. This analysis demonstrates while rainwater capture can offer sufficient water for drinking, as a stand‐alone solution it cannot meet P1MC objectives of guaranteeing sustainable and universal access to water for drinking, cooking, and basic hygiene in all regions and years.
- Robustness of Meteorological Droughts in Dynamically Downscaled Climate
- Authors: Poulomi Ganguli; Auroop R. Ganguly
Abstract: We examine the robustness of a suite of regional climate models (RCMs) in simulating meteorological droughts and associated metrics in present‐day climate (1971‐2003) over the conterminous United States (U.S.). The RCMs that are part of North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) simulations are compared with multiple observations over the climatologically homogeneous regions of the U.S. The seasonal precipitation, climatology, drought attributes, and trends have been assessed. The reanalysis‐based multi‐model median RCM reasonably simulates observed statistical attributes of drought and the regional detail due to topographic forcing. However, models fail to simulate significant drying trend over the Southwest and West. Further, reanalysis‐based NARCCAP runs underestimate the observed drought frequency overall, with the exception of the Southwest; whereas they underestimate persistence in the drought‐affected areas over the Southwest and West‐North Central regions. However, global climate model‐driven NARCCAP ensembles tend to overestimate regional drought frequencies. Models exhibit considerable uncertainties while reproducing meteorological drought statistics, as evidenced by a general lack of agreement in the Hurst exponent, which in turn controls drought persistence. Water resources managers need to be aware of the limitations of current climate models, while regional climate modelers may want to fine‐tune their parameters to address impact‐relevant metrics.
- Reservoir Operation with Feedback in a Coupled Land Surface and Hydrologic
Model: A Case Study of the Huai River Basin, China
- Authors: Meixia Lv; Zhenchun Hao, Zhaohui Lin, Zhuguo Ma, Meizhao Lv, Jiahu Wang
Abstract: Regarding emerging large‐scale reservoir operation models, reports of reservoir operation feedback for hydrologic modeling are rare, and little attention has been paid to flood control. An operation scheme considering multilevel flood control (MLFC) was first proposed in this study, but more reservoir information was needed. Thus, an alternative scheme was proposed that consisted of a modified version of the reservoir operation scheme in the Soil and Water Assessment Tool Model (MSWAT scheme). These schemes were coupled to a land surface and hydrologic model system with feedback, i.e., a system in which reservoir operation can affect the subsequent simulation, and were investigated in the Huai River Basin. The results show reservoir storage and peak flow were generally overestimated by the original SWAT reservoir scheme (SWAT scheme). Compared with the SWAT scheme, the MSWAT scheme successfully reduced the simulated storage and peak flow at the reservoir stations. For the downstream stations, the streamflow simulations were improved at a significance level of 5%. The performances of the MSWAT and MLFC schemes at the reservoir stations were nearly equivalent. Importantly, reservoir operation feedback to hydrologic modeling was necessary because the reservoir operation effects could not be transferred downstream without it. The streamflow simulation of a reservoir station located on a flat plain was less sensitive to feedback than that of a mountain reservoir station.
- The Stream‐Catchment (StreamCat) Dataset: A Database of Watershed
Metrics for the Conterminous United States
- Authors: Ryan A. Hill; Marc H. Weber, Scott G. Leibowitz, Anthony R. Olsen, Darren J. Thornbrugh
Abstract: We developed an extensive database of landscape metrics for ~2.65 million stream segments, and their associated catchments, within the conterminous United States (U.S.): The Stream‐Catchment (StreamCat) Dataset. These data are publically available (http://www2.epa.gov/national-aquatic-resource-surveys/streamcat) and greatly reduce the specialized geospatial expertise needed by researchers and managers to acquire landscape information for both catchments (i.e., the nearby landscape flowing directly into streams) and full upstream watersheds of specific stream reaches. When combined with an existing geospatial framework of the Nation's rivers and streams (National Hydrography Dataset Plus Version 2), the distribution of catchment and watershed characteristics can be visualized for the conterminous U.S. In this article, we document the development and main features of this dataset, including the suite of landscape features that were used to develop the data, scripts and algorithms used to accumulate and produce watershed summaries of landscape features, and the quality assurance procedures used to ensure data consistency. The StreamCat Dataset provides an important tool for stream researchers and managers to understand and characterize the Nation's rivers and streams.
