Science Inventory



Hamilton, J. A., S R. Kraemer, W. J. Ryan, W. Melgin, K. L. Schroer, D. Long, AND C. Chesney. GROUND WATER AND WATERSHEDS AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION. Presented at American Geophysical Union Meeting, Washington, DC, May 30-June 2, 2000.


Develop, test, and refine models to evaluate sub-basins to determine whether local water quality problems due to excessive nutrient loading exist, and if so, to characterize them and determine their relationships to nutrient loading. Develop models to simulate overland flow and non-point source pollutant loads to track and assess nutrient loadings across watersheds and provide approaches for estimating nutrient budgets within sub-basins and for predicting changes in nutrient budgets in response to changes in watershed activities/land use/land cover. Demonstrate the application of the recommended approach/models for predicting changes in nutrient budgets in response to changes in proposed watershed activities/land use/land cover, resulting in specific recommendations for reducing the nutrient loads to a basin. For coherence, cooperation, and economics, these models will be housed in a unified, consistent, computational environment for environmental analyses that allows teaching (i.e., technology transfer) to multiple users (users concentrate on problem, not model input/output); that appeals to multi-disciplinary groups for distribution and use as a consistent assessment methodology (includes models, tools, modular design and facilitated updates of science/engineering); that includes resident visualization, animation tools, documentation and tutorials on-line, hooks to GIS and environmental databases; and is executable on UNIX, personal computers, and HPC resources.

Objective # 2.2 Conserve and enhance nation's waters: By 2005, conserve and enhance the ecological health of the nation's (state, interstate, and tribal) waters and aquatic ecosystems-rivers and streams, lakes, wetlands, estuaries, coastal areas, oceans, and groundwater-so that 75% of waters will support healthy aquatic communities.


Effective watershed management has the potential to achieve both drinking water and ecological protection goals. However, it is important that the watershed perspective be three- dimensional and include the hidden subsurface. The subsurface catchment, or groundwatershed, is geohydrologicafly defined, and this catchment may or may not correspond to the topographically defined watershed. The waters of the subsurface catchment, and their associated chemical loads, are in exchange with the baseflow in the river. In the evaluation of stream assimilative capability and the calculation of TMDLs (total maximum daily loads), the subsurface catchment should be evaluated, especially for nitrogen assessments. Public water supply wells located near streams often induce recharge, and thus the source water area includes the topographically defined stream catchment. A public water supply well would be under the direct influence of surface water if virus transport from the stream to the well was demonstrated based on hydrologic and residence time arguments. These, and other examples, will be discussed.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 05/30/2000
Record Last Revised: 06/06/2005
Record ID: 60445