AWRA Water Blog


HIGHLIGHTS – JAWRA February 2017


Featured Collection – North Carolina Ecological Flows

In 2010, the North Carolina legislature passed legislation defining ecological flow as “the streamflow necessary to protect ecological integrity.” In support of this legislation, a team of scientists characterized the degree of alteration in streamflows at the stream segment level across the state and explored strategies for classifying streams, for characterizing the biota of streams and relative sensitivity to flow alterations, and for quantifying biological responses to flow alterations. Four papers comprising this featured collection present results from this effort.

Eddy et al. (a) describe the design and application of the Watershed Flow and Allocation model (WaterFALL®), which was used for determining baseflows and streamflows in the study.

Eddy et al. (b) describe two different stream classification developed for North Carolina and the southeastern United States.

Phelan et al. and Patterson et al. report flow alteration – biological response relationships established for rivers and streams at the statewide level.


Featured Series –  SWAT Applications for Emerging Hydrologic and Water Quality Challenges

The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is an open-source, catchment-scale hydrologic model that is supported and used by a global community of researchers, decision makers, and practitioners. SWAT is constantly being improved and augmented with new process representations. The goal of this featured series is to demonstrate the versatility of SWAT in addressing traditional hydrologic problems such as BMP implementation, landuse/climate change impacts, model/data uncertainty, and emerging issues such as the impact of natural gas development and bio-cropping scenarios on hydrology. The first four papers in this recurring series occur in this issue.

Paul et al. use SWAT to assess the role of climate and land use changes on hydrology of three South Dakota watersheds.

Radcliffe and Mukundan demonstrate the role of precipitation data quality on SWAT model calibration and validation.

Mittelstet et al. use modified streambank erosion and in-stream phosphorus routines to study the relative contribution of phosphorus from streambank erosion compared to overland sources in an Oklahoma watershed.

Bieger et al. introduce SWAT+, the next major release of SWAT code, which includes flow and pollutant routing across the landscape, and apply it to a Georgia watershed.

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