Hydrologic Science Priorities for the U.S. Global Change Research Program

An Initial Assessment

Committee on Hydrologic Science
Water Science and Technology Board
Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate
Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources
National Research Council

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Hydrologic Science Priorities for the U.S. Global Change Research Program An Initial Assessment Committee on Hydrologic Science Water Science and Technology Board Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, DC

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Page ii 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 the Army Research Office, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation (under Grant No. EAR-9814582), National Weather Service, and U.S. Geological Survey. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors. International Standard Book Number 0-309-06648-4 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Ave., NW Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu Cover by Van Nguyen, National Academy Press. Adapted from painting Niagara Falls by Frederick Church, 1857. Copyright 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Page iii COMMITTEE ON HYDROLOGIC SCIENCE DARA ENTEKHABI, Chair, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MARY R. ANDERSON, University of Wisconsin, Madison RONI AVISSAR, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey ROGER C. BALES, University of Arizona, Tucson EVILLE GORHAM, University of Minnesota, St. Paul MARC B. PARLANGE, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland CHRISTA PETERS-LIDARD, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta KENNETH W. POTTER, University of Wisconsin, Madison ERIC F. WOOD, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey National Research Council Staff STEPHEN D. PARKER, Project Study Director PETER A. SCHULTZ, Staff Officer ANITA A. HALL, Project Assistant

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Page iv WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BOARD HENRY J. VAUX, JR. (Chair), University of California, Riverside CAROL A. JOHNSTON (Vice Chair), University of Minnesota, Duluth RICHELLE M. ALLEN-KING, Washington State University, Pullman GREGORY B. BAECHER, University of Maryland, College Park JOHN S. BOYER, University of Delaware, Lewes JOHN BRISCOE, The World Bank, Washington, D.C. DENISE FORT, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque STEVEN R. GLOSS, University of Wyoming, Laramie EVILLE GORHAM, University of Minnesota, St. Paul WILLIAM A. JURY, University of California, Riverside GARY S. LOGSDON, Black & Veatch, Cincinnati, Ohio RICHARD G. LUTHY, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania JOHN W. MORRIS, J. W. Morris, Arlington, Virginia PHILLIP A. PALMER, DuPont Engineering, Wilmington, Delaware REBECCA T. PARKIN, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. JOAN B. ROSE, University of South Florida, St Petersburg RHODES TRUSSELL, Montgomery Watson, Inc., Pasadena, California ERIC F. WOOD, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey Staff STEPHEN D. PARKER, Director JACQUELINE MACDONALD, Associate Director CHRIS ELFRING, Senior Staff Officer LAURA EHLERS, Senior Staff Officer JEFFREY W. JACOBS, Staff Officer JEANNE AQUILINO, Administrative Associate MARK GIBSON, Research Associate ANITA A. HALL, Administrative Assistant ELLEN de GUZMAN, Senior Project Assistant ANIKE JOHNSON, Project Assistant

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Page v BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE ERIC J. BARRON (Co-Chair), Pennsylvania State University, University Park JAMES R. MAHONEY (Co-Chair), IT Group, Inc., Washington, D.C. SUSAN K. AVERY, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder LANCE F. BOSART, State University of New York, Albany MARVIN A. GELLER, State University of New York, Stony Brook CHARLES E. KOLB, Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts ROGER A. PIELKE, JR., National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado ROBERT T. RYAN, WRC-TV, Washington, D.C. MARK R. SCHOEBERL, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland JOANNE SIMPSON, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland NIEN DAK SZE, Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts ROBERT A. WELLER, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts ERIC F. WOOD, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey Ex Officio Members DONALD BURKE, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland DARA ENTEKHABI, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge EUGENE RASMUSSON, University of Maryland, College Park JOHN ROADS, University of California at San Diego/Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla PAUL WINE, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta NRC Staff ELBERT W. (JOE) FRIDAY, JR., Director LAURIE S. GELLER, Program Officer PETER A. SCHULTZ, Program Officer DIANE L. GUSTAFSON, Administrative Assistant ROBIN MORRIS, Financial Associate TENECIA A. BROWN, Senior Program Assistant CARTER W. FORD, Project Assistant