- Bison and cattle grazing management, bare ground coverage, and links to
suspended sediment concentrations in grassland streams
- Authors: Bartosz P. Grudzinski; Melinda D. Daniels, Kyle Anibas, David Spencer
Abstract: This study quantified the impact of bison and cattle grazing management practices on bare ground coverage at the watershed, riparian, and forested riparian scales within the Flint Hills ecoregion in Kansas. We tested for correlations between bare ground coverage and fluvial suspended sediment concentrations during base‐flow and storm‐flow events. We used remotely sensed imagery combined with field surveys to classify ground cover and quantify the presence of bare ground. Base‐flow water samples were collected bi‐monthly during rain‐free periods and 24 h following precipitation events. Storm‐flow water samples were collected on the rising limb of the hydrograph, using single‐stage automatic samplers. Ungrazed treatments contained the lowest coverage of bare ground at the watershed, riparian, and forested riparian scales. Bison treatments contained the highest coverage of bare ground at the watershed scale, while high‐density cattle treatments contained the highest coverage of bare ground at the riparian and forested riparian scales. In bison and cattle‐grazed treatments, a majority of bare ground was located near fence lines, watershed boundaries, and third‐ and fourth‐order stream segments. Inorganic sediment concentrations at base flow were best predicted by riparian bare ground coverage, while storm‐flow sediment concentrations were best predicted by watershed scale bare ground coverage.
- Apportionment of bioavailable phosphorus loads entering Cayuga Lake, New
- Authors: Anthony R. Prestigiacomo; Steven W. Effler, Rakesh K. Gelda, David A. Matthews, Martin T. Auer, Benjamin E. Downer, Anika Kuczynski, M. Todd Walter
Abstract: The integration of the phosphorus (P) bioavailability concept into a P loading analysis for Cayuga Lake, New York, is documented. Components of the analyses included the: (1) monitoring of particulate P (PP), soluble unreactive P (SUP), and soluble reactive P (SRP), supported by biweekly and runoff event‐based sampling of the lake's four largest tributaries; (2) development of relationships between tributary P concentrations and flow; (3) algal bioavailability assays of PP, SUP, and SRP from primary tributaries and the three largest point sources; and (4) development of P loading estimates to apportion contributions according to individual nonpoint and point sources, and to represent the effects of interannual variations in tributary flows on P loads. Tributary SRP, SUP, and PP are demonstrated to be completely, mostly, and less bioavailable, respectively. The highest mean bioavailability for PP was observed for the stream with the highest agriculture land use. Point source contributions to the total bioavailable P load (BAPL) are minor (5%), reflecting the benefit of reductions from recent treatment upgrades. The BAPL represented only about 26% of the total P load, because of the large contribution of the low bioavailable PP component. Most of BAPL (>70%) is received during high flow intervals. Large interannual variations in tributary flow and coupled BAPL will tend to mask future responses to changes in individual inputs.
- Soil moisture‐based drought monitoring at different time scales: a
case study for the U.S. Great Plains
- Authors: T.A. Engda; T.J. Kelleners
Abstract: Short‐term agricultural drought and longer term hydrological drought have important ecological and socioeconomic impacts. Soil moisture monitoring networks have potential to assist in the quantification of drought conditions because soil moisture changes are mostly due to precipitation and evapotranspiration, the two dominant water balance components in most areas. In this study, the Palmer approach to calculating a drought index was combined with a soil water content‐based moisture anomaly calculation. A drought lag time parameter was introduced to quantify the time between the start of a moisture anomaly and the onset of drought. The methodology was applied to four shortgrass prairie sites along a North‐South transect in the U.S. Great Plains with an 18‐year soil moisture record. Short time lags led to high periodicity of the resulting drought index, appropriate for assessing short‐term drought conditions at the field scale (agricultural drought). Conversely, long time lags led to low periodicity of the drought index, being more indicative of long‐term drought conditions at the watershed or basin scale (hydrological drought). The influence of daily, weekly, and monthly time steps on the drought index was examined and found to be marginal. The drought index calculated with a short drought lag time showed evidence of being normally distributed. A longer data record is needed to assess the statistical distribution of the drought index for longer drought lag times.
- Filtering with a drill pump: an efficient method to collect suspended
- Authors: Julia E. Kelso; Michelle A. Baker
Abstract: Water quality monitoring programs across multiple disciplines use total suspended solids (TSS), and volatile suspended solids (VSS), to assess potential impairments of surface water and groundwater. While previous methods for instream filtering have been developed, the need for rapid, cost‐effective, high volume sampling has increased with the need to verify and supplement data produced by sondes and instantaneous data loggers. We present an efficient method to filter water instream with a portable drill pump that results in reduced sample processing time, and potentially reduced error associated with sample transportation, preservation, contamination, and homogenization. This technical note outlines the advantages of filtering instream vs. in the laboratory. It also compares TSS and VSS concentrations filtered with a drill pump vs. standard filtration methods with a vacuum pump as outlined by USEPA methods 160.2 and 160.4. Samples were collected at 4 sites and filtered in the field, or transported to the laboratory and filtered within 12 or 24 h of collection. Overall TSS and VSS samples filtered instream with a drill pump vs. in the laboratory produced similar concentrations with a similar range in variability for each method. Sample filtering with a drill pump decreased processing time by five minutes per sample.
