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Hydrological modeling for flow-ecology science in the Southeastern United States

Stream flows are essential for maintaining healthy aquatic ecosystems and for supporting human water supply needs. Integrated modeling approaches assessing the impact of changes in climate, land use, and water withdrawals on stream flows and the subsequent impact of changes in flow regime on aquatic biota at multiple spatial scales are necessary to insure an adequate supply of water for humans and healthy river ecosystems. The combined application of simple, large scale models with more complex, high resolution models has the potential to provide for more robust climate change impact studies, which focus on maintaining a better balance between the availability of water to support aquatic assemblages while conserving water for long-term human needs than using either approach in isolation.

The objective of this proposal is to 1) inventory existing hydrologic modeling efforts in the Southeast region; 2) evaluate and compare performance of participating hydrologic models in predicting observed stream flows; 3) demonstrate the feasibility of using regional and local scale models to identify unique areas of concern and understand fine scale hydrologic dynamics for climate change assessment, respectively; and 4) synthesize the work on developing flow-ecology relationships in the region.

Total funding for this project is $45,000

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