Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2017CO332B

Water yield sensitivity to snow loss in Colorado headwater streams

Institute: Colorado
Year Established: 2017 Start Date: 2017-03-01 End Date: 2018-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $20,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: Not available

Principal Investigators: Gigi Richard, Stephanie Kampf

Abstract: This project examines how snowpack and streamflow interact across the full elevation gradient of Colorado streams. The component of the research described here focuses on streams on the west slope of the Colorado Rockies. Specifically, the funding requested in this proposal will accomplish the following: - Support CMU undergraduate students and faculty for data collection at three existing monitoring stations on the Grand Mesa. The data collected will be integrated into a longer term data set that can help inform streamflow prediction, particularly in transitional elevations that are most sensitive to drought and warm temperatures. - Provide funding to replace malfunctioning equipment and add one new monitoring station to better capture the snowmelt and runoff generation from the transitional snow zone on the Grand Mesa. - Support CMU undergraduate students and faculty for preparation of a water year (WY) 2017 snowpack report for the Grand Mesa by combining existing snow telemetry (SNOTEL) sites from the top of the mesa with data from three additional snow monitoring sites established in 2016. The report will document when snow fell during the water year and how long the snow lasted at low, middle and high elevations on the mesa. It will also compare these snow patterns to streamflow patterns at low, middle and high elevations and in the larger rivers in the area, Plateau Creek and Colorado River.