Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1936-704X
Publications
Article
This paper presents four different program models for student participation in international development that are being used by universities throughout the United States with a focus on international water resource projects. These include a service-oriented program (Engineers Without Borders at Johns Hopkins University), a senior design program (Global Design Teams at Purdue University), an extended research program (Long Term Research at the University of Notre Dame), and a graduate program affiliated with the Peace Corps (The Peace Corps Master's International Program in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Technological University). Differences and commonalities are identified across the four models, as are the critical components, resources, and challenges which must often be addressed for the success of these types of projects. A major conclusion is that, regardless of the program model used for the experience, international experiences continue to have strong, positive impact on the engineering student and, when properly designed, on the in-country stakeholders.
 
Article
Water is the critical concern of countries around the world due to increasing population and environmental change. The Paul Simon Water for the World Act, passed in early 2010, aims to provide support and funding for the provision of safe water and sanitation. Universities are uniquely poised to address solutions and assessments of efforts to address water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). This paper outlines a “call to action” for universities to collectively address WASH issues by establishing a network that identifies experts, links resources, and builds partnerships.
 
Article
Most modern approaches to water resource management acknowledge that the entire river basin or catchment should form the basic management unit if water resources are to be managed effectively and efficiently. In addition, since surface and ground water are inextricably linked via the hydrological cycle, it is also logical for water resource managers to seek to manage all forms of water as a single resource within the management unit. These two technical principles form the foundation for integrated water resource management (IWRM), and it is widely accepted that if they are implemented effectively, the outcome should be prudent water resource management within the river basin. Another important component of the IWRM philosophy is the need to engage all stakeholders in decision-making processes (Global Water Partnership 2000). Indeed, while effective and efficient water management institutions are usually regarded as “technocratic,” they rely on good governance processes to ensure that all government and civil society stakeholders are engaged effectively. In its ideal form, therefore, the IWRM approach to catchment or river basin management comprises a guiding philosophy, a practical and agreed framework for action, and a set of desired outcomes. These three characteristics are inclusive rather than exclusive, thereby reinforcing and extending the suite of advantages to be gained from the practical implementation of IWRM. Importantly, very few of the stakeholders or roleplayers that are engaged in technical, social or economic activities within a river basin acknowledge that IWRM decision-making is a political process. In addition, much of the IWRM decision-making tends to ignore the social, cultural and political context, as well as the historical aspects within which these are embedded. Taken together, these processes and contexts shape the dimensions of governance and determine the success or failure of IWRM initiatives. This paper reviews the evidence that new and more supportive government, society, and science interfaces and processes are helping to ensure the effective allocation and management of water resources in South Africa.
 
Article
Latin American experiences with water markets offer lessons to the U.S. because they have emerged in different political and economic contexts. The Western U.S. experience has been longer and has defined some of the world's classic cases of market allocation of water. These cases, however, have been driven by domestic factors and have evolved within domestic social and institutional contexts, which are easy for people in the U.S. to take for granted. Looking at Chile and Mexico can help us see Western U.S. water allocation with fresh eyes. These Latin American cases have been strongly influenced by international theories and policy debates, forcing the question of how to adapt foreign ideas to local realities. The Chilean case in particular shows the strong relationship between market approaches and institutions for water governance and sustainability. A comparative perspective might help loosen the gridlock that characterizes many Western U.S. water problems.
 
Simplified hydrogeology of Central America. Source: Bethune et. al. (2007).
Ground water usage in Central America.
Approximate Number of CARA M.Sc. Students Trained (or currently in program).
Article
Ground water supplies the vast majority of water supply in Central America yet, prior to the last 15 years, there have been only a handful of appropriately educated hydrogeologists in the region. The CARA Network (http://www.caragua.org) began in 1999 with the intention of building capacity in hydrogeology and water resource management in Central America. Capacity is built at national (public) universities through applied two-year M.Sc. programs with related teaching and research. Each university is strengthened through the creation of new faculty positions, faculty training, the procurement of equipment/books/software, and the dedication of infrastructure. To date, the CARA M.Sc. programs have trained (or have in a current program) almost 160 Latin American hydrogeologists at the M.Sc. level. CARA short courses and workshops have trained over 2000 water-sector professionals in the region in a variety of water themes related to groundwater and water resource management.
 
