RFG 2018 Conference

drought

Flood- and Drought-Related Natural Hazards Activities of the U.S. Geological Survey in New England

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has many ongoing and recent water-related natural hazard activities in New England that can be used to help mitigate the effects of natural hazards in cooperation with other agencies. The themes related to potential hazards and the tools and science to better understand and address them include the following:

Erosion and landslides
• Fluvial erosion (sediment transport, bridge scour, and bankfull channel geometry characterization)
• Current and historic landslide mapping

Flood documentation and assessment
• Flood high-water marks
• Flood modeling and frequency analysis
• Flood inundation mapping
• Peak-flow regression equations

Drought documentation and assessment
• Drought frequency analysis
• Low-flow frequency and flow duration statistics
• Water use and availability during drought

Hydrologic monitoring
• Streamflow monitoring network
• Groundwater monitoring network
• Tidal monitoring network
• Snow surveys and ice jam monitoring

Tools for natural hazard assessment and mitigation
• Light detection and ranging (lidar) remote sensing technology
• StreamStats Web-based tool for streamflow statistics
• Flood inundation mapper

EARTH: Protracted Drought Threatens California Levees

We're most accustomed to flooding causing levees to fail, like they did in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. So although the El Nino-induced floods are making the most news in California right now, it's not actually the floods that are threatening some California levees the most. Instead it's the severe drought over the last four years that has taken its toll on thousands of kilometers of century-old earthen levees.

Drought Assessment and Local Scale Modeling of the Sioux Center Alluvial Wellfield

The Iowa Geological Survey (IGS) completed a drought assessment to evaluate current and future groundwater storage and availability for the City of Sioux Center’s (City) alluvial wellfield. The City had previously hired DGR Engineering to design two low-head dams along the west fork of the Floyd River. A calibrated groundwater flow model was developed by the IGS to provide the City with a quantitative evaluation of the additional groundwater storage potential of the low-head dams. Various other drought strategies to enhance both aquifer storage and induced (river) recharge were also evaluated using the calibrated flow model.

Drought Assessment and Local Scale Modeling of Osceola County Rural Water District

The Iowa Geological Survey (IGS) completed a drought assessment to evaluate current and future groundwater availability for the Osceola County Rural Water District (OCRWD) wellfield near May City, Iowa. In addition, a calibrated groundwater flow model was constructed to provide OCRWD with various strategies to enhance and increase both aquifer storage and induced recharge. For the purposes of this summary report the aquifer will be referred to as the Ocheyedan aquifer. The current users include the Osceola County Rural Water District North Wellfield (OCRWD), and approximately twenty-three irrigation wells.

Aquifer Characterization and Drought Assessment, Ocheyedan River Alluvial Aquifer

The Iowa Geological Survey completed a hydrogeologic evaluation of the water resources in the Ocheyedan River aquifer in Osceola, O’Brien, Clay and Dickinson counties in Iowa. The work was funded under the Water Plan Program of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the aquifer for future water supply development. Future work will include a calibrated groundwater flow model of the Osceola County Rural Water District (OCRWD) northern wellfield, which will be used to predict future well interference, available drawdown, optimal maximum pumping rates, and quantifying induced (river) recharge.

Groundwater Resource Evaluation of the Lower Dakota Aquifer in North-Central and Southwest Iowa

The reoccurring drought in western Iowa starting in 2011 has forced many public water utilities to actively look for alternative sources of water. Based on this demand for additional water, many water utilities and private well owners in western Iowa are looking at the Lower Dakota aquifer as a primary or secondary water supply. Due to the increased interest in the Lower Dakota aquifer, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) contracted with the Iowa Geological Survey (IGS) to characterize a portion of the Lower Dakota aquifer in north-central and southwest Iowa. This current study is a continuation of a study conducted in 2008 (Gannon et al., 2008).

Drought Assessment and Local Scale Modeling of Osceola County Rural Water District

The Iowa Geological Survey (IGS) completed a drought assessment to evaluate current and future groundwater availability for the Osceola County Rural Water District (OCRWD) wellfield near May City, Iowa. In addition, a calibrated groundwater flow model was constructed to provide OCRWD with various strategies to enhance and increase both aquifer storage and induced recharge. For the purposes of this summary report the aquifer will be referred to as the Ocheyedan aquifer. The current users include the Osceola County Rural Water District North Wellfield (OCRWD), and approximately twenty-three irrigation wells.

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