Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2013WI314B

Impacts of Climatic and Land Use Changes on Streamflow and Water Quality in the Milwaukee River Basin

Institute: Wisconsin
Year Established: 2013 Start Date: 2013-03-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $39,088 Total Non-Federal Funds: $39,275

Principal Investigators: Woonsup Choi, Changshan Wu

Abstract: The proposed project seeks to generate the first comprehensive assessment of how climatic and land use changes are likely to alter hydrological and water quality processes in the Milwaukee River basin, particularly highlighting the consequences of climate change and urban growth on low flow characteristics and sediment and nutrient loading. The Milwaukee River basin continues to be urbanized, thus climate change impact assessments need to consider land use changes simultaneously. This project consists of following tasks: (1) simulate future land use changes using a cellular automata-Markov model to generate land use scenarios; (2) estimate impervious surfaces using a spatially adaptive spectral mixture analysis method for watershed modeling; (3) analyze and evaluate statistically downscaled global climate models output for climate scenarios; and (4) project future changes in hydrological and water quality parameters based on hydrological modeling under various climatic and land use scenarios. Climate and land use changes may either mitigate or exacerbate each others effect at different spatial and temporal scales. Not only land use changes but also estimated imperviousness affect hydrological simulations. Thus, this project is uniquely suited to addressing needs for both scientific community and general public in understanding of the hydrological impacts of climatic and land surface processes.