Article
The availability of clean water and sanitation is closely related to human health and poverty. A billion people lack access to clean water; twice that many lack adequate sanitation. This conference addresses this global water crisis and challenges for the 21st century. The conference will include topics on water and human health in the developing world, water cooperation and confl ict, availability of adequate water quality and quantity, privatization, a global perspective of natural contaminants in groundwater resources, low-cost remediation technologies, effects of global climate change, water security and sustainability, and mitigating the consequences of water resources hazards. The conference will also feature a track on water resources education.
 
Article
Engineers are increasingly expected to consider several influential criteria when selecting a single best management practice (BMP) for stormwater management. These criteria include site physical characteristics; local, state, and federal pollution control ordinances; stakeholder input, and BMP implementation and long-term maintenance costs. This paper discusses the development of a software-aided approach based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) as a decision-making tool for selecting stormwater management BMPs. Supported with input from a geographic information system, the AHP can provide an objective, mathematically-based alternative to the existing, often subjective BMP selection approaches. In this study, the developed AHP decision support software was applied in a demonstration site in the Town of Blacksburg, Virginia. First, the AHP decision support algorithm was applied to evaluate and rank BMP options for the demonstration site. Second, the EPA Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) was used to effectively model the BMPs recommended by the AHP software. Results indicate potential advantages over traditional BMP selection methods.
 
Article
This article takes lessons learned from western states' water conflicts and applies them to eastern contexts as exemplified by the dispute between Florida and Georgia over water allocation in the ACF River basin.
 
Article
Urban stormwater runoff is a growing contributor to the impairment of surface waters. Nature-based technologies, including green roofs, vegetated swales, grassed filter strips, bioretention, and pervious pavements have been demonstrated to be effective in mitigating detrimental runoff characteristics. Lacking, however, has been a fundamental engineering analysis approach to these technologies. Current design guidance is based on empirical recommendations and most performance data are based on limited, localized observations. Flow balances, including infiltration, evapotranspiration and surface discharge, based on fundamental fluid dynamics principles can be employed through analysis to understand flow management. Water quality improvements will occur through a specific unit processes or mechanisms, including sedimentation, filtration, adsorption, biotransformation, bio-uptake, and heat transfer. The performance of a specific technology will depend on the facility configuration and makeup, climate, surrounding soil characteristics, topography, and the site hydrology. Applying fundamental flow and water quality processes to storm water management technologies will allow quantitative design and predictable performance characterization.
 
Article
Conservation of freshwater systems is critical in the semi-arid Southwest where ground water and flood regimes strongly influence the abundance, composition, and structure of riparian vegetation. At the same time, these systems are in high demand for competing human uses. To address this conflict, natural scientists must evaluate how anthropogenic changes to hydrologic regimes alter ecological systems. A broad foundation of natural science information is needed for ecological valuation efforts to be successful. This paper examines how to incorporate hydrologic, vegetation, avian, and economic models into an integrated framework to determine the value of changes in ecological systems. We have developed a hydro-bio-economic framework for the San Pedro River Region in Arizona, and we are developing a similar framework for the Middle Rio Grande of New Mexico. Distinct valuation studies are being conducted for each site with benefit-transfer tests between the sites.
 
