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Integrating Multiscale Observations of U.S. Waters INTEGRATING MULTISCALE OBSERVATIONS OF U.S. WATERS Committee on Integrated Observations for Hydrologic and Related Sciences Water Science and Technology Board Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Integrating Multiscale Observations of U.S. Waters THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration Grant Number NNG05GK08G, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Contract Number DG133R04CQ0009, National Science Foundation Grant Number EAR-0340018, Nuclear Regulatory Commission Grant Number NRC-04-05-087, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Contract Number W912EK-05-P-0209, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Cooperative Agreement Number X3-83146501. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 13: 978-0-309-11457-8 International Standard Book Number 10: 0-309-11457-8 Cover: Trout Lake area photo courtesy of Carl Bowser, Silver Pixel Images, Madison, Wisconsin. Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.
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Integrating Multiscale Observations of U.S. Waters THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Integrating Multiscale Observations of U.S. Waters COMMITTEE ON INTEGRATED OBSERVATIONS FOR HYDROLOGIC AND RELATED SCIENCES KENNETH W. POTTER, Chair, University of Wisconsin, Madison ERIC F. WOOD, Vice Chair, Princeton University, New Jersey ROGER C. BALES, University of California, Merced LAWRENCE E. BAND, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill ELFATIH A.B. ELTAHIR, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge ANTHONY W. ENGLAND, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor JAMES S. FAMIGLIETTI, University of California, Irvine KONSTANTINE P. GEORGAKAKOS, Hydrologic Research Center, San Diego, California DINA L. LOPEZ, Ohio University, Athens DANIEL P. LOUCKS, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York PATRICIA A. MAURICE, University of Notre Dame, West Lafayette, Indiana LEAL A. K. MERTES, University of California, Santa Barbara (until September 2005) WILLIAM K. MICHENER, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque BRIDGET R. SCANLON, University of Texas, Austin National Research Council Staff WILLIAM S. LOGAN, Study Director ANITA A. HALL, Senior Program Associate
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Integrating Multiscale Observations of U.S. Waters WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BOARD CLAIRE WELTY, Chair, University of Maryland, Baltimore County JOAN G. EHRENFELD, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey SIMON GONZALEZ, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City CHARLES N. HAAS, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania JAMES M. HUGHES, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia THEODORE L. HULLAR, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York KIMBERLY L. JONES, Howard University, Washington, DC G. TRACY MEHAN, The Cadmus Group, Inc., Arlington, Virginia JAMES K. MITCHELL, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg DAVID H. MOREAU, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill LEONARD SHABMAN, Resources for the Future, Washington, DC DONALD I. SIEGEL, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York SOROOSH SOROOSHIAN, University of California, Irvine HAME M. WATT, Independent Consultant, Washington, DC JAMES L. WESCOAT, JR., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign GARRET P. WESTERHOFF, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc., Fair Lawn, New Jersey Staff STEPHEN D. PARKER, Director LAUREN E. ALEXANDER, Senior Staff Officer LAURA J. EHLERS, Senior Staff Officer JEFFREY W. JACOBS, Senior Staff Officer STEPHANIE E. JOHNSON, Senior Staff Officer WILLIAM S. LOGAN, Senior Staff Officer M. JEANNE AQUILINO, Financial and Administrative Associate ANITA A. HALL, Senior Program Associate ELLEN A. DE GUZMAN, Research Associate DOROTHY K. WEIR, Senior Program Associate MICHAEL J. STOEVER, Senior Project Assistant
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Integrating Multiscale Observations of U.S. Waters Preface This report is a product of the Committee on Integrated Observations for Hydrologic and Related Sciences. The committee was organized under the auspices of the Water Science and Technology Board (WSTB) of the National Research Council (NRC) and the WSTB’s Committee on Hydrologic Science (COHS). This study has interesting origins. The initial idea for the study arose from discussions at the COHS in 2003, and took the form of a one-page prospectus titled Hydrology from Space. While the prospectus mentioned integrating space-based observations with in-situ observations, as envisioned it emphasized a top-down approach. It would have assessed the usefulness of remotely sensed observations for flood and drought prediction and for snow pack measurement, and evaluated the scientific and technical readiness for observations of selected hydrologic states, among other tasks. An assurance of partial funding for the project was made at that time by the Terrestrial Hydrology Program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). However, a near simultaneous effort was underway for a broader NRC “decadal survey” to help set an agenda for observations in support of Earth Science and Applications from Space. Among that committee’s key tasks were to develop a consensus on the top-level scientific questions that should provide the focus for Earth and environmental observations for a 10-year period and to develop a prioritized list of recommended space programs, missions, and supporting activities to address those questions. Among the seven study panels organized under that study was a water panel, whose mission would have overlapped somewhat with this study as originally envisioned. Around the same time, the COHS was made aware that the National Science Foundation (NSF) was considering the establishment of “observatories” with field measurements and cyberinfrastructure to assemble water data into a common framework. At the time, planned observatories included the HYDRO
