Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2013MD307B

Enhancing watershed infiltration to restore urban stream hydro-ecological function (Graduate Fellowship)

Institute: Maryland
Year Established: 2013 Start Date: 2013-05-01 End Date: 2013-10-30
Total Federal Funds: $5,500 Total Non-Federal Funds: $13,207

Principal Investigators: Kaye Brubaker, Margaret Palmer

Abstract: Urbanization decreases watershed infiltration by sealing soils with impervious cover. Increased runoff from impervious surfaces is conveyed directly into urban headwater streams through storm sewer systems, thereby altering streamflow regimes, transporting thermal and chemical pollution, and subsequently reducing aquatic biodiversity in downstream ecosystems. Urban watershed restoration activities that enhance watershed infiltration might improve downstream hydro-ecological function, including flow regimes, water quality, and eventually aquatic invertebrate diversity. To test this hypothesis, I will conduct high-frequency hydrometric monitoring and characterize the biophysical conditions in urban streams whose watersheds have been restored with infiltration-based restoration, as well as urban degraded and forested streams.