Article
Stormwater best management practice is aimed at reducing potential downstream impacts on aquatic ecosystem health. Sediment basins, wetlands and ponds are commonly used in subtropical Australia for water-quality improvement; they also have the potential to enhance aquatic biodiversity in urbanised catchments. Two retrofit field sites in Brisbane, Australia were monitored for water quality and ecosystem health. The Golden Pond “wetland system” treatment train consisted of a sediment basin and two wetlands. The Bridgewater Creek “pond system”, consisted of a sediment basin and five ponds. Suspended solids were reduced during wet weather, but increased during dry weather due to resuspension by ducks. NO3-N decreased in both wet and dry weather. NH4-N increased probably due to ammonification of organic matter. PO4-P decreased. The removal of soluble NO3 and PO4 is indicative of biological uptake by phytoplankton submerged pond weeds and periphyton attached to aquatic macrophytes. Macroinvertebrate species richness increased, and mosquitoes were not a problem due to predation of larvae by macroinvertebrates. Macrophyte survival was adversely affected by flash flooding and increased inundation. Although water quality objectives were not consistently achieved, both systems were effective in reducing suspended solids and nutrients from stormwater runoff and provided a habitat for aquatic organisms.
 
Map of water quality sampling stations in the Gwynns Falls and Baisman Run catchments in metropolitan Baltimore, MD. Within the Baisman Run catchment is the smaller forested reference watershed of Pond Branch.  
Nitrate concentrations in streams draining forested reference (Pond Branch), agricultural (McDonogh), and suburban watersheds (Gwynns Falls at Glyndon) in the Baltimore metropolitan area from October 1998 through December 2004. Data through 2002 published in Groffman et al. 2002).  
An idealized diagram of stream cross section and water table profile for (A) a non-urbanized stream and (B) an urbanized stream. In the natural channel, the water table (dashed line) is hydrologically connected to the surface vegetation, and stream incision is minimal. In the incised channel, the water table has dropped, hydrolically isolating it from the surface vegetation. Mortality of riparian tree may result. Additional mortality may result from erosion of the banks.  
Examples of the application of HERCULES to classify six contrasting patch types from the Baltimore, MD region. Each patch is classified according to six elements, shown on the left hand column of the figure. The first five elements, representing continuous cover, divided into four ranges: 0) absent, 1) 1% to 10 % cover, 2) 11-35 % cover, 3) 36-75% cover, and 4) >75% cover. The sixth element, building typology, has five recognized types: 1) single structures in rows or clusters, 2) connected structures that share a wall or are associated with multiple walkways while sharing the same roofline, 3) mixed, i.e., with multiple wings, or connections by courtyards or arcades, or a group of buildings with different structural footprints, 4) high-rises that are between 4-10 stories, and 5) towers, which are greater than 10 stories. The vertical dimension of buildings is determined by shadow length or can be acquired from LIDAR data when available. Details in the text and in Cadenasso et al. (2007).
Article
The Water and Watersheds program has made significant and lasting contributions to the basic understanding of the complex ecological system of Baltimore, MD. Funded at roughly the same time as the urban Long- Term Ecological Research (LTER) project in Baltimore, the Water and Watersheds grant and the LTER grant together established the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) in 1997. This joint project took advantage of three conspicuous stream catchments and the direct harbor drainage in metropolitan Baltimore. Not only the watersheds themselves, but the community and political interest in those watersheds were crucial to the success and application of our project.
 
Article
In the arid western United States, most water systems are fully allocated. Water for new uses must usually be obtained through reallocation of water that has already been claimed and assigned within prior appropriation. In Idaho, new allocations of ground water were made until approximately 1990. Since then, new uses have nearly always been met by reallocation, via prior appropriation water-rights transfers or the operation of the Idaho Water Supply Bank. Using number of allocations or reallocations per year as a proxy for the effectiveness of allocation mechanisms, it appears that transfers and the Bank have not adequately served the needs of society. This indicates that Idaho's allocation of ground water resources is inefficient; that is, that total benefit to society could be improved by mechanisms that more readily facilitate reallocation of water. It appears that improvements to ground water banking could be made within the scope of existing Idaho water-banking statutes, to improve the allocation of resources, reduce conflict and facilitate economic growth.
 
