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Drought Policy, Response, and Preparedness

Description: This report examines the various ways Congress and other federal, state, and local policymakers are considering to prepare for and respond to drought; how to coordinate actions and assign responsibilities; and who bears the costs of impacts, disaster response, and long-term adjustment to drought.
Date: October 27, 2014
Creator: Carter, Nicole T. & Cody, Betsy A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

LONG-TERM CHANGES IN MERCURY CONCENTRATIONS IN FISH FROM THE MIDDLE SAVANNAH RIVER

Description: Total mercury levels were measured in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), ''sunfishes'' (Lepomis spp)., and ''catfish'' (primarily Ameiurus spp.) from 1971 to 2004 in the middle reaches of the Savannah River, which drains the coastal plain of the southeastern U.S. Mercury levels were highest in 1971 but declined over the next ten years due to the mitigation of point sources of industrial pollution. Mercury levels began to increase in the 1980s as a possible consequence of mercury inputs from tributaries and associated wetlands where mercury concentrations were significantly elevated in water and fish. Mercury levels in Savannah River fish decreased sharply in 2001-2003 coincident with a severe drought in the Savannah River basin, but returned to previous levels in 2004 with the resumption of normal precipitation. Regression models showed that mercury levels in Savannah River fish changed significantly over time and were affected by river discharge. Despite temporal changes, there was little overall difference in Savannah River fish tissue mercury levels between 1971 and 2004.
Date: January 2, 2007
Creator: Paller, M & Bill Littrell, B
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Transplanting native dominant plants to facilitate community development in restored coastal plain wetlands.

Description: Abstract: Drained depressional wetlands are typically restored by plugging ditches or breaking drainage tiles to allow recovery of natural ponding regimes, while relying on passive recolonization from seed banks and dispersal to establish emergent vegetation. However, in restored depressions of the southeastern United States Coastal Plain, certain characteristic rhizomatous graminoid species may not recolonize because they are dispersal-limited and uncommon or absent in the seed banks of disturbed sites. We tested whether selectively planting such wetland dominants could facilitate restoration by accelerating vegetative cover development and suppressing non-wetland species. In an operational-scale project in a South Carolina forested landscape, drained depressional wetlands were restored in early 2001 by completely removing woody vegetation and plugging surface ditches. After forest removal, tillers of two rhizomatous wetland grasses (Panicum hemitomon, Leersia hexandra) were transplanted into singlespecies blocks in 12 restored depressions that otherwise were revegetating passively. Presence and cover of all plant species appearing in planted plots and unplanted control plots were recorded annually. We analyzed vegetation composition after two and four years, during a severe drought (2002) and after hydrologic recovery (2004). Most grass plantings established successfully, attaining 15%–85% cover in two years. Planted plots had fewer total species and fewer wetland species compared to control plots, but differences were small. Planted plots achieved greater total vegetative cover during the drought and greater combined cover of wetland species in both years. By 2004, planted grasses appeared to reduce cover of non-wetland species in some cases, but wetter hydrologic conditions contributed more strongly to suppression of non-wetland species. Because these two grasses typically form a dominant cover matrix in herbaceous depressions, our results indicated that planting selected species could supplement passive restoration by promoting a vegetative structure closer to that of natural wetlands.
Date: December 1, 2007
Creator: De Steven, Diane & Sharitz, Rebecca R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Analysis of drought impacts on electricity production in the Western and Texas interconnections of the United States.

Description: Electricity generation relies heavily on water resources and their availability. To examine the interdependence of energy and water in the electricity context, the impacts of a severe drought to assess the risk posed by drought to electricity generation within the western and Texas interconnections has been examined. The historical drought patterns in the western United States were analyzed, and the risk posed by drought to electricity generation within the region was evaluated. The results of this effort will be used to develop scenarios for medium- and long-term transmission modeling and planning efforts by the Western Electricity Coordination Council (WECC) and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The study was performed in response to a request developed by the Western Governors Association in conjunction with the transmission modeling teams at the participating interconnections. It is part of a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored, national laboratory-led research effort to develop tools related to the interdependency of energy and water as part of a larger interconnection-wide transmission planning project funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This study accomplished three main objectives. It provided a thorough literature review of recent studies of drought and the potential implications for electricity generation. It analyzed historical drought patterns in the western United States and used the results to develop three design drought scenarios. Finally, it quantified the risk to electricity generation for each of eight basins for each of the three drought scenarios and considered the implications for transmission planning. Literature on drought impacts on electricity generation describes a number of examples where hydroelectric generation capacity has been limited because of drought but only a few examples of impact on thermoelectric generation. In all documented cases, shortfalls of generation were met by purchasing power from the market, albeit at higher prices. However, sufficient excess generation ...
Date: February 9, 2012
Creator: Harto, C. B.; Yan, Y. E.; Demissie, Y. K.; Elcock, D.; Tidwell, V. C.; Hallett, K. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Review of the WECC EDT phase 2 EIM benefits analysis and results report.

