Climate is changing at unprecedented rates in recorded history. A variety of lines of evidence demonstrate that climate change is likely to affect the hydrologic cycle and thus create new challenges in water management. This requires that climate change information be included in water and water-related resources planning, operations, and management. Climate Variability and Change for Water Resources Management - International Edition describes the terminology, global evidence, regional manifestations, and basic science of global climate variability and anthropogenic change, with a focus on water resources management. The lesson presents this information using rich graphics, animations, and interactions. Key messages are highlighted from the 2014 Fifth Assessment Report produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The intended audience for Climate Variability and Change for Water Resources Management - International Edition includes managers and professionals working in water resources planning under variable and changing climates. This includes people who are somewhat removed from the implementation of climate change policy, but still need to be conversant in the topic.
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Climate is changing at unprecedented rates in recorded history. A variety of lines of evidence demonstrate that climate change is likely to affect the hydrologic cycle and thus create new challenges in water management. This requires that climate change information be included in water and water-related resources planning, operations, and management. Climate and Water Resources Management, Part 1: Climate Variability and Change describes the terminology, global evidence, regional manifestations, and basic science of global climate variability and anthropogenic change, with a focus on water resources management. The lesson presents this information using rich graphics, animations, and interactions. Key messages are highlighted from the 2014 National Climate Assessment, produced by the United States Global Change Research Program. The intended audience for Climate and Water Resources Management, Part 1: Climate Variability and Change includes managers and professionals working in water resources planning under variable and changing climates. This includes people who are somewhat removed from the implementation of climate change policy, but still need to be conversant in the topic.
Distributed Hydrologic Models for Flow Forecasts – Part 1 provides a basic description of distributed hydrologic models and how they work. This module is the first in a two-part series focused on the science of distributed models and their applicability in different situations. Presented by Dr. Dennis Johnson, the module begins with a review of hydrologic models, and then examines the differences between lumped and distributed models. It explains how lumped models may be distributed by subdividing the basin and suggests when distributed hydrologic models are most appropriate. Other topics covered include the advantages of physically-based versus conceptual approaches and some strengths and challenges associated with distributed modeling.
Distributed Hydrologic Models for Flow Forecasts Part 2 is the second release in a two-part series focused on the science of distributed models and their applicability to different flow forecasting situations. Presented by Dr. Dennis Johnson, the module provides a more detailed look at the processes and mechanisms involved in distributed hydrologic models. It examines the rainfall/runoff component, snowmelt, overland flow routing, and channel response in a basin as represented in a distributed model. Calibration issues and situations in which distributed hydrologic models might be most appropriate are also addressed.
This module takes the learner through seven case studies of flash flood events that occurred in the conterminous U.S. between 2003 and 2006. The cases covered include: * 30-31 August 2003: Chase & Lyon Counties, KS * 16-17 September 2004: Macon County, NC * 31 July 2006: Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, AZ * 25 December 2003: Fire burn area near San Bernardino, CA * 30 August 2004: Urban flash flood in Richmond, VA * 19-20 August 2003: Urban flash flood in Las Vegas, NV * 9 October 2005: Cheshire County, NH This module assists the learner in applying the concepts covered in the foundation topics of the Basic Hydrologic Sciences course. Some of the specific topics pertinent to these cases are the physical characteristics that make a basin prone to flash floods, basin response to precipitation, flash flood guidance (FFG), the relationship between wildfire and flash floods, and the relationship between urban development and flash floods. Related topics brought out in the cases include radar quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE), the National Weather Service Flash Flood Monitoring and Prediction (NWS FFMP) products, debris flows, impounded water, and interagency communications. The core foundation topics are recommended prerequisite materials since this module assumes some pre-existing knowledge of hydrologic principles. In particular, the Runoff Processes and Flash Flood Processes modules contain material directly related to these cases.
According to NOAA’s National Weather Service, a flash flood is a life-threatening flood that begins within 6 hours--and often within 3 hours--of a causative event. That causative event can be intense rainfall, the failure of a dam, levee, or other structure that is impounding water, or the sudden rise of water level associated with river ice jams. The “Flash Flood Processes” module offers an introduction to the distinguishing features of flash floods, the underlying hydrologic influences and the use of flash flood guidance (FFG) products. Through use of rich illustrations, animations, and interactions, this module explains the differences between flash floods and general floods and examines the hydrologic processes that impact flash flooding risk. In addition, it provides an introduction to the use of flash flood guidance (FFG) products including derivation from ThreshR and rainfall-runoff curves as well as current strengths and limitations.
Flash floods can occur in nearly any area of the world. A rainfall-induced flash flood is a truly hydrometeorological event: one that depends on both hydrologic and meteorological conditions. Forecasting flash floods involves a detailed understanding of the local hydrologic features and continual monitoring of the current meteorological situation. This module examines both the hydrologic and meteorological processes that often contribute to the development of flash flooding. Common tools and technologies that are used in flash flood monitoring and forecasting, from manual gauging systems to complex radar- and satellite-based runoff models, are explored. This module also examines the strengths and limitations of these technologies, as well as how they are likely to advance in the future.
Students learn how to use and graph real-world stream gage data to create event and annual hydrographs and calculate flood frequency statistics. Using an Excel spreadsheet of real-world event, annual and peak streamflow data, they manipulate the data (converting units, sorting, ranking, plotting), solve problems using equations, and calculate return periods and probabilities. Prompted by worksheet questions, they analyze the runoff data as engineers would. Students learn how hydrographs help engineers make decisions and recommendations to community stakeholders concerning water resources and flooding.