- Small farm ponds: overlooked features with important impacts on watershed
- Authors: Matthew D. Berg; Sorin C. Popescu, Bradford P. Wilcox, Jay P. Angerer, Edward C. Rhodes, Jason McAlister, William E. Fox
Abstract: Despite their size, small farm ponds are important features in many landscapes. Yet hydrographical databases often fail to capture these ponds, and their impacts on watershed processes remain unclear. For a 230‐km2 portion of central Texas, United States (U.S.), we created a historical inventory of ponds and quantified the accuracy of automated detection methods under varying drought conditions. In addition, we documented pond dredging/enlargement events and identified sites that had been abandoned. We also analyzed sediment cores from downstream reservoirs to track changes in watershed sediment transport. Over 75 years, pond densities increased more than 350% — to among the highest documented in the U.S. — and the ability of automated methods to detect these ponds was highly dependent on drought severity (R2 = 0.96). Approximately 5% of ponds present in the 1950s were still present in 2012, while 33% were dredged between 1937 and 2012. Downstream reservoir sedimentation has decreased by an average of 55% as ponds have increased in number. These findings suggest that small ponds and the maintenance of trapping efficiency have large‐scale impacts on sediment dynamics. Accurately accounting for these storage effects is vital to water resource planning efforts.
- Assessing Satellite and Ground‐Based Potential Evapotranspiration
for Hydrologic Applications in the Colorado River Basin
- Authors: Muhammad G. Barik; Terri S. Hogue, Kristie J. Franz, Alicia M. Kinoshita
Abstract: This study evaluates a remotely sensed and two ground‐based potential evapotranspiration (PET) products for hydrologic application in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB). The remotely sensed Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer product (MODIS‐PET) is a continuous, daily time series with 250 m resolution derived using the Priestley‐Taylor (P‐T) equation. The MODIS‐PET is evaluated against regional flux tower data as well as a synthetic pan product (Epan; 0.125°, daily) derived from the North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) and a Hargreaves PET derived from DAYMET variables (DAYMET‐PET; 1 km, daily). Compared to point‐scale PET computed using regional flux tower data, the MODIS‐PET had lower errors, with RMSE values ranging from 2.24 to 2.85 mm/day. Epan RMSE values ranged from 3.70 to 3.76 mm/day and DAYMET‐PET RMSE values ranged from 3.55 to 4.58 mm/day. Further investigation showed biases in temperature and radiation data contribute to uncertainty in the MODIS‐PET values, while bias in NLDAS temperature, downward shortwave (SW↓), and downward longwave (LW↓) propagate in the Epan estimates. Larger discrepancies between methods were observed in the warmer, drier regions of the UCRB, however, the MODIS‐PET was more responsive to landcover transitions and better captured basin heterogeneity. Results indicate the satellite‐based MODIS product can serve as a viable option for obtaining spatial PET values across the UCRB.
- 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.
- Book Reviews
- Authors: S. Samadi
- A GIS Framework for Regional Modeling of Riverine Nitrogen Transport: Case
Study, San Antonio and Guadalupe Basins
- Abstract: This article presents a framework for integrating a regional geographic information system (GIS)‐based nitrogen dataset (Texas Anthropogenic Nitrogen Dataset, TX‐ANB) and a GIS‐based river routing model (Routing Application for Parallel computation of Discharge) to simulate steady‐state riverine total nitrogen (TN) transport in river networks containing thousands of reaches. A two‐year case study was conducted in the San Antonio and Guadalupe basins during dry and wet years (2008 and 2009, respectively). This article investigates TN export in urbanized (San Antonio) vs. rural (Guadalupe) drainage basins and considers the effect of reservoirs on TN transport. Simulated TN export values are within 10 percent of measured export values for selected stations in 2008 and 2009. Results show that in both years the San Antonio basin contributed a larger quantity than the Guadalupe basin of delivered TN to the coastal ocean. The San Antonio basin is affected by urban activities including point sources, associated with the city of San Antonio, in addition to greater agricultural activities. The Guadalupe basin lacks major metropolitan areas and is dominated by rangeland, rather than fertilized agricultural fields. Both basins delivered more TN to coastal waters in 2009 than in 2008. Furthermore, TN removal in the San Antonio and Guadalupe basins is inversely related to stream orders: the higher the order the more TN delivery (or the less TN removal).
