Location: Agroclimate and Hydraulics Research Unit
Project Number: 3070-13000-014-010-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jul 1, 2021
End Date: Jun 30, 2024
This Agreement will provide funding for the cooperator as required to support the ARS new project plan titled: “Development of a Monitoring Network, Engineering Tools, and Guidelines for the Design, Analysis, and Rehabilitation of Embankment Dams, Hydraulic Structures, and Channels”. The Cooperator will assist ARS with the following objectives over the course of the next five years: 1) Developing hydrologic and hydraulic models for watersheds, and incorporating deep learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and other novel search algorithms to offer innovative solutions to problems pertaining water availability and watershed management. 2) Compiling existing instrumentation and monitoring technologies, and developing data integration technologies to aid in testing, validating, and improving ecosystem model simulations. 3) Assessing the economic benefits of water resources infrastructure (dams, reservoirs, levees, irrigation canals, conservation practices, green and hard infrastructure, etc.) on mitigation and risk reduction due to climate change, soil erosion, and enhance public access to water supplies and sanitation. 4) Developing field instrumentation (e.g. unmanned aerial systems, AI, sensors, among others) and cloud-based data visualization technologies to monitor, estimate, and predict ecosystem fluxes across multiple landscapes. 5) Developing holistic analytical decision support tools and optimization models that account for water use, environmental conservation practices, and climate change adaptation among others to evaluate new technologies for aiding sustainable resources management and precision agriculture and for assessing cost-benefit analysis of water resource development and rehabilitation. 6) Identifying and compiling institutional barriers (e.g. policies, regulations, etc.) through stakeholder engagement including mail and online surveys, interviews and consultation for the adoption of these holistic technologies and other decision tools to improve/increase (i) water use efficiency, (ii) environmental conservation, (iii) drought and flood mitigation, and (iv) climate adaption. 7) Training partners, stakeholders, specialists, educators, and students (e.g. K-12 through collegiate) through extension and outreach activities by disseminating information and technologies through a decision support informatics platform, hands-on learning, in-person and/or virtual meetings (e.g. symposium, workshops, webinars), social media, websites, and videos. This collaborative effort will provide key information for developing new and/or enhancing engineering tools like WinDAM, SITES, and other engineering tools and models. The deliverables will include revising and developing new guidance documents, training materials, data collection apps; and developing a cloud-based framework for database management, information sharing and data-driven decision support systems as they relate to establishing a water infrastructure monitoring and inspection network.
The Cooperator will partner with ARS to assist on the defined objectives. Specifically, the Cooperator will provide technical support and expertise for revising and writing guidance documents and developing new and/or enhance hydrologic and/or hydraulic models. Instrumentation including UAVs, sensors, cloud-based data visualization technology, and other engineering tools will be utilized to collect, store and disseminate data from research sites. They will assist ARS in the dissemination of information through various formats (e.g. referred journal publications, decision support informatics platform, hands-on learning activities, symposiums, webinars, workshops, videos, field demonstration days, guidance documents, etc.) and contribute to a communications plan through extension and outreach related activities involving the outlined objectives.