This module allows users to explore the flood forecasting process by assuming the role of a visiting hydrologist intern at the National Hydrologic Service in Main Country. Fictional senior hydrologists guide the intern through an idealized flooding event that takes place over Main Country's Mainstem river basin and its tributary basins, each with varying landscapes and observation systems. Users will examine how these variations impact the quality and type of forecast that can be achieved. Users will also learn about common problems encountered in flood forecasting, and how to adjust forecasts accordingly. This module is intended for a diverse audience that uses a variety of observing and computing technologies, and builds upon material covered in the foundation topics of the International Basic Hydrologic Sciences Course. These core foundation topics are recommended as a prerequisite since this module assumes some pre-existing knowledge of hydrologic principles.
Students are presented with a guide to rain garden construction in an activity that culminates the unit and pulls together what they have learned and prepared in materials during the three previous associated activities. They learn about the four vertical zones that make up a typical rain garden with the purpose to cultivate natural infiltration of stormwater. Student groups create personal rain gardens planted with native species that can be installed on the school campus, within the surrounding community, or at students' homes to provide a green infrastructure and low-impact development technology solution for areas with poor drainage that often flood during storm events.
View the five processes of the hydrologic cycle in this interactive resource adapted from NASA in which animations illustrate condensation, precipitation, infiltration, runoff, and evapotranspiration. ***Access to Teacher's Domain content now requires free login to PBS Learning Media.
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The suburban city of Mount Rainier, Maryland, is doing its part to improve the water quality of a polluted river in its region: residents and organizations are using green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff.
Students use everyday building materials sand, pea gravel, cement and water to create and test pervious pavement. They learn what materials make up a traditional, impervious concrete mix and how pervious pavement mixes differ. Groups are challenged to create their own pervious pavement mixes, experimenting with material ratios to evaluate how infiltration rates change with different mix combinations.
For students that have already been introduced to the water cycle this lesson is intended as a logical follow-up. Students will learn about human impacts on the water cycle that create a pathway for pollutants beginning with urban development and joining the natural water cycle as surface runoff. The extent of surface runoff in an area depends on the permeability of the materials in the ground. Permeability is the degree to which water or other liquids are able to flow through a material. Different substances such as soil, gravel, sand, and asphalt have varying levels of permeability. In this lesson, along with the associated activities, students will learn about permeability and compare the permeability of several different materials for the purpose of engineering landscape drainage systems.
This lesson provides an overview of the primary influences of watershed and channel sedimentation. In a short narrated portion of the lesson, we explore a section of the Rio Grande watershed and channel in New Mexico using Google Earth imagery, river profiles, and graphic animations. We highlight features of the upland catchments, the river channel, and the Elephant Butte Reservoir. We then demonstrate how environmental factors (climate, geography, land use changes, reservoirs) impact the supply and movement of sediments for the Rio Grande and other rivers. The focus is on the three primary processes in sedimentation: generation, transport, and deposition. The lesson then addresses natural climate and weather influences along with some observed and projected trends associated with climate change.
This lesson explores the primary influences, or drivers, on water temperature of inland streams and rivers. We use a simulated flight, or flyover, where we look down at the features of the South Boise River in Idaho. An unregulated as well as a regulated reach of the river are explored (above and below the Anderson Ranch Reservoir), with a look at cross sections of the river and its environment at key locations during the flyover. We explore how environmental factors (climate, geography, stream morphology) impact water temperatures. Then, after defining the factors that affect water temperature, we identify which factors are most important for water temperature change due to climate.
Changing conditions spur a utility in Washington, D.C., to consider and address its future climate vulnerabilitie
This module takes the learner through the considerations for the river forecasting decisions associated with the remnants of Hurricane Ivan on 17-19 September, 2004 for the Susquehanna River system in Pennsylvania and New York. The module assists the learner with applying the concepts covered in the foundation topics of the Basic Hydrologic Sciences course. Some of the specific topics pertinent to this case are soil conditions, the impact of QPF on runoff, runoff models, runoff processes, routed flow and stage-discharge relationships. Observations of upstream conditions and comparisons to historic crests are also examined to assist with operational flood forecast decisions. The core foundation topics are recommended as a prerequisite since this module assumes some pre-existing knowledge of hydrologic principles.
The “River Ice Processes” module provides information on flooding associated with river ice jams. In this webcast, Dr. Kate White, nationally-recognized expert on river ice, explores basic river ice processes including the formation, growth, breakup, and transport of river ice and how it can become jammed, triggering floods. In addition, Dr. White covers the current, state-of-the-art ice jam forecasting, and current ice-modeling research and development being conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As a foundation topic for the Basic Hydrologic Science course, this module may be taken on its own, but it will also be available as a supporting topic providing factual scientific information to support students in completion of the case-based forecasting modules.
This module provides information on flooding associated with river ice jams. Based on a presentation by Dr. Kate White, a nationally-recognized expert on river ice, this webcast explores basic river ice processes including the formation, growth, breakup, and transport of river ice and how it can become jammed, triggering floods. This shorter version of the previously published module "River Ice Processes", has less focus on the US National Weather Service, making it more broadly applicable, including to an international audience.