Torn on team to quantify influence of vegetation and terrain on snowmelt-driven runoff in CA
As part of the White House Water Summit, hosted today in honor of World Water Day, more than 150 institutions have announced their efforts to enhance the sustainability of water in the United States by managing our water resources and infrastructure for the long term. Commitments by two groups with ties to the Energy & Resources Group (ERG) are included:
Natel Energy, Inc., and UC Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab (led by ERG professor Dan Kammen) are partnering to select, deploy, and assess a 1–5 megawatt project in California that will deliver 1.6 to 3.2 million gallons of groundwater recharge annually. This pilot project will help inform approaches to deliver cost-effective renewable energy while simultaneously increasing groundwater recharge, improving flood mitigation, and restoring wetland habitat.
ERG graduate student Ian Bolliger and collaborators Margaret Torn (ERG), Alexey Pozdnukhov (Civil & Environmental Engineering), and Noah Molotch (CU-Boulder) are launching a project to quantify the influence of vegetation and terrain on snowmelt-driven runoff, which provides over half of the water supply in the western United States. By analyzing high-resolution snowpack data from the Tuolumne River Basin, the project will learn more about how this influence varies from one year to the next and from one point in the watershed to another, helping scientists to develop a new generation of predictive snowpack models and understand how climate-driven changes in vegetation may affect snowpack.