Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research
Project Number: 2060-13610-002-01-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Dec 15, 2014
End Date: Jul 31, 2019
The primary purpose is to construct the scientific foundation for documenting what is known and what is not known about the environmental effects of conservation practices and management actions on rangeland hydrologic processes. The University of Nevada at Reno (UNR) is undertaking a cooperative project with the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to quantify water availability and quality in western watersheds. Specifically the project will: 1) quantify and improve the understanding of the sources and transport of dissolved solids and entrained soil particles in surface runoff that impact water quality (salinity) in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) ; and 2) quantify the impact that conservation practices have on the hydrologic balance and soil erosion processes of western rangelands. This effort should develop new knowledge which will be transferrable to other semi-arid and arid domestic and international rangelands and improve our ability to enhance sustainability of the vulnerable landscapes.
The University of Nevada at Reno will assist ARS in conducting rainfall simulation experiments to quantify rainfall/runoff relationships and salt mobility and transport processes in the western United States. Based on these findings the team will use this information to improve the USDA Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model’s ability to predict how conservation practices will improve water quantity and quality of western rivers.