Description: A region-wide Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) was recently proposed by the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC). In order for the Western Area Power Administration (Western) to make more informed decisions regarding its involvement in the EIM, Western asked Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) to review the EIM benefits study (the October 2011 revision) performed by Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc. (E3). Key components of the E3 analysis made use of results from a study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); therefore, we also reviewed the NREL work. This report examines E3 and NREL methods and models used in the EIM study. Estimating EIM benefits is very challenging because of the complex nature of the Western Interconnection (WI), the variability and uncertainty of renewable energy resources, and the complex decisions and potentially strategic bidding of market participants. Furthermore, methodologies used for some of the more challenging aspects of the EIM have not yet matured. This review is complimentary of several components of the EIM study. Analysts and modelers clearly took great care when conducting detailed simulations of the WI using well-established industry tools under stringent time and budget constraints. However, it is our opinion that the following aspects of the study and the interpretation of model results could be improved upon in future analyses. The hurdle rate methodology used to estimate current market inefficiencies does not directly model the underlying causes of sub-optimal dispatch and power flows. It assumes that differences between historical flows and modeled flows can be attributed solely to market inefficiencies. However, flow differences between model results and historical data can be attributed to numerous simplifying assumptions used in the model and in the input data. We suggest that alternative approaches be explored in order to better estimate the benefits of introducing market structures like the EIM. ...
Date: April 5, 2012
Creator: Veselka, T.D.; Poch, L.A. & Botterud, A. (Decision and Information Sciences)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Role of Disturbance in Dry Tropical Forest Landscapes

Description: Disturbance can be defined as 'any relatively discrete event in time that disrupts ecosystem, community, or population structure and changes resources, substrate availability, or the physical environment'. This definition requires that the spatial and temporal scales of the system and disturbance be determined. Disturbances are typically characterized by their size, spatial distribution, frequency or return time, predictability, and magnitude (which includes both intensity and severity). These disturbance attributes set the parameters for the suite of species, both plant and animal, that can persist within a given system. As such, an understanding of seasonally dry tropical forests in Asia requires an understanding of disturbance within the region. However, disturbances are relatively poorly understood in dry tropical forests, partly because of the weak seasonality in temperature and high tree species diversity of these forests relative to most forest systems of the world. There are about 1,048,700 km{sup 2} of dry tropical forests worldwide and that only 3% of this land is in conservation status. In other words, 97% of the world's seasonally dry tropical forest is at risk of human disturbance. About half of this forest occurs in South America, where most of the conservation lands are located. Satellite imagery based on MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data shows that only about 3.8% of the world's dry tropical forests are in Australia and South east Asia. The susceptibility of these forests to human disturbances is of great concern and is largely unstudied. Because natural disturbance regimes shape the ecosystem structure and are in many ways integral to these forest systems, it is critical to know how natural disturbance affects dry forest in order to understand the effects of human activities on these forests. Even basic information about disturbances in dry tropical forests is only recently available. Therefore this chapter brings together much ...
Date: January 1, 2011
Creator: Dale, Virginia H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hydrogen and Water: An Engineering, Economic and Environmental Analysis

