Presentation Abstract

Groundwater discharge to streams and rivers in Puget Sound basin is the primary source of water for sustaining summer low flows and associated aquatic habitat. The science underlying how human and environmental stressors can affect low flows can be difficult for scientists and stakeholders to grasp, largely because it requires understanding the mechanics of groundwater recharge and discharge processes combined with the subtleties of estimating cumulative rates of groundwater extraction and use in subbasins. USGS has initiated a Near-Term Action (NTA) for the 2016 Action Agenda that will better inform our understanding of the effects of current and future stressors on summer low flows. The goal of the NTA is to provide hydrogeologic and water-use information and understanding to water-resources stakeholders (the users of the science) to help develop strategies to protect instream flows while ensuring water supplies for domestic, agricultural, and other out-of-stream uses. The NTA will include all subbasins underlain by the 7,200 sq-mi Regional Aquifer System of the Puget Sound lowlands. The information generated will include groundwater recharge; groundwater use; discharge to streams, rivers, and Puget Sound; and measures of the resilience of summer low flows to expected changes in population, land-cover, and climate. In addition, surface-water withdrawals and observed low flows in streams and rivers will be compiled to allow a holistic comparison of water demands, summer low flows, and groundwater availability in different hydrogeologic settings of Puget Sound. For this presentation, we will summarize our proposed approach for the NTA, and will present results from recent sub-regional studies in Puget Sound that have incorporated similar data and information into groundwater flow models. We will focus on how co-production and shared application of such products and information has been used to address groundwater availability issues with scientific rigor that is understandable and useful to stakeholders.

Session Title

The Application and Creation of Knowledge that Leads to Action to Restore and Protect an Ecosystem

Keywords

Groundwater, Summer stream flows

Conference Track

SSE4: Ecosystem Management, Policy, and Protection

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE4-65

Start Date

6-4-2018 9:00 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 9:15 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 6th, 9:00 AM Apr 6th, 9:15 AM

Groundwater availability for summer low flows: co-production and shared application of hydrogeologic tools and information

Groundwater discharge to streams and rivers in Puget Sound basin is the primary source of water for sustaining summer low flows and associated aquatic habitat. The science underlying how human and environmental stressors can affect low flows can be difficult for scientists and stakeholders to grasp, largely because it requires understanding the mechanics of groundwater recharge and discharge processes combined with the subtleties of estimating cumulative rates of groundwater extraction and use in subbasins. USGS has initiated a Near-Term Action (NTA) for the 2016 Action Agenda that will better inform our understanding of the effects of current and future stressors on summer low flows. The goal of the NTA is to provide hydrogeologic and water-use information and understanding to water-resources stakeholders (the users of the science) to help develop strategies to protect instream flows while ensuring water supplies for domestic, agricultural, and other out-of-stream uses. The NTA will include all subbasins underlain by the 7,200 sq-mi Regional Aquifer System of the Puget Sound lowlands. The information generated will include groundwater recharge; groundwater use; discharge to streams, rivers, and Puget Sound; and measures of the resilience of summer low flows to expected changes in population, land-cover, and climate. In addition, surface-water withdrawals and observed low flows in streams and rivers will be compiled to allow a holistic comparison of water demands, summer low flows, and groundwater availability in different hydrogeologic settings of Puget Sound. For this presentation, we will summarize our proposed approach for the NTA, and will present results from recent sub-regional studies in Puget Sound that have incorporated similar data and information into groundwater flow models. We will focus on how co-production and shared application of such products and information has been used to address groundwater availability issues with scientific rigor that is understandable and useful to stakeholders.