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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Watershed Management Research

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
1) Apply the modified Penn State Integrated Hydrology Modeling (PIHM) system over RCEW using all available data; 2) Selectively reduce input data to determine the minimum input forcing data required to achieve acceptable simulation accuracy; 3) Recommend augmentation of existing measurement facilities and models that would be required to achieve this level of simulation accuracy over the larger Great Basin region.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The scientist funded through this project will work with university and ARS hydrologists to integrate the NWRC snow model into the PIHM system, and implement and evaluate the modified PIHM system at the RCEW. Located at the NWRC in Boise Idaho, the scientist would work collaboratively with the WATERS team to evaluate the accuracy and reliability of PIHM simulations using complete and successively limited RCEW forcing data. The 48-year data record will allow testing over a full range of climate conditions. Documents SCA with UC Santa Barbara. Formerly 5362-13610-008-08S (05/12).

3. Progress Report:
This is the final report for agreement 5362-13610-010-03S terminated on August 31, 2013. Project scientists worked to assess how climate warming is likely to impact water supplies in the western United States. They developed and tested a new and more effective approach to simulation modeling to improve how the Northwest Watershed Research Center (NWRC) forecasts and manages water resources in the region. Significant progress was made in assessing the impacts of climate warming utilizing 50 years of very high quality data from Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed. Initial tests of the hybrid Penn State Integrated Hydrologic Model (PIHM) and Isnobal model indicate that it can be effectively applied over mountain basins, and that it will improve assessment of water resources under a wide range of climate conditions. The ARS models of radiation transfer and snow cover energy balance were successfully applied to large regions of the Sierra Nevada. The jointly funded postdoctoral researcher assisted ARS in the development of two proposals that were not funded. The research effort resulted in three journal publications, and an academic position for the postdoc at Duke University in 2012. This agreement was not funded for the past two-years because the postdoc accepted a new position. This agreement was established in support of objective 3 of the in-house project, the goal being to expand integrated snow hydrology modeling to larger scales, coupling to belowground processes, including wind effects on precipitation input, and helping to incorporate snow-related processes into ARS watershed and management simulation models (e.g., SWAT, AnnAgNPS, KINEROS, AgES, AGWA, RHEM, ISNOBAL, PIHM, etc).

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 2/23/2016
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