- Participatory Model Calibration for Improving Resource Management Systems:
Case Study of Rainwater Harvesting in an Indian Village
- Authors: Nagesh Kolagani; Palaniappan Ramu, Koshy Varghese
Abstract: While planning resource management systems in rural areas, it is important to consider criteria that are specific to the local social conditions. Such criteria might change from one region to another and are hence best identified using a participatory approach. In this work, we propose a participatory framework to identify such criteria and derive their weights. These identified criteria and their weights are used as parameters to develop a quantitative model for evaluating efficiency of each system. Such a model can serve as a support tool for stakeholders to simulate and analyze “what‐if” scenarios, evaluate alternatives, and select one which best satisfies their requirements. We use existing systems to test the model by comparing efficiencies evaluated by the model to efficiencies perceived by the stakeholders. The model is calibrated by repeating the process until statistically significant correlation is achieved between evaluated and perceived efficiencies. The novelty of the proposed framework lies in treating efficiencies perceived by the stakeholders as the ground truth since they know these systems well and are their ultimate users. The framework is successfully demonstrated using case study of rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems in an Indian village. The resulting calibrated model can be used to plan new RWH systems in this region and similar regions elsewhere. The framework can be used to plan other resource management systems in various regions.
- Classification of Ephemeral, Intermittent, and Perennial Stream Reaches
Using a TOPMODEL‐Based Approach
- Authors: Tanja N. Williamson; Carmen T. Agouridis, Christopher D. Barton, Jonathan A. Villines, Jeremiah G. Lant
Abstract: Whether a waterway is temporary or permanent influences regulatory protection guidelines, however, classification can be subjective due to a combination of factors, including time of year, antecedent moisture conditions, and previous experience of the field investigator. Our objective was to develop a standardized protocol using publically available spatial information to classify ephemeral, intermittent, and perennial streams. Our hypothesis was that field observations of flow along the stream channel could be compared to results from a hydrologic model, providing an objective method of how these stream reaches can be identified. Flow‐state sensors were placed at ephemeral, intermittent, and perennial stream reaches from May to December 2011 in the Appalachian coal basin of eastern Kentucky. This observed flow record was then used to calibrate the simulated saturation deficit in each channel reach based on the topographic wetness index used by TOPMODEL. Saturation deficit values were categorized as flow or no‐flow days, and the simulated record of streamflow was compared to the observed record. The hydrologic model was more accurate for simulating flow during the spring and fall seasons. However, the model effectively identified stream reaches as intermittent and perennial in each of the two basins.
- Spatio‐Temporal Patterns of Open Surface Water in the Central Valley
of California 2000‐2011: Drought, Land Cover, and Waterbirds
- Authors: Matthew E. Reiter; Nathan Elliott, Sam Veloz, Dennis Jongsomjit, Catherine M. Hickey, Matt Merrifield, Mark D. Reynolds
Abstract: We used Landsat satellite imagery to (1) quantify the distribution of open surface water across the Central Valley of California 2000‐2011, (2) summarize spatio‐temporal variation in open surface water during this time series, and (3) assess factors influencing open surface water, including drought and land cover type. We also applied the imagery to identify available habitat for waterbirds in agriculture. Our analyses indicated that between 2000 and 2011 open surface water has declined across the Central Valley during the months of July‐October. On average, drought had a significant negative effect on open surface water in July, September, and October, though the magnitude and timing of the effect varied spatially. The negative impact of a drought year on open water was experienced immediately in the southern Central Valley; however, there was a one year time‐lag effect in the northern Central Valley. The highest proportion of open surface water was on agricultural lands followed by lakes, rivers, and streams, yet the relative proportions varied spatially and across months. Our data were consistent with previous descriptions of waterbird habitat availability in post‐harvest rice in the northern Central Valley. Tracking water distribution using satellites enables empirically based assessments of the impacts of changing water policy, land‐use, drought, climate, and management on water resources.
