An Integrated Approach to Assessing Water Management Options in a Major Watersheds: Extending a Hydrodynamic-Water Quality Model to Include Biological and Politico-Economic Components

EPA Grant Number: R825285
Title: An Integrated Approach to Assessing Water Management Options in a Major Watersheds: Extending a Hydrodynamic-Water Quality Model to Include Biological and Politico-Economic Components
Investigators: Sabatier, Paul A. , Anderson, Jamie , Bennett, Bill , Botsford, Louis , Johnston, Mike , Loeb, Curtis , Lund, Jay , Mount, Jeff , Moyle, Peter , Orlob, Gerald , Quinn, James , Randall, Jonathan , Rhodes, Cathy , Richerson, Peter , Slotten, Darell , Slotton, Darell , Suchanek, Thomas , Weinberg, Marca
Current Investigators: Sabatier, Paul A. , Anderson, Jamie , Bennett, Bill , Botsford, Louis , Johnson, Mike , Loeb, Curtis , Lund, Jay , Mount, Jeff , Moyle, Peter , Orlob, Gerald , Quinn, James , Rhodes, Cathy , Richerson, Peter , Slotton, Darell , Suchanek, Thomas , Weinberg, Marca
Institution: University of California - Davis
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: December 1, 1996 through November 30, 1999 (Extended to September 30, 2000)
Project Amount: $1,292,627
RFA: Water and Watersheds Research (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water and Watersheds , Water

Description:

The proposed research addresses the problems of managing large scale watersheds subject to conflicting demands between traditional water users and those seeking to restore damaged fisheries. The primary objective of the proposed research is to develop and demonstrate an integrated methodology for assessing management alternatives for watersheds that support aquatic species at risk. Such a methodology requires an interrelated set of deterministic and statistical models designed to characterize quantitatively the responses of sensitive species to hydrodynamic, water quality, and ecological influences within riverine and estuarine reaches of the watershed under various management alternatives. Alternatives may include modifications in watershed management practices such as restoration of riparian habitat, regulation of stream flows, curtailment or rescheduling of diversions, and control of point and non-point sources of pollution. The implications of such management for agricultural and urban uses within the basin will also be modeled, and the conditions under which such modeling capability can produce consensus on the perceived impacts and feasibility of various management alternatives in situations of political conflict will be carefully assessed.

The watershed of the Sacramento River and Delta in California, encompassing the river's main stem, its principal tributary watersheds, and the complex estuarine environment of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, will be utilized for applying this interrelated set of models. The focus will be on three important species--endangered anadromous chinook salmon, striped bass, and splittail-- each with unique characteristics, but representative of common watershed management problems nationwide. Survival and restoration success for these species will be governed largely by the system's hydrodynamics and water quality, which in turn will be partially a function of processes in tributary watersheds and the economic and political conditions facing important water constituencies. This project is founded largely on a well-developed hydrodynamic-water quality finite element model of the Sacramento River and Delta system, simulating flows, temperature, salinity, and primary productivity. The major part of this project expands on this well-established modeling capability to include (a) estuarine and riparian habitat and indigenous ecosystems, (b) inflow and contaminants from tributary watersheds, (c) the economics of agricultural and urban water use, and (d) the effects of the above on water quality and selected fish populations. The integrated modeling framework will be used to explore the impacts of a variety of politically-significant policy scenarios and the reaction of important constituencies to those impacts. The implications of large-scale mechanistic models for long-term system management also will be explored.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 33 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 17 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

watersheds, risk assessment, mercury, aquatic, habitat, public policy, survey, EPA Region IX, CA, agriculture, remote sensing., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Hydrology, Water & Watershed, Environmental Chemistry, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Chemistry, State, Economics, Ecological Effects - Human Health, Ecological Risk Assessment, EPA Region, Mercury, Watersheds, risk assessment, aquatic, fate and transport, Region 9, social impact assessment, stream flows, integrated approach, hydrodynamic water quality model, remote sensing , fisheries, agricultural environment, watershed influences, statistical model, aquatic ecosystems, water quality, ecosystem restoration, water management options, public policy, California (CA)

Relevant Websites:

Cathy Lawrence/striped bass:
http://www.itd.ucdavis.edu/
Jay Lund/economic modeling:
http://cee.engr.ucdavis.edu/faculty/lund/CALVIN
Paul Sabatier:
http://wpp.ucdavis.edu
Quinn:
http://endeavor.des.ucdavis.edu/geowbs
http://ice.ucdavis.edu
Moyle:
http://wfcb.ucdavis.edu/www/Petermoyle/default.htm

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1997
  • 1998 Progress Report
  • 1999 Progress Report
  • Final Report