Description: The multi-year program plan for the Department of Energy's Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Technology Program (USDOE, 2007a) calls for the development of system models to determine economic, environmental and cross-cutting impacts of the transition to a hydrogen economy. One component of the hydrogen production and delivery chain is water; water's use and disposal can incur costs and environmental consequences for almost any industrial product. It has become increasingly clear that due to factors such as competing water demands and climate change, the potential for a water-constrained world is real. Thus, any future hydrogen economy will need to be constructed so that any associated water impacts are minimized. This, in turn, requires the analysis and comparison of specific hydrogen production schemes in terms of their water use. Broadly speaking, two types of water are used in hydrogen production: process water and cooling water. In the production plant, process water is used as a direct input for the conversion processes (e.g. steam for Steam Methane Reforming {l_brace}SMR{r_brace}, water for electrolysis). Cooling water, by distinction, is used indirectly to cool related fluids or equipment, and is an important factor in making plant processes efficient and reliable. Hydrogen production further relies on water used indirectly to generate other feedstocks required by a hydrogen plant. This second order indirect water is referred to here as 'embedded' water. For example, electricity production uses significant quantities of water; this 'thermoelectric cooling' contributes significantly to the total water footprint of the hydrogen production chain. A comprehensive systems analysis of the hydrogen economy includes the aggregate of the water intensities from every step in the production chain including direct, indirect, and embedded water. Process and cooling waters have distinct technical quality requirements. Process water, which is typically high purity (limited dissolved solids) is used inside boilers, reactors or electrolyzers ...
Date: January 6, 2010
Creator: Simon, A J; Daily, W & White, R G
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water: May be the Best Near-Term Benefit and Driver of a Robust Wind Energy Future (Poster)

Description: Water may be the most critical natural resource variable that affects the selection of generation options in the next decade. Extended drought in the western United States and more recently in the Southeast has moved water management and policy to the forefront of the energy options discussions. Recent climate change studies indicate that rising ambient temperatures could increase evapotranspiration by more than 25% to 30% in large regions of the country. Increasing demand for electricity, and especially from homegrown sources, inevitably will increase our thermal fleet, which consumes 400 to 700 gal/MWh for cooling. Recovering the vast oil shale resources in the West (one of the energy options discussed) is water intensive and threatens scarce water supplies. Irrigation for the growing corn ethanol industry requires 1,000 to 2,000 gallons of water for 1 gallon of production. Municipalities continue to grow and drive water demands and emerging constrained market prices upward. As illustrated by the 20% Wind Energy by 2030 analysis, wind offers an important mitigation opportunity: a 4-trillion-gallon water savings. This poster highlights the emerging constrained water situation in the United States and presents the case for wind energy as one of the very few means to ameliorate the emerging water wars in various U.S. regions.
Date: May 1, 2009
Creator: Flowers, L. & Reategui, S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Predictability and Diagnosis of Low-Frequency Climate Processes in the Pacific

Description: Predicting the climate for the coming decades requires understanding both natural and anthropogenically forced climate variability. This variability is important because it has major societal impacts, for example by causing floods or droughts on land or altering fishery stocks in the ocean. Our results fall broadly into three topics: evaluating global climate model predictions; regional impacts of climate changes over western North America; and regional impacts of climate changes over the eastern North Pacific Ocean.
Date: October 15, 2008
Creator: Miller, Dr. Arthur J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Impact of drought on U.S. steam electric power plant cooling water intakes and related water resource management issues.

Description: This report was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Existing Plants Research Program, which has an energy-water research effort that focuses on water use at power plants. This study complements their overall research effort by evaluating water availability at power plants under drought conditions. While there are a number of competing demands on water uses, particularly during drought conditions, this report focuses solely on impacts to the U.S. steam electric power plant fleet. Included are both fossil-fuel and nuclear power plants. One plant examined also uses biomass as a fuel. The purpose of this project is to estimate the impact on generation capacity of a drop in water level at U.S. steam electric power plants due to climatic or other conditions. While, as indicated above, the temperature of the water can impact decisions to halt or curtail power plant operations, this report specifically examines impacts as a result of a drop in water levels below power plant submerged cooling water intakes. Impacts due to the combined effects of excessive temperatures of the returned cooling water and elevated temperatures of receiving waters (due to high ambient temperatures associated with drought) may be examined in a subsequent study. For this study, the sources of cooling water used by the U.S. steam electric power plant fleet were examined. This effort entailed development of a database of power plants and cooling water intake locations and depths for those plants that use surface water as a source of cooling water. Development of the database and its general characteristics are described in Chapter 2 of this report. Examination of the database gives an indication of how low water levels can drop before cooling water intakes cease to function. Water level drops are evaluated against a number of different power ...
Date: April 3, 2009
Creator: Kimmell, T. A.; Veil, J. A. & Division, Environmental Science
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Emigration of Natural and Hatchery Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Smolts from the Imnaha River, Oregon, Progress Report 2000-2002.

