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Integrating Multiscale Observations of U.S. Waters
and tribal partners are working together on issues of water quantity and quality, flood management, and ecosystem protection. The case study describes a large monitoring network of hydrological, meteorological, and other sensors along with the hardware and software infrastructure needed for data collection and management. Some new sensor systems that potentially could be employed to enhance ecosystem monitoring are identified. The case study illustrates the importance of interagency cooperation, which can be crucial to the success of complex observatories for hydrological and related sciences.
“Impacts of Agriculture on Water Resources: Tradeoffs between WaterQuantity and Quality in the Southern High Plains” addresses the impacts of agriculture on water resources, with a focus on semiarid regions where water availability is a critical issue and where cycling of salts has large-scale impacts on water quality. This type of study is particularly important given that world food needs will continue to increase, that many nations are turning to biofuels, and that climate change may worsen drought in many parts of the world. The case study discusses the types of measurement and monitoring programs that should be conducted to provide the necessary information to develop sustainable water and land resource management programs in the High Plains. In the High Plains, large time lags exist between forcing (land-use change) and response (increased recharge; change in water quality). Hence, the study provides a ‘classic’ example of why long-term observations often are critical, and why it is important that observatories have the capability to endure through changing budget cycles.
“Hydrological Observations Networks for Multidisciplinary Analysis: Water and Malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa” extends the case study examples to include the Developing World and direct issues of world health and medicine. This study demonstrates the importance of establishing consistency in sampling locations for different parameters, in this case analysis of climate and hydrological conditions versus malaria outbreaks. Proper coordination of physical, chemical, biological, and medical data collection, at appropriate spatial and temporal extents, is a key to inferring the controls on malarial outbreaks or the best methods for preventing such outbreaks. This case study thus emphasizes the axiom that the nature of the research question or research hypothesis plays an important role in the design of the associated observation network.
“Achieving Predictive Capabilities in Arctic Land-Surface Hydrology” explores a rudimentary strategy for robust remote sensing hydrology in the PanArctic, to identify capabilities needed to link in-situ observations to satellite sensor-scale observations. The assertion in this case study is that the appropriate mechanism for achieving this linkage is through robust models that span the scales of the hydrologic processes. Given the difficulty of access to Arctic sites and the sensitivity of the Arctic ecosystems, there is a pressing need for autonomous sensing stations at point- through plot-scales, airborne platforms for plot-through watershed scales, and satellite remote sensing for sub-watershed through Pan-Arctic scales. This case study therefore highlights the need for collecting