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Page vi COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES GEORGE M. HORNBERGER (Chair), University of Virginia, Charlottesville RICHARD A. CONWAY, Union Carbide Corporation (Retired), Charleston, West Virginia THOMAS E. GRAEDEL, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut THOMAS J. GRAFF, Environmental Defense Fund, Oakland, California EUGENIA KALNAY, University of Maryland, College Park DEBRA KNOPMAN, Progressive Policy Institute, Washington, D.C. KAI N. LEE, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts RICHARD A. MESERVE, Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C. BRAD MOONEY, J. Brad Mooney Associates, Ltd., Arlington, Virginia HUGH C. MORRIS, El Dorado Gold Corporation, Vancouver, British Columbia H. RONALD PULLIAM, University of Georgia, Athens MILTON RUSSELL, University of Tennessee, Knoxville THOMAS C. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park ANDREW R. SOLOW, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida E-AN ZEN, University of Maryland, College Park MARY LOU ZOBACK, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California Staff ROBERT M. HAMILTON, Executive Director GREGORY H. SYMMES, Associate Executive Director JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative and Financial Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate MARQUITA SMITH, Administrative Assistant/Technology Analyst

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Page vii 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. Bruce Alberts 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. William A. Wulf 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. Kenneth I. Shine 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. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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Page ix Preface The availability of fresh water is potentially one of the most pervasive crises of the coming century. Water-related decisions will determine the future of major ecosystems, the health of regional economies, and the political stability of nations. A vigorous program of research in hydrologic sciences can provide the basis for sound water management at local, regional, national, and international levels. The Committee on Hydrologic Science was established by the National Research Council in 1999 to identify priorities for hydrologic science that will ensure its vitality as a scientific discipline in service of societal needs. This charge will be performed principally through a series of studies that provide scientific advice on the hydrologic aspects of national program and U.S. hydrologic contributions to international programs. This first report contains a preliminary assessment of the hydrologic science content of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). Because this is a short and focused report, little effort is spent to reaffirm the established and successful elements of the USGCRP. In fact, the Committee generally endorses the findings of the National Research Council (NRC) report Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade (NRC, 1998a; the so-called Pathways report) in this respect. Instead the attention here is directed toward the most critical missing hydrologic science elements in the FY2000 USGCRP. This brings the focus to the terrestrial component of the water cycle. The integrative nature of terrestrial hydrology could significantly strengthen the USGCRP. Two specific examples of the useful roles of terrestrial hydrology are: (1) linking regional hydrologic and water resources systems with large-scale and global water and energy cycles and (2) coupling water and biogeochemical cycles through ecosystems. This report recommends science priorities on these and related topics. This report was produced in a short period of time. The Committee first met February 8–9, 1999, at which time it several briefings from federal officials and scientists. The Committee met again April 6–8, 1999, and drafted report chapters at that time. Subsequently, Committee members edited and circulated materials until the report was completed. It is anticipated that in the next few years, several aspects of hydrology not dealt with in depth in this "initial assessment" will be fleshed out more thoroughly by the Committee and reported in more detail. The Committee was aided in the study process by numerous agency liaisons, including L. Douglas James, National Science Foundation; Robert Hirsch, U.S. Geological Survey; Richard Lawford, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; John Schaake, National Weather Service; Russell Harmon, Army Research Office; David Goodrich, U.S. Global Change Research Program Office; and representatives

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Page x from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Three NRC staff members helped the Committee: Stephen Parker, director of the Water Science and Technology Board (WSTB), who served as principal staff officer for the Committee; Peter Schultz, staff officer with the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate; and Anita Hall, a WSTB administrative assistant. This report has been reviewed 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 the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscripts remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Eric J. Barron, Pennsylvania State University; Stephen Burges, University of Washington; George M. Hornberger, University of Virginia; Dennis Lettenmaier, University of Washington; Diane M. McKnight, University of Colorado; Sharon E. Nicholson, Florida State University; Fred M. Phillips, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology; David H. Rind, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; and Soroosh Sorooshian, University of Arizona. Although the individuals listed above provided constructive comments and suggestions, it must be emphasized that responsibility for the final content of this report rests with the authoring committee and the NRC. It is the hope of the Committee that the recommendations are persuasive and that they will be pursued, as commitment to implementation of these recommendations should bring advances to hydrologic science for the benefit of society. DARA ENTEKHABI, CHAIR COMMITTEE ON HYDROLOGIC SCIENCE

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Page xi Contents Executive Summary 1 1. Setting Priorities 3 2. Science Foundations and Basic Processes 6 Predictability and Variability of Regional and Global Water Cycles 6 Coupling of Hydrologic System and Ecosystems through Chemical Cycles 10 3. Measurement and Data Strategies 16 4. Applications and Knowledge Transfer 25 5. Conclusions and Recommendations 27 References 31 Appendix: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 33

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