Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2017MA465B

The Massachusetts Isoscape Project: A tool for understanding hydrologic processes and water resource sustainability

Institute: Massachuseits
Year Established: 2017 Start Date: 2017-03-01 End Date: 2018-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $25,642 Total Non-Federal Funds: $51,292

Principal Investigators: David Boutt

Abstract: Surface and ground water in the Northeast US are heavily impacted by intense land-use changes, urbanization (Weiskel et al., 2007), and climatic changes (Hodgkins et al., 2002; Hodgkins et al., 2003, Hunntington et al., 2004; Hayhoe et al., 2007). More emphasis is being placed on water suppliers, stakeholders, and environmental managers to assess water quantity and water quality with increasing confidence intervals for sustainable management (e.g. minimum streamflow regulations). However, an over-reliance on physical measures of hydrologic behavior (such as streamflow and water table elevation) that do not uniquely assess the connectedness, residence time, and age distribution of surface and ground waters (McDonnell et al., 2010) cloud decision-making and introduce significant uncertainty. Recently, advances in theory and instrumentation have allowed the use of geochemical tracers (such as H2O, D and 18O) in combination with physical data to resolve discrepancies in measurements and reduce uncertainty in system conceptualization (IAEA, 2000). These tools and techniques are not yet been widely available to water suppliers.