Article
The availability of clean water and sanitation is closely related to human health and poverty. A billion people lack access to clean water; twice that many lack adequate sanitation. This conference addresses this global water crisis and challenges for the 21st century. The conference will include topics on water and human health in the developing world, water cooperation and confl ict, availability of adequate water quality and quantity, privatization, a global perspective of natural contaminants in groundwater resources, low-cost remediation technologies, effects of global climate change, water security and sustainability, and mitigating the consequences of water resources hazards. The conference will also feature a track on water resources education.
 
Article
Water reallocations are contentious under the best of circumstances. When a basin lacks a comprehensive adjudication of water rights, the levels of legal and economic complexity and controversy intensify. This paper evaluates the Middle Rio Grande, a region of New Mexico that would seem an ideal location for water markets as the need to reallocate water between existing uses is high. Due to the lack of an adjudication, and other complicating factors such as the Endangered Species Act, proposed transfers require a complex evaluation system created by the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer. Even with this evaluation system in place, many questions linger about the validity of transfers and their larger impacts.
 
Article
California's water transfer system depends on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to move water. Unfortunately, the Delta's ecosystem appears to be suffering from this use – and other uses. After discussing the stakeholders in the Delta, the causes of ecological decline, and the choices for change (including a radical political-economic market), I conclude that business-as-usual is over, that any solution is costly, and that the politicians and bureaucrats in the middle of this process benefit from conflict and inaction. The Delta will remain broken for the foreseeable future.
 
Article
t is no real mystery why Canada's population and economy are an order of magnitude smaller than what exists south of the border. So much of our northern environment is beyond the range of comfort, too cold and too barren to support more intensive development. But we do have some compensating values, of which the most prized by Canadians may be our rich heritage of lakes, rivers and wetlands. An economist, thinking in terms of trade, would call it our comparative advantage. But is Canada's freshwater essentially a trade commodity, about to become the latest in a series of natural resource exports which began four centuries ago with fi sh and fur, and continues today through forests, fuel and minerals? That is an issue which has provoked so much anxiety among Canadians, even as Canada and the United States cooperate routinely in managing their shared boundary waters. This presentation considers both the pattern of existing interbasin water diversions within, and proposals for exporting water between, Canada and the United States in the latter decades of the 20th century. Interest has since waned in these developments, because of a fundamental shift in mature economies from water supply to water demand management. But many are not convinced. Canadians and their American neighbors in the Great Lakes basin continue to pursue legal protection for their water heritage over the long term. Resources Availability
 
Article
Capture zones of water-supply wells are a widely used analysis tool for protection of groundwater resources. Transient analyses of capture zones provide a more complete assessment than the commonly applied steady-state analyses. Previously, we have demonstrated that advection-only analyses can produce biased transient capture-zone estimates. Therefore, it is important to consider the dispersion of contaminant plumes. Here, we extend our study to incorporate temporal and spatial distribution in the contaminant sources and their respective uncertainties. Our analysis indicates that the capture-zone estimates can be very sensitive to the transients in the contaminant releases. Even relatively small uncertainties in the contaminant source, when combined with transient flow effects associated with natural variability of gradients or water-supply pumping, can cause significant uncertainties in the capture-zone estimates. This conclusion has important practical implications. Furthermore, we investigate the impact of uncertainty in the longitudinal and transverse dispersivities on the transient capture estimates.
 
Article
In response to water quality concerns in the Jordan Lake Reservoir and state and federal mandates, several cities in North Carolina are being required for the first time to reduce nutrient loads in stormwater from previously developed lands; that is, install retrofits. It is anticipated that similar requirements will become necessary for other urban areas in North Carolina. The goal of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of alternative approaches to stormwater management for existing developments within North Carolina cities. Geographic coverage of the study included a portion of the New Hope Creek watershed, located within the City of Durham in central North Carolina. The watershed was analyzed to identify potential retrofit opportunities that could be implemented to reduce pollutant loadings entering New Hope Creek and, ultimately, Jordan Lake. Current pollutant loadings generated by the watershed, as well as reductions in annual loadings of total suspended solids, total nitrogen and total phosphorus that could be achieved by implementing the identified retrofits, were estimated. Trends and relationships between land use type and the quantity and type of retrofit opportunities were identified and conclusions were drawn as to the most appropriate types of retrofits for certain land uses.
 