- A Geospatial Methodology to Identify Locations of Concentrated Runoff from
- Authors: Gregory Hancock; Stuart E. Hamilton, Monica Stone, Jim Kaste, John Lovette
Abstract: A geospatial methodology has been developed that utilizes high resolution lidar‐derived DEMs to help track runoff from agricultural fields and identify areas of potential concentrated flow through vegetated riparian areas in the Coastal Plain of Virginia. Points of concentrated flow are identified across 74 agricultural fields within the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. On average, 70% of the surface area of the agricultural fields analyzed drains through less than 20 m of the field margin, and on average 81% of the field surface area drains through 1% or less of the field margin. Within the riparian buffer, locations that were predicted by the geospatial model to have high levels of concentrated flow were found to exhibit evidence of channelization. Results indicate that flow concentration and channelized flow through vegetated riparian areas may be common along the margin of agricultural fields, resulting in vegetated riparian areas that are less effective at sediment trapping than assumed. Additional results suggest that the regulations governing the location and width of vegetated riparian may not be sufficient to achieve goals for reducing sediment and nutrient runoff from nonpoint agricultural sources. Combined with the increasing availability of lidar‐derived DEMs, the geospatial model presented has the potential to advance management practices aimed at reducing nonpoint source pollution leaving agricultural fields.
- Regional Blue and Green Water Balances and Use by Selected Crops in the
- Authors: Michael White; Marilyn Gambone, Haw Yen, Jeff Arnold, Daren Harmel, Chinnasamy Santhi, Richard Haney
Abstract: The availability of freshwater is a prerequisite for municipal development and agricultural production, especially in the arid and semiarid portions of the western United States (U.S.). Agriculture is the leading user of water in the U.S. Agricultural water use can be partitioned into green (derived from rainfall) and blue water (irrigation). Blue water can be further subdivided by source. In this research, we develop a hydrologic balance by 8‐Digit Hydrologic Unit Code using a combination of Soil and Water Assessment Tool simulations and available human water use estimates. These data are used to partition agricultural groundwater usage by sustainability and surface water usage by local source or importation. These predictions coupled with reported agricultural yield data are used to predict the virtual water contained in each ton of corn, wheat, sorghum, and soybeans produced and its source. We estimate that these four crops consume 480 km3 of green water annually and 23 km3 of blue water, 12 km3 of which is from groundwater withdrawal. Regional trends in blue water use from groundwater depletion highlight heavy usage in the High Plains, and small pockets throughout the western U.S. This information is presented to inform water resources debate by estimating the cost of agricultural production in terms of water regionally. This research illustrates the variable water content of the crops we consume and export, and the source of that water.
- Using GIS to Delineate Headwater Stream Origins in the Appalachian
Coalfields of Kentucky
- Authors: Jonathan A. Villines; Carmen T. Agouridis, Richard C. Warner, Christopher D. Barton
Abstract: Headwater streams have a significant nexus or physical, chemical, and/or biological connection to downstream reaches. Generally, defined as 1st‐3rd order with ephemeral, intermittent, or perennial flow regimes, these streams account for a substantial portion of the total stream network particularly in mountainous terrain. Due to their often remote locations, small size, and large numbers, conducting field inventories of headwater streams is challenging. A means of estimating headwater stream location and extent according to flow regime type using publicly available spatial data is needed to simplify this complex process. Using field‐collected headwater point of origin data from three control watersheds, streams were characterized according to a set of spatial parameters related to topography, geology, and soils. These parameters were (1) compared to field‐collected point of origin data listed in three nearby Jurisdictional Determinations, (2) used to develop a geographic information system (GIS)‐based stream network for identifying ephemeral, intermittent, and perennial streams, and (3) applied to a larger watershed and compared to values obtained using the high‐resolution National Hydrography Dataset (NHD). The parameters drainage area and local valley slope were the most reliable predictors of flow regime type. Results showed the high‐resolution NHD identified no ephemeral streams and 9 and 65% fewer intermittent and perennial streams, respectively, than the GIS model.
- Using Fly Ash as a Marker to Quantify Culturally‐Accelerated
Sediment Accumulation in Playa Wetlands
- Authors: Zhenghong Tang; Yue Gu, Jeff Drahota, Ted LaGrange, Andy Bishop, Mark S. Kuzila
Abstract: Wetlands in the Rainwater Basin in Nebraska are vulnerable to sediment accumulation from the surrounding watershed. Sediment accumulation has a negative impact on wetland quality by decreasing the depth and volume of water stored, and the plant community species composition and density growing in the wetland. The objective of this study was to determine the amount of sediment that has accumulated in five selected wetlands in the Rainwater Basin in Nebraska. Soil cores were taken at five or six locations along transects across each wetland. This study used the fly ash, which is generated by coal‐burning locomotives that were present generally in the late 1800s and early 1900s, as a marker to quantify the sediment deposition rates. The cores were divided into 5 cm sections and the soils were analyzed using a fly ash extraction and identification technique. Results indicate that the average depth of sediment ranged from 23.00 to 38.00 cm. The annual average depth of sediment accumulation ranged from 0.18 cm/yr to 0.29 cm/yr. The annual sediment accumulation rate from both wind erosion and water erosion in these five sampling wetlands was between 1.946 and 3.225 kg/m2/yr. The results of this research can be used to develop restoration plans for wetlands. The fly ash testing technology can also be applied to other areas with the railroads across the United States.
