Lecture 3: Hydrologic Cycle and Watersheds

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1 Lecture 3: Hydrologic Cycle and Watersheds Key Questions 1. What % of the total water in Earth is fresh? 2. What is the hydrologic (or water) cycle? 3. What are the elements if the hydrologic cycle? 4. What is a watershed? 5. What defines the science of hydrology? 6. What is a WRIA? 7. What is a TMDL? Lake Whatcom Watershed

2 The amount of water on Earth and in the atmosphere is constant (about million cubic miles)

3 If all Earth's water (liquid, ice, freshwater, saline) was put into a sphere it would be about 860 miles in diameter The Moon diameter is 2160 miles

4

5 The atmosphere holds less than 0.001% of the Earth s water, which may seem surprising because water plays such an important role in weather.

6 About 50% of the water vapor in the atmosphere is within the first mile of altitude.

7 All the water in the atmosphere would form a depth of about 230 feet on Washington State.

8 The Hydrologic (or water) Cycle describes the distribution of water among the oceans, land and atmosphere.

9 Open up this web site (double click on the figure) and read: 1) A quick summary of the water cycle 2) Global water distribution

10 Check this site out too.

11 Evaporation is the transformation (phase change) of liquid water to water vapor (gas )and requires ENERGY /(Gh)/guides/mtr/hyd/home.rxmlhttp://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu

12 Condensation is the transformation (phase change) of water vapor (gas) into liquid water which releases ENERGY /(Gh)/guides/mtr/hyd/home.rxmlhttp://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu

13 Water vapor and liquid water move through the atmosphere by the jet streams and surface based circulations. /(Gh)/guides/mtr/hyd/home.rxmlhttp://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu

14

15 Droplets of condensed water can coalesce and fall to the Earth s surface as rain, snow, hail, sleet, and freezing rain. /(Gh)/guides/mtr/hyd/home.rxmlhttp://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu

16 Runoff is the movement of water overland and in streams and rivers to the oceans. /(Gh)/guides/mtr/hyd/home.rxmlhttp://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu

17 Infiltration is the movement of precipitation into the Earth s surface which can be stored in the soils or as groundwater. /(Gh)/guides/mtr/hyd/home.rxmlhttp://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu

18 Transpiration is the transfer of water vapor to the atmosphere from vegetation (evaporation from stomata). /(Gh)/guides/mtr/hyd/home.rxmlhttp://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu

19 Hydrology is the science that examines the occurrence and movement of atmospheric, surface, and groundwater.

20 A Watershed is the area of land that drains to a single outlet and is separated from other watersheds by a topographic divide. Also known as a catchment, river basin, or drainage basin

21 Hydrologists examine water in a watershed using a mass balance or water budget approach. Inputs Outputs = Change in Storage

22 outlet Nooksack River basin

23 outlet Middle Fork basin of the Nooksack River

24 outlet Lake Whatcom Watershed

25 Austin Creek basin outlet

26 ArcGIS is a software tool used to manage spatial data

27 Topographic map of southwestern Lake Whatcom region

28 Digital elevation map (DEM) map of southwestern Lake Whatcom region

29 Hillshade map of southwestern Lake Whatcom region

30 Austin Creek basin (green)

31 Austin Creek basin (green)

32 Austin Creek basin (8.25 sq mi)

33

34 Mississippi River basin 1,256,591 sq-mi

35

36 Columbia River Basin 260,452 sq mi.

37

38 Canada USA

39

40 Columbia River Basin 260,462 sq miles.

41 16,525 square miles The Puget Sound watershed covers nearly 42,800 square kilometers and consists of over ten thousand rivers and streams that drain into the Sound.

42 Nooksack River Basin About 2000 square kilometers or 800 square miles

43

44 Lake Whatcom Watershed Area is 36,270 acres (57 sq mi)

45 Watershed management in Washington State Water Resource Inventory Areas (WRIA)

46 WRIAs were formalized in 1998 under Washington State Water Management Act. Ecology was given responsibility for the development and management of these administrative and planning boundaries.

47

48

49 7. Artificial inputs can affect streamflow Middle Fork Nooksack River Watershed Lake Whatcom Watershed Diversion Pipeline (15.4 km)

50 Diversion Off Diversion On (max 65 cfs)

51 Diversion Flow into Mirror Lake Mirror Lake

52 Lake Whatcom Water Budget inputs outputs = change in storage Water Budget for the 2007 water year Inputs Volume (MG) % of total Direct Precipitation Diversion Runoff Outputs Whatcom Creek Hatchery Georgia Pacific City of Bellingham LW Water & Sewer District Evaporation Change in Storage 520

53 intake. Looking southeast down Lake Whatcom Photo by Margaret Landis

54 Runoff can deliver nutrients and pollutants to the lake Silver Creek

55 The lake fails the state s water quality standards (on TMDL list) Nearly 650 water bodies in the State of Washington fail to meet water quality standards.

56 Lake Whatcom is on the state s TMDL list TMDL = Total Maximum Daily Load A TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still meet water quality standards.

57 Lake Whatcom is on the state s TMDL list TMDL = Total Maximum Daily Load A TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still meet water quality standards. TMDL development includes the: Description of the sources of pollution in a water body Strategies to reduce or eliminate the pollution sources

58 Lake Whatcom Water Quality Monitoring Sites City Intake Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4

59 Site 1 August 2007 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4

60

61

62

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