Abstract Title

Session S-08F: Emerging Tools for Synthesizing and Communicating Ecosystem Information I

Keywords

Planning Assessment & Communication

Start Date

2-5-2014 8:30 AM

End Date

2-5-2014 10:00 AM

Description

Local government water resource managers are faced with the twin challenges of climate change and increasing development in coastal watersheds, and are driven by the necessity to provide critical habitat for endangered fish in the estuary and watershed, and the requirement to protect human infrastructure from flooding. Numerical models of waters resources have been developed for the Snohomish Basin in north central Puget Sound, linking the flow of freshwater from the upper watershed (Snow Caps) through the floodplain, into the marine waters of the Snohomish River estuary and into Puget Sound (White Caps). The linked models were used to generate scenarios of fresh and marine water flow and interaction, run under conditions of future climate change, and changes in land use/land cover (to simulate development in the watershed). Scenarios were informed by the model output in order to understand effects of climate change and development on seasonal flooding, transport of contaminants from land into the estuary, changes in salt wedge intrusion into salmon habitat, and changes in the exposure of mud flats in the estuary. The scenarios are based on specific questions posed by local government staff; scenario storyboards have been shared with local and state water managers through interactive workshops and online tools. Feedback from the participants helped guide the outcome of the scenarios. The effectiveness of providing model-driven simulations and forecasts to local water managers is assessed and best practices for developing communication vehicles and disseminating the results are analyzed.

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May 2nd, 8:30 AM May 2nd, 10:00 AM

Applying Fresh and Marine Water Modeling Results to Support Decisions for Local Government Managers: Snow Caps to White Caps

Room 602-603

Local government water resource managers are faced with the twin challenges of climate change and increasing development in coastal watersheds, and are driven by the necessity to provide critical habitat for endangered fish in the estuary and watershed, and the requirement to protect human infrastructure from flooding. Numerical models of waters resources have been developed for the Snohomish Basin in north central Puget Sound, linking the flow of freshwater from the upper watershed (Snow Caps) through the floodplain, into the marine waters of the Snohomish River estuary and into Puget Sound (White Caps). The linked models were used to generate scenarios of fresh and marine water flow and interaction, run under conditions of future climate change, and changes in land use/land cover (to simulate development in the watershed). Scenarios were informed by the model output in order to understand effects of climate change and development on seasonal flooding, transport of contaminants from land into the estuary, changes in salt wedge intrusion into salmon habitat, and changes in the exposure of mud flats in the estuary. The scenarios are based on specific questions posed by local government staff; scenario storyboards have been shared with local and state water managers through interactive workshops and online tools. Feedback from the participants helped guide the outcome of the scenarios. The effectiveness of providing model-driven simulations and forecasts to local water managers is assessed and best practices for developing communication vehicles and disseminating the results are analyzed.