- Long‐Term Trends of Nutrients and Sediment from the Nontidal
Chesapeake Watershed: An Assessment of Progress by River and Season
- Authors: Qian Zhang; Damian C. Brady, Walter R. Boynton, William P. Ball
Abstract: To assess historical loads of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and suspended sediment (SS) from the nontidal Chesapeake Bay watershed (NTCBW), we analyzed decadal seasonal trends of flow‐normalized loads at the fall‐line of nine major rivers that account for >90% of NTCBW flow. Evaluations of loads by season revealed N, P, and SS load magnitudes have been highest in January‐March and lowest in July‐September, but the temporal trends have followed similar decadal‐scale patterns in all seasons, with notable exceptions. Generally, total N (TN) load has dropped since the late 1980s, but particulate nutrients and SS have risen since the mid‐1990s. The majority of these rises were from Susquehanna River and relate to diminished net trapping at the Conowingo Reservoir. Substantial rises in SS were also observed, however, in other rivers. Moreover, the summed rise in particulate P load from other rivers is of similar magnitude as from Susquehanna. Dissolved nutrient loads have dropped in the upland (Piedmont and above) rivers, but risen in two small rivers in the Coastal Plain affected by lagged groundwater input. In addition, analysis of fractional contributions revealed consistent N trends across the upland watersheds. Finally, total N:total P ratios have declined in most rivers, suggesting the potential for changes in nutrient limitation. Overall, this integrated study of historical data highlights the value of maintaining long‐term monitoring at multiple watershed locations.
- Landowner Motivations for Civic Engagement in Water Resource Protection
- Authors: Amit K. Pradhananga; Mae Davenport, Bjorn Olson
Abstract: Scholars and water resource professionals recognize citizens must get involved in water resource issues to protect water resources. Yet questions persist on how to motivate community members to get and stay civically involved in nonpoint source pollution issues, given that problems are often ill‐defined. To be successful, interventions intended to engage individuals in collective action must be based on an understanding of the determinants of public‐sphere behavior. The purpose of this study is to explore the psycho‐social factors which influence landowner civic engagement in water resource protection. Data were collected using a self‐administered mail survey of landowners in the Cannon River Watershed and analyzed using structural equation modeling. Study findings suggest landowners are more likely to be civically engaged in water resource issues if they feel a personal obligation to take civic action and perceive they have the ability to protect water resources. Landowners who believe water resource protection is a local responsibility, perceive important others expect them to protect water resources, and believe they have the ability to protect water resources are more likely to feel a sense of obligation to take civic action. A combination of strategies including civic engagement programs addressing barriers to landowner engagement will be most effective for promoting civic engagement in water resource protection.
- Getting to the First Handshake: Enhancing Security by Initiating
Cooperation in Transboundary River Basins
- Abstract: How does transboundary water cooperation begin at the initial stages, and how can third parties help to foster said cooperation? Many nations with transboundary waters do not cooperate or have ceased cooperation. Yet cooperation often prevails, resulting in 688 water‐related treaties signed from 1820 to 2007. We address the following: by which practices can development partners best design and implement cooperative projects at the state level to enhance basin water security in the earliest stages? This article identifies strategies for initiating cooperation and lessons drawn from reviewing select cases. We compiled from the Oregon State University Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database all transboundary water resources projects over the last decade with multinational participation. We selected 10 case studies that enhance water security that fit the following filtering criteria: (1) Funding exclusively/primarily from outside sources, (2) Including nonofficial stakeholders in project design/implementation, (3) Absence of formal relations around water resources between or among the riparian nations before the project was discussed, (4) Project design possibly enhancing hydropolitical relations. Findings suggest that to enhance water security, project designs should respect participating riparians' autonomies, create basin‐wide networks of scientists, allow for each partner to garner responsibility for project activities, and consult a diverse group of stakeholders.
