Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020KS327B

Spatial variability and subsurface controls of groundwater recharge and nutrient mobilization in dry streams

Institute: Kansas
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-03-01 End Date: 2021-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $20,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $40,002

Principal Investigators:

Abstract: The overarching goal of this proposal is to understand the influence of intermittent and ephemeral rivers, streams, and ditches (herein referred to as ‘dry streams’) on water quantity and quality in Kansas in support of two guiding principles in the Kansas Water Plan. To address this goal, we propose two objectives: 1) quantify the quantity and variability of groundwater (GW) recharge and the physical controls on recharge in dry streams (supporting the principle of ‘Conserving and Extending the High Plains Aquifer’), and 2) quantify the solute load from dry streams to receiving ecosystems (supporting the principle of ‘Improving Our State’s Water Quality’). We will accomplish this via synoptic physical and biogeochemical measurements at 10 sites and detailed geophysical surveys and long-term monitoring at three core sites, leveraging existing long-term data and instrumentation. Specific outcomes of this project will include: (i) multiple peer-reviewed publications documenting hydrogeological and biogeochemical findings; (ii) improved parameterizations of dry streams in future groundwater modeling efforts for the High Plains Aquifer; (iii) the development of a project team, methods, and instrumentation approach which will form the basis of future collaborative funding proposals (e.g., NSF); and (iv) education of at least 4 undergraduate students through an Applied Geohydrology Internship Program based at the KGS.