The National Water Availability Trends and Drivers Project will produce trend analyses on targeted, decision-relevant metrics pertinent to water availability across the conterminous U.S. Water availability is defined as the sum of surface water and groundwater availability while accounting for changes in the quality of these waters that alter their utility for human and ecological uses.
This work builds from existing USGS studies and is developing workflows that support the automation of the pipeline from data collection to trend analysis in order to update trend assessments regularly and provide timely information to stakeholders. A high priority is also placed on identifying drivers of trends, which will help to inform water availability forecasting efforts at the USGS. While trends in stream and groundwater quantity and quality have a broad history within the USGS, the team has identified a significant gap with respect to changes in lake and reservoir water availability at the national and regional scale.
Therefore, the primary goal of this grant is to produce an assessment of the availability and limitations of data available for trend assessment in lakes and reservoirs at the national and regional scale. The student intern will gain experience in the fields of limnology and macrosystems ecology, as well as computational training in statistical analysis, data visualization, and database management.