Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020LA033B

A numerical assessment of Louisianan's surface water resource over the past three decades

Institute: Louisiana
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-02-29 End Date: 2021-02-27
Total Federal Funds: $14,960 Total Non-Federal Funds: $30,002

Principal Investigators: Zuo Xue

Abstract: Surface water resource is important plays an essential role in agricultural practice in Louisiana. Hydroclimatic trend in the Gulf of Mexico coast over the period of 1948-2012 is characterized by an increasing temperature since the 1970s and a general increasing precipitation and streamflow over the last century. While on a smaller/shorter spatial/temporal scale there is still a lot of uncertainty in hydroclimatic trend and thus surface water resources. A recent numerical study indicated that water surplus in southwest Louisiana experienced a sharp drop (60 to 28 mm) in during period of 2005-2014, which might pose a profound impact on vegetation, agriculture activity, groundwater balance, as well as stability of the coastal line on the Chenier Plain along the coastline. The objective of this research is to further develop and validate a newly constructed Lower-Mississippi River Basin model using the WRF-Hydro platform. WRF-Hydro is a free, open-source, community-based, model-coupling framework designed to link multi-scale process models of the atmosphere and terrestrial hydrology. Driven by data-assimilated meteorological dataset, the model will generate a series of high temporal and spatial resolution hydrological variables including surface runoff, channelized flow, evapotranspiration, soil moisture, and others. We anticipated to use 12 months to finish and validate a 30 yr model hindcast that covers the period of 1990-2020. Model outputs, together with the meteorological data (precipitation, temperature, etc.), will provide the stake holder and the public a complete set of hydroclimate and hydrological dataset. A compressive analysis of water budget in connection with climate and land use land cover change will provide us a solid foundation to prepare the ongoing and future challenges from soil erosion, flooding, groundwater deficiency, saltwater intrusion, and land loss.