Article
To address these questions, realigned priorities, new approaches, and improved tools and data sets will become increasingly important (e.g., Gupta 2000, Logan and Helsabeck 2009) and innovative statistical techniques for modeling nonstationary behaviors in hydroclimatic processes will be required (Griffis and Stedinger 2007, Milly et al. 2008). Downscaling methods will need to be advanced and the limitations, accuracy, and precision of their results clearly communicated, especially at the watershed scale (Pulwarty 2003). “Scaling up” from local data and the identification of process-based linkages between local stream flow and regional and global circulation, will become as important as scaling down “from globally forced regional models” (Pulwarty 2003, Hirschboeck 2003). Innovations will be needed in the quest to define teleconnections and linkages between regional variations in stream flow, snow pack, or drought and indices of large-scale atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns (see McCabe and Dettinger 2002, McCabe et al. 2004, Kingston et al. 2006, Redmond and Koch 1991). This latter effort is critical for addressing nonstationarity by obtaining a better understanding of low-frequency variations in hydroclimatic time series. Another more elusive goal, and one of great importance, is that of reliable long-term climate forecasts. These would be issued for use in water resource management by a future National Climate Service (see Miles et al. 2006). For any of the approaches noted above, developing problem-specific and regionally tailored atmospheric circulation indices may prove especially useful.
 
Article
A record setting 24-hour rainstorm hit Chicago in September 2008. It created an opportunity to assess its impacts and to compare the storm water management with that used in other recent rainstorms. Flooding impacted all forms of transportation and thousands of homes and businesses, 10,000 homes had to be evacuated. One lesson learned is that this storm's magnitude was enhanced by urban and lake influences on the atmosphere that extended over the large suburban areas west of the city. This helped intensify the rainfall over a large area. A second lesson learned is when 6-hour and 24-hour rainfall amounts exceed once-in-25-years recurrence values, the water management facilities cannot handle the large volume of water. Hence, major diversions of flood waters were needed to be made into Lake Michigan and the Illinois River.
 
Article
Engineering and Applied Sciences Version of Record
 
Article
The paradigm of sustainable development as a strategy of dialogue and communication is of growing interest in the context of international cooperation, in a world of economic, environmental, and societal and demographic interdependence. After a brief discussion of the complexity of the concept of sustainable development, contributing to the difficulty of an operational definition, we introduce sustainable co-development as an operational set of principles and tools for the practical implementation of sustainable development policies in international cooperation, based on mutual trust, shared responsibilities and mutual benefits. Taking history and culture of all partners into account as a facilitator of mutual trust and promoting the role of civil society to increase the sense of responsibility of the partners, sustainable co-development introduces ethical values in economic relationships, combining the generosity of hydro-humanity and hydro-philanthropy and the search for mutual benefits, which is a good condition of sound international cooperation.
 
Lake Powell storage (maf) under actual and SSD scenario condition.
Lake Mead storage (maf) under actual and SSD scenario condition.
Lake Powell storage and estimated Lee ferry virgin flows (maf).
Lake Mead storage and estimated inflows (maf).
Article
On the Colorado River (as elsewhere), severe drought is useful for illuminating sources of water supply vulnerability, focusing attention on deficiencies in water allocation and management. A major drought study in the early 1990s, and experience with real drought a decade later, both have been useful in understanding vulnerability as a function of several factors working in consort with drought, including water allocation, reservoir operations, water demands, and climate change. Over this relatively short time-frame, vulnerability has shifted considerably, and will undoubtedly continue to change further in coming decades. Understanding how vulnerability is shifting is central to identifying future management pathways and reform options for the river.
 
Top-cited authors
Erik Swyngedouw
  • The University of Manchester
Tamim Younos
  • Green Water-Infrastructure Academy
Larry W Mays
  • Arizona State University
Ching-Hua Huang
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
Jay Renew
  • Georgia Institute of Technology