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Call for WRC Research Grant Proposals for FY 2019

The State of Washington Water Research Center (WRC) is soliciting research proposals for submission under Section 104(b) of the Water Resources Research Act. The objectives of this program are to sponsor research that fosters (a) exploration of new ideas to address water problems or expand understanding of water-related phenomena, (b) entry, education, and training of future scientists in water resource fields, (c) multidisciplinary research, and (d) dissemination of research results to academic and non-academic audiences. » More …

WRC Leads a 5-year Research Effort for Improving Water Use Efficiency

A new 5 million dollar, five-year project led by the WRC and funded by the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area will be working to identify promising emerging technologies and synergistic policies to improve technical and allocative water use efficiency in irrigated agriculture.

The research team, which includes scientists at the University of Idaho, University of Washington, Kansas State University, University of Utah, Mammoth Trading, Aspect Consulting, and a diverse group of water users and stakeholders in the Columbia River Basin.

Jonathan YoderThe project will focus on how seasonal water availability forecasting,  satellite-based consumptive use monitoring, and computer-based smart market technology can be used in conjunction with changes in water use and water transfer rules to improve water use.  “This exciting project will help find ways to improve water use efficiency in agriculture, by focusing on how technology, water rights and regulation work together to make the most of available water for all of its social and environmental values,” said Jonathan Yoder, Lead Investigator and Director of the WRC.

For more, visit the WRC’s webpage for this project, and the WSU press release.

Pathfinder Fellowship

Application Deadline: October 31st
The program enables graduate students to go beyond “one site, one view” in their research.
Graduate training in water science often focuses on a single field site, analytical, or modeling approach. The Pathfinder Fellowship program provides travel funds to graduate students in hydrology and related sciences to make an extended trip to enhance their research by adding a field site to conduct comparative research, collaborating with a research group, or working with researchers on adding an interdisciplinary dimension to a project. Fellowships are awarded to cover travel costs of up to a maximum of $5,000.
For complete application instructions, click here .
Questions should be submitted to Jon Pollak at jpollak@cuahsi.org.

Instrumentation Discovery Travel Grant (IDTG)

Application Deadline: September 30th
The program enables scientists to learn the details of hydrologic instrument installation, operation, maintenance, and data processing by visiting experts or scheduling reverse site visit.
CUAHSI offers Instrumentation Discovery Travel Grants (IDTG) of up to $1,000 to help cover travel expenses for scientists at U.S. universities and colleges to visit colleagues with specific instrumentation expertise. The objective of the travel should be to efficiently and economically learn how to install, operate, maintain, and process data from one or more hydrologic instruments. IDTG’s can: (1) enable university scientists to visit other institutions or research sites, or (2) enable a reverse site visit to bring an expert to their own institution.
For complete application instructions, click here.
Questions should be submitted to Jon Pollak at jpollak@cuahsi.org.

In Idaho, a Model for Long-Term Groundwater Recharge Tastes Success

A huge aquifer in the heart of Idaho’s most important farming region had been overdrafted. We talk to Brian Patton from the Idaho Water Resource Board about how state tax revenues are building recharge facilities to restore the aquifer.

Last winter, the state of Idaho succeeded in recharging 317,000 acre-feet of water into an important aquifer, enough to serve 700,000 homes for a year. It was an important milestone in an ambitious program to restore a groundwater source that had been overtapped for decades.
The water source is the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer, a massive and complex groundwater source, which is also linked to springs that contribute to flows in the Snake River. A legal settlement among various water rights holders in 2015 compelled the state to begin replenishing the aquifer, which serves a variety of important constituents, including farms, cities and fish hatcheries.
With a large network of recharge facilities constructed already and more in the works, Idaho could be a model for other states struggling with groundwater depletion.

To read full article by Matt Weiser at News Deeply

Testing the Waters: Mobile Apps for Crowdsourced Streamflow Data

Citizen scientists keep a watchful eye on the world’s streams, catching intermittent streams in action and filling data gaps to construct a more complete hydrologic picture.
Do you drive, bike, or hike by streams on your way to a field site, the office, or home? Are you interested in how streams change through the seasons and years? If so, consider joining a growing crowd of people logging streamflow data using their mobile phones.
Two new projects—CrowdWater and Stream Tracker—focus on crowdsourced hydrologic measurements, and both have recently launched free smartphone applications to facilitate data collection along stream networks.

For full article by Stephanie Kampf at eos.org

USGS Student Internship Opportunity: Hydrologic Model Evaluation Summer Session

The USGS is seeking summer interns to evaluate hydrologic cycle models and observational data across the United States. A prototype tool has been developed that allows exploration of observations and model results at several spatial and temporal scales. During the summer, a team of students will engage in rigorous application of this tool to identify the strengths and weaknesses of existing models of the hydrologic cycle. Students will also have the opportunity to improve the tool and add functionality. Through frequent interactions with developers of hydrologic models within USGS, interns will be challenged to think critically about the representation of hydrologic processes used in models and to consider alternative strategies towards model development and evaluation. Students will be encouraged to think of their work as culminating in a presentation or scientific publication highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of hydrologic process representation. This unique summer session will be held at the USGS offices in the Denver Federal Center.
Applications through USAJobs are due April 10.
https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/495004600
Please contact either of the project leads, William Farmer (wfarmer@usgs.gov, 303-236-4981) or Jessica Driscoll (jdriscoll@usgs.gov, 303-236-4979), with any questions.

Catherine L. Kling Seminar: “Improving Water Quality: Are Economics and the Environment Always at Odds?”

April 12, 4:00-5:30pm in University of Idaho Commons Summit Room
Catherine L. Kling, Charles F. Curtis Distinguished Professor of Economics, President’s Chair of Environmental Economics and Director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University.
In this presentation, what is known about the current state of water quality in the United States, with a particular focus on agricultural sources, is outlined. With this backdrop, a range of policy and private market approaches to addressing agricultural water pollution problems will be discussed including the possible role of certification programs, water quality markets and trading, voluntary adoption of conservation practices, level of federal and state financial support, presence of state level regulations and the role of conservation compliance in the current and proposed Farm Bill.
Catherine L. Kling is the Charles F. Curtis Distinguished Professor of Economics, President’s Chair of Environmental Economics and Director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2015 and leads an interdisciplinary research group developing integrated assessment models related to agricultural land use, water quality and ecosystem service valuation.