Description: This report summarizes the emigration studies of the Nez Perce Tribe in the Imnaha River subbasin during the 2001 and 2002 migration years. A migration year for the Imnaha River is defined here as beginning July 31 of the previous year and ending July 30 the following year. The conclusion of the studies at the end of migration year 2002 marked the 11th year of the Nez Perce Tribe's Lower Snake River Emigration Studies. The Nez Perce Tribe has participated in the Fish Passage Center's Smolt Monitoring Program for nine of the 11 years. These studies collect and tag juvenile chinook salmon and steelhead at two locations in the fall, rkm 74 and rkm 7, and at rkm 7 during the spring. Data from captured and tagged fish provide an evaluation of hatchery production and releases strategies, post release survival of hatchery chinook salmon, abundance of natural chinook salmon, and downstream survival and arrival timing of natural and hatchery chinook salmon and steelhead. The hydrologic conditions that migrating fish encountered in 2001 were characterized as a drought and conditions in 2002 were characterized as below average. Hatchery chinook salmon had a mean fork length that was 34 mm greater in 2001 and 35 mm greater in 2002 than the mean fork length of natural chinook smolts. Hatchery steelhead smolt mean fork lengths were 39 mm greater than natural steelhead smolts in 2001 and 44 mm greater than natural steelhead smolt fork lengths in 2002. A significant difference (p < 0.05) between hatchery and natural chinook salmon and steelhead fork lengths has been documented by these emigration studies from 1997 to 2002. Hatchery chinook salmon were volitionally released in 2001 and 2002 and the 90% arrivals for 2001 and 2002 at the lower rkm 7 trap were within the range of ...
Date: December 1, 2003
Creator: Cleary, Peter; Kucera, Paul & Blenden, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy and water sector policy strategies for drought mitigation.

Description: Tensions between the energy and water sectors occur when demand for electric power is high and water supply levels are low. There are several regions of the country, such as the western and southwestern states, where the confluence of energy and water is always strained due to population growth. However, for much of the country, this tension occurs at particular times of year (e.g., summer) or when a region is suffering from drought conditions. This report discusses prior work on the interdependencies between energy and water. It identifies the types of power plants that are most likely to be susceptible to water shortages, the regions of the country where this is most likely to occur, and policy options that can be applied in both the energy and water sectors to address the issue. The policy options are designed to be applied in the near term, applicable to all areas of the country, and to ease the tension between the energy and water sectors by addressing peak power demand or decreased water supply.
Date: March 1, 2009
Creator: Kelic, Andjelka; Vugrin, Eric D.; Loose, Verne W. & Vargas, Vanessa N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assessing Security Needs of the multifaceted relationships of Energy and Water Providers

Description: In the near future, the United States will be facing constraints on energy availability due to the heightened demand for both energy and water, especially during droughts and summers. Increasing stress on the inextricably linked resource availability of both water and energy can be mitigated with integrated planning. Exchanging data is an important component to current and future mitigation approaches within the Energy-Water Nexus. We describe the types of relationships that are formed in the United States EWN, and address the data sharing obstacles within. Approaches to removing the obstacles of data sharing are presented, based on case studies.
Date: August 22, 2007
Creator: Goldstein, N; Newmark, R; Burton, L; May, D; McMahon, J; Whitehead, C D et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

