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Variability and trends in runoff efficiency in the conterminous United States

June 22, 2016

Variability and trends in water-year runoff efficiency (RE) — computed as the ratio of water-year runoff (streamflow per unit area) to water-year precipitation — in the conterminous United States (CONUS) are examined for the 1951 through 2012 period. Changes in RE are analyzed using runoff and precipitation data aggregated to United States Geological Survey 8-digit hydrologic cataloging units (HUs). Results indicate increases in RE for some regions in the north-central CONUS and large decreases in RE for the south-central CONUS. The increases in RE in the north-central CONUS are explained by trends in climate, whereas the large decreases in RE in the south-central CONUS likely are related to groundwater withdrawals from the Ogallala aquifer to support irrigated agriculture.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2016
Title Variability and trends in runoff efficiency in the conterminous United States
DOI 10.1111/1752-1688.12431
Authors Gregory J. McCabe, David M. Wolock
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Series Number
Index ID 70173952
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Research Program - Central Branch

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