Deadline: Feb 15, 2018
Proposals are sought on the topic of improving and enhancing the nation’s water supply, including evaluation of innovative approaches to water treatment, infrastructure design, retrofitting, maintenance, management, and replacement; exploration and advancement of our understanding of changes in the quantity and quality of water resources in response to a changing climate, population shifts, and land use changes; development of methods for better estimation of water supply, both surface and groundwater, including estimation of the physical supply and of the economic supply of water; development and evaluation of processes and governance mechanisms for integrated surface/ground water management; and the evaluation and assessment of conservation practices. For more information and to apply.
In 2016, the State of Washington’s Office of the Columbia River submitted a long-term water supply and demand forecast to the Washington State Legislature. The forecast, due every five years, provides a system-wide assessment of how future economic and environmental conditions will impact water supply and demand by the 2030s. The forecast evaluates three geographic scopes: Eastern Washington’s watersheds, Washington’s Columbia River mainstem, and the entire Columbia River Basin.
The research, coordinated and managed through the State of Washington Water Research Center (WRC), is an analysis of the impacts of climate change, regional and global economic conditions, and state level water management actions on irrigation demands and surface water supplies across the Columbia River Basin, through the use of economic scenarios and state-of-the-art modeling techniques. The research team, led by Jennifer Adam and Jonathan Yoder of the WRC, includes nearly 30 researchers from Washington State University, the University of Utah, Aspect Consulting, and the Washington State Department of Ecology and Department Fish and Wildlife.
“The bulk of our work occurs during the five years between reports,” said Sonia Hall, one of the authors of the legislative report, and Sustainable Systems Analyst for Washington State University.
“All efforts have branched off each other, which led to our use of the modeling tools starting in 2011. We were able to do a much better job by using those tools and we find them to be a representation of science best understanding which have led to significant improvements between forecasts.”
Three modeling tools are developed and integrated together to provide the most accurate results. The Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model allows us to track the water balance across the geography of the Columbia River Basin, including how much evaporates and infiltrates into the soil for crops to use; this shows us how crops react to different weather conditions. The Cropping Systems Simulation (CropSyst) tool determines how much water is needed by crops through irrigation, how the crop will change during the season under a variety of weather conditions. The Columbia River Simulator (ColSim) simulates the movement of water in the reservoirs and provides detailed information of where water is stored for use by irrigators, municipalities, hydropower generation, and for ecological purposes. The tools work together and complement each other. For instance, VIC informs CropSyst about water supply along with daily weather and Cropsyst informs VIC of water stress levels and crop water needs.
Through the use of these integrated modeling tools the research team submitted their latest long-term water supply and demand forecast in December of 2016. They found in the results of their latest forecast that the average annual supply of water for all uses across the Columbia River Basin down to Bonneville Dam is expected to increase around 12 percent by 2035. Their research also concluded that water will be available earlier in the spring than it has been in the past, and the demand for eastern Washington’s irrigated acres will decrease almost 5 percent. If current trends in the proportion of irrigated acres growing different crops continue, we can expect to see more acres growing crops like wine grapes, that demand relatively little water per acre, and less acres growing others like pasture, that demand more water per acre. If this happens, demand for water would decrease close to 7 percent.
“The demand forecast is important because it helps in knowing how drought conditions will impact the various users, enabling managers to better know how to mitigate the effects of drought,” said Hall.
Note: The information in this article was provided by the Agriculture Climate Network, State of Washington Department of Ecology, the University of Washington, The 2016 Columbia River Basin Long-Term Water Supply and Demand Forecast Legislative Report, and the State of Washington Water Research Center.
Deadline: Feb 15, 2017
Proposals are sought on the topic of improving and enhancing the nation’s water supply and availability, and promoting the exploration of new ideas that address or expand our understanding of water problems, including the following specific areas of inquiry (levels of priority are not assigned, and the order of listing does not indicate the level of priority):
- Evaluation of innovative approaches to water treatment, infrastructure design, retrofitting, maintenance, management and replacement.
- Exploration and advancement of our understanding of changes in the quantity and quality of water resources in response to a changing climate, population shifts, and land use changes; including associated economic, environmental, social, and/or infrastructure costs.
- Development of methods for better estimation of water supply, both surface and groundwater, including estimation of the physical and/or economic supply of water.
- Development and evaluation of processes and governance mechanisms for integrated surface/ground water management.
- Evaluation and assessment of the effects of water conservation practices, as well as adoption, penetration and permanence.
The USGS Institute and NOAA Sea Grant Programs will be hosting a special session at the 2016 UCOWR/NIWR Annual Conference, June 21-23, 2016 at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Hotel in Pensacola Beach, Florida.
Sea Grant College Programs and Water Resources Research Institutes: Research and Partnerships Investigating Land-Sea Interface
NOAA Sea Grant College Program (Sea Grant) and the USGS Water Resources Research Institutes (WRRI) through the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) are both Federal-State partnerships federally mandated to address the Nation’s oceans, coastal, Great Lakes, and water resources issues. Sea Grant is working on integrated research, education and outreach including water issues to assist coastal communities. The Institutes focus research and student training to address water issues related to resource availability, infrastructure and ecosystem services in watersheds. These programs intersect at the land-sea interface and in some locations over entire watersheds, but no coordinated effort to explore and exploit synergistic capacity between the Federal Agencies has occurred to date. Focusing on the significant aspect of the connection between coastal waters and the fresh water inputs they receive, we welcome submissions demonstrating the intersecting foci described above and/or where Sea Grant and NIWR have partnered on research, education and/or outreach efforts.
Earl Greene, USGS, Chief of External Research, firstname.lastname@example.org
Darren Lerner, University of Hawaii, Director, Sea Grant College Program and Interim Director, Water Resources Research Center, email@example.com
For more information