RANGELAND SEQUESTRATION POTENTIAL ASSESSMENT

Description: Rangelands occupy approximately half of the world's land area and store greater than 10% of the terrestrial biomass carbon and up to 30% of the global soil organic carbon. Although soil carbon sequestration rates are generally low on rangelands in comparison to croplands, increases in terrestrial carbon in rangelands resulting from management can account for significant carbon sequestration given the magnitude of this land resource. Despite the significance rangelands can play in carbon sequestration, our understanding remains limited. Researchers conducted a literature review to identify sustainably management practices that conserve existing rangeland carbon pools, as well as increase or restore carbon sequestration potentials for this type of ecosystem. The research team also reviewed the impact of grazing management on rangeland carbon dynamics, which are not well understood due to heterogeneity in grassland types. The literature review on the impact of grazing showed a wide variation of results, ranging from positive to negative to no response. On further review, the intensity of grazing appears to be a major factor in controlling rangeland soil organic carbon dynamics. In 2003, researchers conducted field sampling to assess the effect of several drought years during the period 1993-2002. Results suggested that drought can significantly impact rangeland soil organic carbon (SOC) levels, and therefore, carbon sequestration. Resampling was conducted in 2006; results again suggested that climatic conditions may have overridden management effects on SOC due to the ecological lag of the severe drought of 2002. Analysis of grazing practices during this research effort suggested that there are beneficial effects of light grazing compared to heavy grazing and non-grazing with respect to increased SOC and nitrogen contents. In general, carbon storage in rangelands also increases with increased precipitation, although researchers identified threshold levels of precipitation where sequestration begins to decrease.
Date: March 31, 2012
Creator: Spangler, Lee; Vance, George F.; Schuman, Gerald E. & Derner, Justin D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON WATERSHED RUNOFF FLOW - UPPER COOSA RIVER BASIN UPSTREAM FROM PLANT HAMMOND

Description: The ability of water managers to maintain adequate supplies in the coming decades depends on future weather conditions, as climate change has the potential to reduce stream flows from their current values due to potentially less precipitation and higher temperatures, and possibly rendering them unable to meet demand. The upper Coosa River basin, located in northwest Georgia, plays an important role in supplying water for industry and domestic use in northern Georgia, and has been involved in water disputes in recent times. The seven-day ten-year low flow (7Q10 flow) is the lowest average flow for seven consecutive days that has an average recurrence interval of 10 years. The 7Q10 flow is statistically derived from the observed historical flow data, and represents the low flow (drought) condition for a basin. The upper Coosa River basin also supplies cooling water for the 935MW coal-fired Hammond plant, which draws about 65% of the 7Q10 flow of the upper Coosa River to dissipate waste heat. The water is drawn through once and returned to the river directly from the generator (i.e., no cooling tower is used). Record low flows in 2007 led to use of portable cooling towers to meet temperature limits. Disruption of the Plant Hammond operation may trigger closure of area industrial facilities (e.g. paper mill). The population in Georgia is expected to double from 9 million to 18 million residents in the next 25 years, mostly in the metropolitan Atlanta area. Therefore, there will be an even greater demand for potable water and for waste assimilation. Climate change in the form of persistent droughts (causing low flows) and high ambient temperatures create regulatory compliance challenges for Plant Hammond operating with a once-through cooling system. Therefore, the Upper Coosa River basin was selected to study the effect of potential future weather change ...
Date: October 24, 2011
Creator: Chen, K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A dynamic soil chamber system coupled with a tunable diode laser for online measurements of delta-13C, delta-18O, and efflux rate of soil respired CO2

Description: High frequency observations of the stable isotopic composition of CO(2) effluxes from soil have been sparse due in part to measurement challenges. We have developed an open-system method that utilizes a flow-through chamber coupled to a tunable diode laser (TDL) to quantify the rate of soil CO(2) efflux and its delta(13)C and delta(18)O values (delta(13)C(R) and delta(18)O(R), respectively). We tested the method first in the laboratory using an artificial soil test column and then in a semi-arid woodland. We found that the CO(2) efflux rates of 1.2 to 7.3 micromol m(-2) s(-1) measured by the chamber-TDL system were similar to measurements made using the chamber and an infrared gas analyzer (IRGA) (R(2) = 0.99) and compared well with efflux rates generated from the soil test column (R(2) = 0.94). Measured delta(13)C and delta(18)O values of CO(2) efflux using the chamber-TDL system at 2 min intervals were not significantly different from source air values across all efflux rates after accounting for diffusive enrichment. Field measurements during drought demonstrated a strong dependency of CO(2) efflux and isotopic composition on soil water content. Addition of water to the soil beneath the chamber resulted in average changes of +6.9 micromol m(-2) s(-1), -5.0 per thousand, and -55.0 per thousand for soil CO(2) efflux, delta(13)C(R) and delta(18)O(R), respectively. All three variables initiated responses within 2 min of water addition, with peak responses observed within 10 min for isotopes and 20 min for efflux. The observed delta(18)O(R) was more enriched than predicted from temperature-dependent H(2)O-CO(2) equilibration theory, similar to other recent observations of delta(18)O(R) from dry soils (Wingate L, Seibt U, Maseyk K, Ogee J, Almeida P, Yakir D, Pereira JS, Mencuccini M. Global Change Biol. 2008; 14: 2178). The soil chamber coupled with the TDL was found to be an effective method for capturing soil ...
Date: January 1, 2009
Creator: Powers, Heath H; Mcdowell, Nate; Hanson, David & Hunt, John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Physiology and Regulation of Calcium Channels in Stomatal Guard Cells

