Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2017IN406B

Communicating the State of Indiana Water Resources

Institute: Indiana
Year Established: 2017 Start Date: 2017-03-01 End Date: 2018-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $20,444 Total Non-Federal Funds: $40,958

Principal Investigators: Keith Cherkauer, Laura Bowling

Abstract: Water resources are sources of water that are of sufficient quality to meet human needs, when and where they are needed. Therefore, they reflect both water supply the useable sources of surface and groundwater, as well as demand, where and when is water being extracted for what purpose. Sustainable use of water resources therefore requires the balanced allocation of renewable natural resources to people, farms and ecosystems. Although many Federal (e.g. USGS, NOAA, USCOE) and state agencies (IDNR, IDEM) have their own publicly-available databases of water quantity, individual users need to know where to look to piece together an overall summary of water availability for the entire state of Indiana. The proposed work will address this gap by developing a website to summarize the condition of Indiana Water Resources over the previous water year in terms of reservoir storage, groundwater storage, observed streamflow, water quality and water withdrawals, based on synthesis of publicly-available data from the USGS, IDNR, and IDEM. These data sources will be supplemented with model simulations and hydrologic forecasts to provide a look forward at forecasted water levels and demand from agricultural and no-agricultural sectors over the coming year in order to inform the public on the current state of Indianas water resources. The proposed research addresses a critical state water problem posed by the inaccessibility of comprehensive water resources data that limits the proactive water resources management by individuals, watershed groups and the State. The results of this work will be an up-to-date and clearly defined web portal for obtaining information, data and insight into the current state of surface and groundwater resources in Indiana that can be used by land managers, agency personnel and legislators to inform short term and long term water management decisions.