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Integrating Multiscale Observations of U.S. Waters Program of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI) in NSF’s GEO (Geosciences) Directorate and the Collaborative Large-Scale Engineering Analysis Network for Environmental Research (CLEANER) supported by the Engineering Directorate (these two are now being combined into a program called WATer and Environmental Research Systems [WATERS] Network), along with the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) supported by the Biological Sciences Directorate and the Critical Zone Observatories (CZO) funded by the Directorate for Geosciences. (As of this writing, not all of these proposed activities have been funded.) And the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and other agencies had been collecting various data from field measurements and experimental watersheds for many years and were exploring ways to use modern technology to increase information content and reduce costs. Thus, while NASA, NOAA, and the USGS Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Data Center were collecting satellite information, other programs were collecting field data and additional data-intensive programs were planned for the near future. But how would the collection of these data and information be optimized? How would satellite, airborne, and in-situ data be integrated? What overarching principles might be followed? This was an issue of considerable interest to NSF and, as it turned out, to other federal agencies, including NASA. The committee met six times between February 2005 and September 2006 in open and closed sessions. Representatives from many federal, state, and nongovernmental agencies attended and participated in open sessions. This report is based on those discussions, the scientific literature, and the best professional judgment of the committee members. The committee was deeply saddened by the September 30, 2005, passing of Leal Mertes, who was a respected and well-liked colleague and a valued committee member. We are grateful for her contributions both to this report and to our own lives. We have many other people to thank for their help over the course of this project and in the preparation of this report. In particular, we would like to express appreciation to the following individuals for their presentations, discussions, and written submissions: Peter Arzberger, University of California, San Diego; Chaitan Baru, San Diego Supercomputer Center; Elizabeth Blood, National Science Foundation; Art Charo, NRC Space Studies Board; Tim Cohn, U.S. Geological Survey; Jared Entin, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Frank Gehrke, California Cooperative Snow Surveys; Tom Harmon, University of California, Merced; Robert Hartman, National Weather Service; Jin Huang, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Doug James, National Science Foundation; Toshio Koike, The University of Tokoyo; Richard Lawford, GEWEX; Dennis Lettenmaier, University of Washington; Kent Lindquist, Lindquist Consulting; David Maidment, University of Texas at Austin; Robert Mason, U.S. Geological Survey;
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Integrating Multiscale Observations of U.S. Waters Tom Nicholson, Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Peter van Oevelen, GEWEX; Jeff Talley, University of Notre Dame; and Stu Townsley, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the NRC in making its published report as sound as possible and will ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Jean M. Bahr, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Matthew W. Becker, University of Buffalo; Charles T. Driscoll, Syracuse University; Dara Entekhabi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Tony R. Fountain, University of California, San Diego; Charles D. D. Howard, Canada; Anne W. Nolin, Steven W. Running, University of Montana; Anne W. Nolin, Oregon State University; and Claire Welty, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Dr. Mary P. Anderson, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Appointed by the National Research Council, Dr. Anderson was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. Kenneth Potter, Chair Eric Wood, Vice Chair
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Integrating Multiscale Observations of U.S. Waters Contents SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 10 The Challenge, 10 Uses of Water and the Hydrologic Cycle, 11 Quantifying the Hydrologic Cycle, 13 Shortcomings of Traditional Measurement Techniques, 15 A Vision for the Future, 17 Scope and Organization of This Report, 18 2 SENSING FROM THE MOLECULAR TO THE GLOBAL SCALE: NEW OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES 22 In-Situ Sensor and Sensor Networking Technologies, 23 New and Emerging Biogeochemical Sensor Approaches and Technologies, 29 Airborne Sensors, 44 Spaceborne Sensors, 50 Sensor Maintenance, 58 Community Involvement, 59 Summary, 60 3 INTEGRATING OBSERVATIONS, MODELS, AND USERS 62 Approaches for Integrating Observations and Models, 63 Cyberinfrastructure: Managing the Data and Delivering the Products, 66 4 CASE STUDIES ON INTEGRATED OBSERVATORIES FOR HYDROLOGICAL AND RELATED SCIENCES 78 Introduction to the Case Studies, 78
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Integrating Multiscale Observations of U.S. Waters Case Study I —Monitoring the Hydrology of the Everglades in South Florida, 81 Case Study II —Impacts of Agriculture on Water Resources: Tradeoffs Between Water Quantity and Quality in the Southern High Plains, 91 Case Study III —Hydrological Observations Networks for Multidisciplinary Analysis: Water and Malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa, 103 Case Study IV —Achieving Predictive Capabilities in Arctic Land-Surface Hydrology, 109 Case Study V —Integrating Hydroclimate Variability andWater Quality in the Neuse River (North Carolina, USA) Basin and Estuary, 117 Case Study VI —Mountain Hydrology in the Western United States, 131 5 SYNTHESIS, CHALLENGES, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 143 The Vision, 143 A Promising Beginning, 144 Major Challenges, 145 Recommendations, 151 REFERENCES 161 APPENDIXES A Key Water Science Research Questions and Challenges 181 B Planning, Designing, Operating, and Utilizing the Results from an Integrated Observational-Modeling System 187 C A Complementary National Research Council Study on Earth Science and Applications from Space 191 D Biographical Sketches Committee on Integrated Observations for Hydrologic and Related Sciences 193