John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis

Water Resources

Powell Center working groups rarely are just one USGS Mission Area and are sorted into these areas by the groups themselves. Projects may be relevant to additional areas.

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Filter Total Items: 22
Date published: October 1, 2018
Status: Active

Synthesizing Multiple Long-Term Datasets to Test Flow Ecology Relationships for Fishes - Workshop

River ecosystems support a wide diversity of biota, including thousands of fish species, which are variously adapted to the dynamic environments provided by flowing-water habitats. One of the primary ways that human activities diminish the biological capacity of rivers is by altering the natural hydrologic variability of river systems through regulation and diversion of streamflow for other...

Date published: June 5, 2018
Status: Active

Characterizing global variability in groundwater arsenic

Groundwater contaminated with naturally occurring arsenic is a widespread problem affecting many alluvial and deltaic aquifer systems throughout the world. The human health toll from consuming groundwater with high levels of arsenic is staggering in its proportions. Furthermore, the use of arsenic contaminated groundwater for irrigation is observed to result in diminished crop yields and thus...

Date published: June 5, 2018
Status: Active

Improved hydrologic forecasting through synthesis of critical storage components and timescales across watersheds worldwide

Models that predict the flow of rivers and streams are critically important for planning flood control, hydropower, and reservoir operations, as well as for management of fish and wildlife populations. As temperatures and precipitation regimes change globally, the need to improve and develop these models for a wider spatial coverage and higher spatial fidelity becomes more imperative....

Date published: October 1, 2017
Status: Active

A global synthesis of land-surface fluxes under natural and human-altered watersheds using the Budyko framework

Global hydroclimatic conditions have been significantly altered, over the past century, by anthropogenic influences that arise from warming global climate and also from local/regional anthropogenic disturbances. There has been never been an effort that has systematically analyzed how the spatio-temporal variability of land-surface fluxes vary in natural and human-altered watersheds globally....

Date published: August 25, 2017
Status: Active

Linking environmental and public health data to evaluate health effects of arsenic exposure from domestic and public supply wells

Everyone needs clean drinking water in order to thrive. The US EPA and public water purveyors in the US work together in adherence with the Safe Drinking Water Act to make water safe for public consumption. The recent media coverage of lead in public drinking water supplies in Flint, Michigan, and schools in many cities with aging infrastructure throughout the US has raised public awareness of...

Contacts: Joseph Ayotte
Date published: June 29, 2016
Status: Active

Integrating GRACE Satellite and Ground-based Estimates of Groundwater Storage Changes

Groundwater storage depletion is a critical issue for many of the major aquifers in the U.S., particularly during intense droughts. The GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellites launched in 2002, with sensors designed to measure changes in the Earth’s gravitational field at large spatial scales (≥ ~200,000 km2). These changes are primarily driven by changes in water storage on...

Date published: June 29, 2016
Status: Active

Global Evaluation of the Impacts of Storms on freshwater Habitat and Structure of phytoplankton Assemblages (GEISHA)

Climate change is expected to cause more intense and frequent extreme weather events, but we only have a basic understanding of how these events might alter freshwater systems. Storms are likely to impact lake systems through delivery of sediments from watersheds and mixing of the water column, both of which could have important consequences for phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are the base of the...

Contacts: Vijay P Patil
Date published: June 29, 2016
Status: Active

Completing the dryland puzzle: creating a predictive framework for biological soil crust function and response to climate change

Drylands are integral to the Earth system and the present and future of human society. Drylands encompass more than 40% of the terrestrial landmass and support 34% of the world’s human population. Biocrusts are the “living skin” of Earth’s drylands, sometimes dominating the ground cover and figuring prominently in ecosystem structure and function. Biocrusts are a biological aggregate of...

Date published: August 19, 2015
Status: Active

River Corridor hot spots for biogeochemical processing: a continental scale synthesis

Rivers are the veins of the landscape, providing environmental benefits that are disproportionately high relative to their aerial extent; shedding flood waters, hosting aquatic ecosystems, transporting solutes and energy-rich materials, and storing and transforming pollutants into less harmful forms. From uplands to the coasts, rivers facilitate key biogeochemical reactions that cumulatively...

Date published: October 6, 2014
Status: Active

Continental-scale overview of stream primary productivity, its links to water quality, and consequences for aquatic carbon biogeochemistry

Streams and rivers have a limited spatial extent, but are increasingly recognized as key components of regional biogeochemical cycles. The collective metabolic processing of organisms, known as ecosystem metabolism, is centrally important to nutrient cycling and carbon fluxes in these environments, but is poorly integrated into emerging biogeochemical concepts. This line of inquiry lags behind...

Date published: October 6, 2014
Status: Active

North American Analysis and Synthesis on the Connectivity of "Geographically Isolated Wetlands" to Downstream Waters

Geographically Isolated Wetlands (GIWs) occur along gradients of hydrologic and ecological connectivity and isolation, even within wetland types (e.g., forested, emergent marshes) and functional classes (e.g., ephemeral systems, permanent systems, etc.). Within a given watershed, the relative positions of wetlands and open-waters along these gradients influence the type and magnitude of their...

Date published: October 28, 2013
Status: Active

Exploiting high-resolution topography for advancing the understanding of mass and energy transfer across landscapes: Opportunities, challenges, and needs

One of the grand challenges of Earth Surface Science and Natural Resource Management lies in the prediction of mass and energy transfer for large watersheds and landscapes. High resolution topography (lidar) datasets show potential to significantly advance our understanding of hydrologic and geomorphic processes controlling mass and energy transfer because they represent features at the...