Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Developing strategies in a desert watershed that sustain regional water supplies

Date:
March 24, 2011
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Agricultural scientists are helping meet the water demands of a riparian desert region that is home to a national conservation area and a thriving military base.

Technician Jim Riley (left) and hydraulic engineer Dave Goodrich download water-level data from the Rostrin Basin, a flood detention pond in Sierra Vista, Arizona, which will aid in calculating the recharge rate to the ground-water aquifer.
Credit: Photo by Stephen Ausmus

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are helping meet the water demands of a riparian desert region that is home to a national conservation area and a thriving military base.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) hydraulic engineer Dave Goodrich and hydrologist Russ Scott have been part of Arizona's Upper San Pedro Partnership (USPP)-a mix of 21 federal, state, and local groups managing the region's water-supply needs-since the association started in 1998. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency, and this work supports the USDA priority of responding to climate change.

Fort Huachuca, which is the primary economic engine in the upper San Pedro River valley, draws its water from the aquifer that sustains the desert river, but this groundwater is being depleted more rapidly than it is replenished. In 2004, Congress directed the Department of the Interior to work with the Department of Defense, USDA and the USPP to develop water use management and conservation measures that would restore and maintain water supplies in the upper San Pedro watershed.

Goodrich and Scott both work at the ARS Southwest Watershed Research Center in Tucson, Ariz. The scientists are studying how much water is used by riparian vegetation and evaluating how storm water runoff from urban development affects groundwater reserves.

As part of this work, Goodrich and others measured storm water runoff from undeveloped land at the edge of Fort Huachuca and from a newly developed area just outside the military installation. They found that a third of the runoff from the developed site resulted just from the compaction from the surface soils during construction-and not from the installation of impervious barriers, as they had expected.

Meanwhile, Scott and his colleagues found that mesquite woodlands use much more water than cottonwood and willow trees that grow along the riverbanks. He used this finding to develop a GIS-based riparian evaporation and transpiration tool that regional land managers can use to estimate water savings by replacing mesquite with native desert grasses.

Results from this work have been published in Global Change Biology, the Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education, Southwest Hydrology, and elsewhere.

Read more about this research in the March 2011 issue of Agricultural Research magazine at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/2011/mar11/river0311.htm


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Ann Perry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Developing strategies in a desert watershed that sustain regional water supplies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110322114829.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2011, March 24). Developing strategies in a desert watershed that sustain regional water supplies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110322114829.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Developing strategies in a desert watershed that sustain regional water supplies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110322114829.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins