This fall and early winter the Southeast CASC will be hosting a virtual science seminar series highlighting SE CASC funded projects that support resource management actions across the Southeast. Join us on November 17 at 11am ET for the second presentation in the series by Dr. Jacob LaFontaine: Assessment of Water Availability and Streamflow Characteristics in the Southeastern U.S. for Current and Future Climatic and Landscape Conditions. Learn more about upcoming presentations in the series here.
Assessment of Water Availability and Streamflow Characteristics in the Southeastern U.S. for Current and Future Climatic and Landscape Conditions
Dr. Jacob LaFontaine, USGS South Atlantic Water Science Center
November 17 | 11AM ET
Information about streamflow and streamflow variability is critical to assist natural resource managers when they make decisions related to the water needs of both human communities and ecosystems. In order for managers to effectively plan for and adapt to future climate and land cover conditions, they require information on changes that could occur in the distribution and quantity of water resources. Yet every watershed has a unique set of characteristics – such as differing topographies and geology – that affect how much water is available, the sources of water, and how it flows through the system. This means that water availability in every watershed can be affected differently by changes in climate and land cover. Flow can be monitored in a stream using a stream gage, which provides information about the amount and variability of surface water resources at a particular location. However, not every stream has a gage, and decisions about water resources in these ungaged watersheds still must be made. In the absence of measured streamflow information, hydrologic models can be used to provide estimates of streamflow characteristics. This project uses a modeling approach that groups watersheds that are gaged with watersheds that are not gaged to provide accurate estimates of water availability for all watersheds in the southeastern United States, under current and potential future climate and land cover conditions. Learn more about this project.
Learn more about the Speaker:
Jacob LaFontaine is a Research Hydrologist in the Norcross, GA office of the U.S. Geological Survey South Atlantic Water Science Center. His research has been focused on the development of local-, regional-, and national-scale hydrologic models for interdisciplinary work to provide hydrologic information for historical and potential future conditions in response to climate, land cover, and water use. Example projects include Southeast Regional Assessment Project (SERAP), the National Water Census Model Intercomparison Study, the National Water Census Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin Focus Area Study, the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative Streamflow Characterization Study, and the Water Budget Estimation and Evaluation Projecct. These hydrologic model applications were developed to assess historical and future water availability, analyze response of watersheds to changes in climate and land cover, link with groundwater modeling efforts in complex groundwater/surface-water interaction regions, link with ecological dynamics models and water temperature models, and analyze the effects of water use on watersheds. Current research focuses on characterizing the hydrologic cycle (water budget), improving understanding of hydrologic processes, and improving existing modeling capabilities at the National scale.