- Trust in Sources of Soil and Water Quality Information: Implications for
Environmental Outreach and Education
- Authors: Amber Saylor Mase; Nicholas L. Babin, Linda Stalker Prokopy, Kenneth D. Genskow
Abstract: Public trust in organizations focused on improving environmental quality is important for increasing awareness and changing behaviors that have water quality implications. Few studies have addressed trust in soil and water quality information sources, particularly for both agricultural and nonagricultural respondents of the same watersheds. Surveys in 19 watersheds across five states in the Midwest assessed trust in, and familiarity with, soil and water quality information sources. Overall, respondents most trusted University Extension, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service, while lawn care companies, environmental groups, and land trusts were less trusted. Significant differences in trusted sources were found between watersheds, and between agricultural and nonagricultural respondents across and within watersheds. Among agricultural respondents, a clear relationship exists between familiarity and trust; as familiarity with an organization increases, so too does level of trust. This relationship is less clear‐cut for nonagricultural respondents in this region. We highlight implications of these findings for soil and water quality outreach efforts.
- Mediated Modeling in Water Resource Dialogues Connecting Multiple Scales
- Authors: Marjan Belt; Daniella Blake
Abstract: We observe a paradigm shift toward collaborative, multi‐level (from local to global) water management and suggestions for scale‐related design principles in the literature. Decision‐support tools are needed that can help achieve scale design principles. Mediated modeling (MM) refers to model building with people, rather than for people. This tool belongs to a family of participatory, systems oriented tools. This article explores their suitability for addressing challenges and principles that arise at multiple‐scales. MM can promote the understanding of cross‐level and cross‐scale links, creating salient, credible, and legitimate knowledge and encouraging boundary functions. Prerequisites for successful MM processes include an openness and willingness to collaborative learning. As new “meso‐level” institutions emerge to address complex challenges in water management collaboratively, tools like MM may play an important role in structuring dialogues, developing adaptive management capacity and advance an ecosystem services approach.
- Quantifying Tradeoffs Associated with Hydrologic Environmental Flow
- Authors: S. Kyle McKay
Abstract: Freshwater management requires balancing and tradingoff multiple objectives, many of which may be competing. Ecological needs for freshwater are often described in terms of environmental flow recommendations (e.g., minimum flows), and there are many techniques for developing these recommendations, which range from hydrologic rules to multidisciplinary analyses supported by large teams of subject matter experts. Although hydrologic rules are well acknowledged as overly simplified, these techniques remain the state‐of‐the‐practice in many locations. This article seeks to add complexity to the application of these techniques by studying the emergent properties of hydrologic environmental flow methodologies. Two hydrologic rules are applied: minimum flow criteria and sustainability boundaries. Objectives and metrics associated with withdrawal rate and similarity to natural flow regimes are used to tradeoff economic and environmental needs, respectively, over a range of flow thresholds and value judgments. A case study of hypothetical water withdrawals on the Middle Oconee River near Athens, Georgia is applied to demonstrate these techniques. For this case study, sustainability boundaries emerge as preferable relative to both environmental and economic outcomes. Methods applied here provide a mechanism for examining the role of stakeholder values and tradeoffs in application of hydrologic rules for environmental flows.
- Sources and Transport of Phosphorus to Rivers in California and Adjacent
States, U.S., as Determined by SPARROW Modeling
- Authors: Joseph Domagalski; Dina Saleh
Abstract: The SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regression on Watershed attributes) model was used to simulate annual phosphorus loads and concentrations in unmonitored stream reaches in California, U.S., and portions of Nevada and Oregon. The model was calibrated using de‐trended streamflow and phosphorus concentration data at 80 locations. The model explained 91% of the variability in loads and 51% of the variability in yields for a base year of 2002. Point sources, geological background, and cultivated land were significant sources. Variables used to explain delivery of phosphorus from land to water were precipitation and soil clay content. Aquatic loss of phosphorus was significant in streams of all sizes, with the greatest decay predicted in small‐ and intermediate‐sized streams. Geological sources, including volcanic rocks and shales, were the principal control on concentrations and loads in many regions. Some localized formations such as the Monterey shale of southern California are important sources of phosphorus and may contribute to elevated stream concentrations. Many of the larger point source facilities were located in downstream areas, near the ocean, and do not affect inland streams except for a few locations. Large areas of cultivated land result in phosphorus load increases, but do not necessarily increase the loads above those of geological background in some cases because of local hydrology, which limits the potential of phosphorus transport from land to streams.
- SPARROW Modeling of Nitrogen Sources and Transport in Rivers and Streams
of California and Adjacent States, U.S.