Description: Stomatal pores in the epidermis of leaves regulate the diffusion of CO2 into leaves for photosynthetic carbon fixation and control water loss of plants during drought periods. Guard cells sense CO2, water status, light and other environmental conditions to regulate stomatal apertures for optimization of CO2 intake and plant growth under drought stress. The cytosolic second messenger calcium contributes to stomatal movements by transducing signals and regulating ion channels in guard cells. Studies suggest that both plasma membrane Ca2+ influx channels and vacuolar/organellar Ca2+ release channels contribute to ABA-induced Ca2+ elevations in guard cells. Recent research in the P.I.'s laboratory has led to identification of a novel major cation-selective Ca2+-permeable influx channel (Ica) in the plasma membrane of Arabidopsis guard cells. These advances will allow detailed characterization of Ica plasma membrane Ca2+ influx channels in guard cells. The long term goal of this research project is to gain a first detailed characterization of these novel plasma membrane Ca2+-permeable channel currents in Arabidopsis guard cells. The proposed research will investigate the hypothesis that Ica represents an important Ca2+ influx pathway for ABA and CO2 signal transduction in Arabidopsis guard cells. These studies will lead to elucidation of key signal transduction mechanisms by which plants balance CO2 influx into leaves and transpirational water loss and may contribute to future strategies for manipulating gas exchange for improved growth of crop plants and for biomass production.
Date: May 2, 2007
Creator: Schroeder, Julian I.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final Report: Closeout of the Award NO. DE-FG02-98ER62618 (M.S. Fox-Rabinovitz, P.I.)

Description: The final report describes the study aimed at exploring the variable-resolution stretched-grid (SG) approach to decadal regional climate modeling using advanced numerical techniques. The obtained results have shown that variable-resolution SG-GCMs using stretched grids with fine resolution over the area(s) of interest, is a viable established approach to regional climate modeling. The developed SG-GCMs have been extensively used for regional climate experimentation. The SG-GCM simulations are aimed at studying the U.S. regional climate variability with an emphasis on studying anomalous summer climate events, the U.S. droughts and floods.
Date: October 23, 2006
Creator: Fox-Rabinovitz, M. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

ARM Climate Research Facility Annual Report 2004

Description: Like a rock that slowly wears away beneath the pressure of a waterfall, planet earth?s climate is almost imperceptibly changing. Glaciers are getting smaller, droughts are lasting longer, and extreme weather events like fires, floods, and tornadoes are occurring with greater frequency. Why? Part of the answer is clouds and the amount of solar radiation they reflect or absorb. These two factors clouds and radiative transfer represent the greatest source of error and uncertainty in the current generation of general circulation models used for climate research and simulation. The U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990 established an interagency program within the Executive Office of the President to coordinate U.S. agency-sponsored scientific research designed to monitor, understand, and predict changes in the global environment. To address the need for new research on clouds and radiation, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) established the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program. As part of the DOE?s overall Climate Change Science Program, a primary objective of the ARM Program is improved scientific understanding of the fundamental physics related to interactions between clouds and radiative feedback processes in the atmosphere.
Date: December 31, 2004
Creator: Voyles, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Techniques to Access Databases and Integrate Data for Hydrologic Modeling

