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Connecting Wildlands
& Communities

Team Water Update

TEAM RESEARCH GOALS
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Wildlands
  • Understand filtration, flow, and erosion under varying conditions for wildland-dominated segments of watersheds

Human Communities
  • Understand the availability and quality of water coming from wildlands in comparison with urban segments of watersheds

Water + Fire
  • Investigate the role of precipitation and infiltration in vegetation moisture

  • Understand the efforts of post-fire landscapes on erosion, infiltration, and downstream water quality

Water + Biodiversity
  • Investigate the role of connected, natural lands in water availability and filtration

  • Understand the importance of water to ecosystem health and riparian resilience

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WHERE WE ARE NOW
  • Used model to assess changes to the water cycle (availability and quality) induced by climate change, urbanization, and wildfire scenarios throughout southern California

  • Finalized storm flow and pollutant loading models for two pilot watersheds in Los Angeles and Ventura counties

  • Supported the other CWC teams in understanding hydrology of the southern California region with streamflow data, peak and annual average flows, as well as analysis of historic wet and dry/drought conditions

"To us, climate resilience centers around the idea that a sustainable future requires a central understanding that human behavior has an impact on global and local climate...and that our behavior in changing land surface conditions can drastically change the response the earth's surface will have in wet and dry climates alike."

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- SARA MCGAUGH
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WHAT'S NEXT
  • Apply and calibrate hydrologic models from the 2 pilot watersheds to the 30 priority watersheds identified by the CWC team in preparation for future scenario simulations

  • Develop an augmented hydrological model that seeks to predict conditions under future threats such as climate change, wildfire incidence, and future land use/land cover changes

  • Assess watershed vulnerability and risks by evaluating different scenarios of land-use change, climate change, and fire as well as the influence of watershed management actions

  • Incorporate overall findings into tools that will best serve stakeholders

Products

Tools & Media

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SWAF 2021 Water Panel
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SDSU News features Alicia Kinoshita
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Water: Research and Applications
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Poster presented at AGU