- Authors: Dina Saleh; Joseph Domagalski
Abstract: The SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) model was used to evaluate the spatial distribution of total nitrogen (TN) sources, loads, watershed yields, and factors affecting transport and decay in the stream network of California and portions of adjacent states for the year 2002. The two major TN sources to local catchments on a mass basis were fertilizers and manure (51.7%) and wastewater discharge (15.9%). Other sources contributed
- Instream Bacteria Influences from Bird Habitation of Bridges
- Authors: David Pendergrass; Anne McFarland, Larry Hauck
Abstract: The representativeness of ambient water samples collected from bridge crossings has occasionally been challenged because critics contend birds nesting on bridges elevate fecal indicator bacteria concentrations over samples collected from river reaches not spanned by bridges. This study was designed to evaluate the influence, if any, of bridge‐dwelling bird colonies on instream bacteria concentrations. Three bridges in central Texas were sampled under dry‐weather conditions for instream Escherichia coli. Two bridges were inhabited by migratory cliff swallows and one was devoid of birds. Numerous samples were collected from locations upstream, at the upstream bridgeface, and downstream of each bridge to determine whether significant increases in E. coli occurred in a downstream direction when birds were present. E. coli values increased significantly at bridgeface and downstream locations compared to upstream locations throughout the nesting season. During peak bird activity in May, bacteria geometric mean concentrations at bridgeface and downstream locations jumped from background levels 190 colony forming units (CFU)/100 mL, well above the state geometric mean criterion of 126 CFU/100 mL for primary contact recreation use. Results confirmed that under dry‐weather conditions bird colonies can have a significant impact on bacteria concentrations in the vicinity of the bridges they inhabit and therefore, to avoid this impact, monitoring should occur upstream of bridges.
- An Analysis of the Effects of Land Use and Land Cover on Flood Losses
along the Gulf of Mexico Coast from 1999 to 2009
- Authors: Samuel D. Brody; Wesley E. Highfield, Russell Blessing
Abstract: Major coastal flooding events over the last decade have led decision makers in the United States to favor structural engineering solutions as a means to protect vulnerable coastal communities from the adverse impacts of future storms. While a resistance‐based approach to flood mitigation involving large‐scale construction works may be a central component of a regional flood risk reduction strategy, it is equally important to consider the role of land use and land cover (LULC) patterns in protecting communities from floods. To date, little observational research has been conducted to quantify the effects of various LULC configurations on the amount of property damage occurring across coastal regions over time. In response, we statistically examine the impacts of LULC on observed flood damage across 2,692 watersheds bordering the Gulf of Mexico. Specifically, we analyze statistical linear regression models to isolate the influence of multiple LULC categories on over 372,000 insured flood losses claimed under the National Flood Insurance Program per year from 2001 to 2008. Results indicate that percent increase in palustrine wetlands is the equivalent to, on average, a $13,975 reduction in insured flood losses per year, per watershed. These and other results provide important insights to policy makers on how protecting specific types of LULC can help reduce adverse impacts to local communities.
- Bankfull Regional Curves for the Alleghany Plateau/Valley and Ridge,
Piedmont, and Coastal Plain Regions of Maryland
- Authors: Tamara L. McCandless; Richard R. Starr, William A. Harman
Abstract: Regional curves are empirical relationships that can help identify the bankfull stage in ungaged watersheds and aid in designing the riffle dimension in stream restoration projects. Bankfull regional curves were developed from gage stations with drainage areas less than 102 mi2 (264.2 km2) for the Alleghany Plateau/Valley and Ridge (AP/VR), Piedmont, and Coastal Plain regions of Maryland. The AP/VR regions were combined into one region for this project. These curves relate bankfull discharge, cross‐sectional area, width, and mean depth to drainage area within the same hydro‐physiographic region (region with similar rainfall/runoff relationship). The bankfull discharge curve for the Coastal Plain region was further subdivided into the Western Coastal Plain (WCP) and Eastern Coastal Plain (ECP) region due to differences in topography and runoff. Results show that the Maryland Piedmont yields the highest bankfull discharge rate per unit drainage area, followed by the AP/VR, WCP, and ECP. Likewise, the Coastal Plain and AP/VR streams have less bankfull cross‐sectional area per unit drainage area than the Piedmont. The average bankfull discharge return interval across the three hydro‐physiographic regions was 1.4 years. The Maryland regional curves were compared to other curves in the eastern United States. The average bankfull discharge return interval for the other studies ranged from 1.1 to 1.8 years.
- Reviewer Index ‐ 2015
- Pages: 1762 - 1764