Description: This document addresses techniques to access and integrate data for defining site-specific conditions and behaviors associated with ground-water and surface-water radionuclide transport applicable to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission reviews. Environmental models typically require input data from multiple internal and external sources that may include, but are not limited to, stream and rainfall gage data, meteorological data, hydrogeological data, habitat data, and biological data. These data may be retrieved from a variety of organizations (e.g., federal, state, and regional) and source types (e.g., HTTP, FTP, and databases). Available data sources relevant to hydrologic analyses for reactor licensing are identified and reviewed. The data sources described can be useful to define model inputs and parameters, including site features (e.g., watershed boundaries, stream locations, reservoirs, site topography), site properties (e.g., surface conditions, subsurface hydraulic properties, water quality), and site boundary conditions, input forcings, and extreme events (e.g., stream discharge, lake levels, precipitation, recharge, flood and drought characteristics). Available software tools for accessing established databases, retrieving the data, and integrating it with models were identified and reviewed. The emphasis in this review was on existing software products with minimal required modifications to enable their use with the FRAMES modeling framework. The ability of four of these tools to access and retrieve the identified data sources was reviewed. These four software tools were the Hydrologic Data Acquisition and Processing System (HDAPS), Integrated Water Resources Modeling System (IWRMS) External Data Harvester, Data for Environmental Modeling Environmental Data Download Tool (D4EM EDDT), and the FRAMES Internet Database Tools. The IWRMS External Data Harvester and the D4EM EDDT were identified as the most promising tools based on their ability to access and retrieve the required data, and their ability to integrate the data into environmental models using the FRAMES environment.
Date: June 17, 2009
Creator: Whelan, Gene; Tenney, Nathan D.; Pelton, Mitchell A.; Coleman, Andre M.; Ward, Duane L.; Droppo, James G. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Use of Produced Water in Recirculated Cooling Systems at Power Generating Facilities

Description: Tree ring studies indicate that, for the greater part of the last three decades, New Mexico has been relatively 'wet' compared to the long-term historical norm. However, during the last several years, New Mexico has experienced a severe drought. Some researchers are predicting a return of very dry weather over the next 30 to 40 years. Concern over the drought has spurred interest in evaluating the use of otherwise unusable saline waters to supplement current fresh water supplies for power plant operation and cooling and other uses. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory sponsored three related assessments of water supplies in the San Juan Basin area of the four-corner intersection of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. These were (1) an assessment of using water produced with oil and gas as a supplemental supply for the San Juan Generating Station (SJGS); (2) a field evaluation of the wet-surface air cooling (WSAC) system at SJGS; and (3) the development of a ZeroNet systems analysis module and an application of the Watershed Risk Management Framework (WARMF) to evaluate a range of water shortage management plans. The study of the possible use of produced water at SJGS showed that produce water must be treated to justify its use in any reasonable quantity at SJGS. The study identified produced water volume and quality, the infrastructure needed to deliver it to SJGS, treatment requirements, and delivery and treatment economics. A number of produced water treatment alternatives that use off-the-shelf technology were evaluated along with the equipment needed for water treatment at SJGS. Wet surface air-cooling (WSAC) technology was tested at the San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) to determine its capacity to cool power plant circulating water using degraded water. WSAC is a commercial cooling technology and has been used for many years ...
Date: June 30, 2006
Creator: McGowin, C.; DiFilippo, M. & Weintraub, L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Vegetation study in support of the design and optimization of vegetative soil covers, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Description: A vegetation study was conducted in Technical Area 3 at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2003 to assist in the design and optimization of vegetative soil covers for hazardous, radioactive, and mixed waste landfills at Sandia National Laboratories/New Mexico and Kirtland Air Force Base. The objective of the study was to obtain site-specific, vegetative input parameters for the one-dimensional code UNSAT-H and to identify suitable, diverse native plant species for use on vegetative soil covers that will persist indefinitely as a climax ecological community with little or no maintenance. The identification and selection of appropriate native plant species is critical to the proper design and long-term performance of vegetative soil covers. Major emphasis was placed on the acquisition of representative, site-specific vegetation data. Vegetative input parameters measured in the field during this study include root depth, root length density, and percent bare area. Site-specific leaf area index was not obtained in the area because there was no suitable platform to measure leaf area during the 2003 growing season due to severe drought that has persisted in New Mexico since 1999. Regional LAI data was obtained from two unique desert biomes in New Mexico, Sevilletta Wildlife Refuge and Jornada Research Station.
Date: November 1, 2004
Creator: Peace, Gerald (Jerry) L.; Goering, Timothy James (GRAM inc., Albuquerque, NM); Knight, Paul J. (Marron and Associates, Albuquerque, NM) & Ashton, Thomas S. (Marron and Associates, Albuquerque, NM)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department