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Confronting the Nation’s Water Problems: The Role of Research
Research is needed on vegetation management and how it affects overland flow and groundwater recharge.
Research is needed on the use of remote sensing to address vegetative management and stream gaging, particularly in ephemeral streams.
Information is needed on the long-term impacts of invasive species (e.g., aquatic weeds) and how to prevent, control, and eradicate unwanted vegetation.
Research is needed on how landscape changes brought about by human activity affect water quantity and quality.
The following observations were made by the committee following the presentations:
States are no longer receiving federal money for collecting hydrologic data or receiving the data itself that can be applied to local problems. Thus, basic data collection has become an unfunded mandate for the states.
State representatives feel that where the federal government owns a great deal of land (notably in the West), it needs to take the lead research role.
Data collection at the federal level is also needed for consistency purposes.
Meeting human water supply needs while meeting environmental needs will present challenges in almost all regions of the country.
The Water Resources Research Institutes provide broad advantages and increase the stature of basic data but receive low federal funding.
Many of the states’ representatives expressed disaffection with the federal water resources research enterprise. Thus, there need to be better linkages between the federal programs that generate and fund research and the state users of such research.