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 Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory Mac McKee, Director Utah Water Research Laboratory Utah State University Logan, Utah 2 Sunrise.

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Presentation on theme: " Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory Mac McKee, Director Utah Water Research Laboratory Utah State University Logan, Utah 2 Sunrise."— Presentation transcript:

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2  Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory Mac McKee, Director Utah Water Research Laboratory Utah State University Logan, Utah 2 Sunrise Session (4/25/08)

3 Overview  Who are we and what do we do?  Emerging water problems-- for Utah and everyone  Some interesting research projects at the UWRL 3Sunrise Session (4/25/08) Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory

4 4Sunrise Session (4/25/08) Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory The Utah Water Research Laboratory:  Oldest and largest of 54 university-based water research centers  Research expenditures: ~ $9 million/year  Research and training projects…

5 Sunrise Session (4/25/08) Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory Research and training projects in:  all 29 Utah counties,  several US states, and  historically, more than 70 countries

6 Sunrise Session (4/25/08)6 Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory Focus: Applied Research on Water Problems… Bioprocess EngineeringHazardous/Toxic Waste & Air Quality Water Quality Engineering Water Resources Planning & Management Groundwater & Contaminant Hydrogeology HydrologyFluid Mechanics & Hydraulics Water Education & Technology Transfer

7 Sunrise Session (4/25/08)7 UWRL History & Facilities  11,000 ft 2 state-of-the-art environmental quality labs  50,000 ft 2 world-class hydraulics bay Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory Sunrise Session (4/25/08)  Relative supplies are declining (amount/person)  Diversification of water uses  Demand for stakeholder participation

8  Relative supplies are declining (amount/person)  Diversification of water uses  Demand for stakeholder participation Sunrise Session (4/25/08)8 Emerging Water Problems Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory

9 Implications Sunrise Session (4/25/08)9 Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory  Water must be managed more intensively/efficiently.  This will require:  Better water resources data and decision-relevant information  New analytic tools  Training of water managers

10 McKee’s 2 nd Axiom of Water Resources Engineering: Sunrise Session (4/25/08) Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory “If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

11 Some UWRL projects that address these problems: 1. Phosphorus management Sunrise Session (4/25/08)11 2. Salinity management 3. Irrigation management Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory

12 1. Phosphorus Management: Problems:  Too much of it  Difficult to measure and control  An EPA-imposed treatment plant: ~$200 million! Solution:  Enhance data collection  Real-time data + state-of-the- art models = better information  Establish a pollution rights trading bank Sunrise Session (4/25/08)12 Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory The Little Bear River

13 Sunrise Session (4/25/08)13 Data Collection Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory Phosphorus in the Little Bear River 1.

14 Sunrise Session (4/25/08)14 Modeling Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory Phosphorus in the Little Bear River x 10 8

15 Sunrise Session (4/25/08)15 Modeling Topographic IndexLand CoverTP EMCs Spring RunoffSpring TP Load Spring TP Field Loads Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory Phosphorus in the Little Bear River 1.

16 Sunrise Session (4/25/08)16 Results  Estimates of phosphorus concentrations and loadings are greatly improved with real-time data and modeling.  Bayesian modeling approaches provide information about uncertainty in loading estimates.  The first phosphorus pollution trading contract is under negotiation.  If others follow, the cost to meet EPA standards will be much less than the estimated conventional treatment approach. Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory Phosphorus in the Little Bear River 1.

17 Ion-specific salinity probes The problem:  Salt in US rivers causes hundreds of millions of dollars of damage yearly  Measurement of salt loading is uncertain Part of the solution:  Develop a salinity probe that is:  Multi-ion-specific  Low-cost Sunrise Session (4/25/08)17 Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory 2. Salinity Management:

18 Ion-Specific Salinity Probes Sunrise Session (4/25/08)18 2. Progress Micro-electrode array: developed, tested, patented Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory

19 Sunrise Session (4/25/08)19 Progress Ion sensors under development: SO 4 2-, Cl -, Na +, Mg 2+, Ca 2+, HCO 3 - (each will be patented) Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory Ion-Specific Salinity Probes 2.

20 3. Irrigation Management: Motivation  Irrigation: largest water user in Utah; inefficient  Remote sensing: high cost, poor spatial resolution, bad timing  Need to acquire more frequent and higher resolution imagery, and merge with data from satellites and on-ground sensors  Must provide tools so water managers can use the resulting information Sunrise Session (4/25/08)20 Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory

21 The UWRL Air Force in the Sevier Basin Sunrise Session (4/25/08) 3. Capabilities  UAV aircraft: 4 to 8 ft wingspans; equipped with computer, avionics, GPS, flight control and payload management software  Data acquired: visual spectrum and near-infrared; infrared to be added this summer  Used to estimate: evapotranspiration rates and soil moisture  Combined with on-ground soil moisture probe and satellite data, used to forecast:  Soil moisture 7 days ahead  Canal command area water demand forecast 7 days ahead  Used to provide 7-day-ahead recommendations for canal diversions and reservoir releases Telephoto image, Desert Lake test flight, July 2007 Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory

22 Sunrise Session (4/25/08)22 Cameras  “Ghost Finger” control  Off-the-shelf:  Typical Pentax E30  Modified to take photos automatically  Also records GPS, altitude, inertial data Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory The UWRL Air Force in the Sevier Basin 3.

23 23Sunrise Session (4/25/08) The UWRL Air Force in the Sevier Basin 3.

24 24Sunrise Session (4/25/08) The UWRL Air Force in the Sevier Basin 3.

25 Sunrise Session (4/25/08)25 Examples Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory The UWRL Air Force in the Sevier Basin 3.

26 Sunrise Session (4/25/08)26 Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory The UWRL Air Force in the Sevier Basin 3.

27 Sunrise Session (4/25/08)27 Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory UAV: Aircraft: AircraftUAV Spatial Resolution ~1 m m Temporal Resolution ~0.5 year< 2 hours Costa bunchnot much Examples The UWRL Air Force in the Sevier Basin 3.

28 Sunrise Session (4/25/08)28 Examples  Coarse-scale satellite data at ~1-km scale resolution… Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory  are combined with fine- scale (~half-meter) UAV data…  and on-ground soil moisture probe data… The UWRL Air Force in the Sevier Basin 3.

29 Sunrise Session (4/25/08)29 Examples …to produce estimates of evapotranspiration and soil moisture at 15- meter resolution… and forecasts of how soil moisture will change for the next 7 days. Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory The UWRL Air Force in the Sevier Basin 3.

30 Sunrise Session (4/25/08)30 Implementation  Multiple UAV capability (“covens”)  Automation of all data processing  Short-term forecasting of irrigation demand (~7 days in advance)  Data-driven models for canal and reservoir operations  greater efficiency!  “Google Delta”  Other uses: fish tracking, water and air quality, lake currents, flood recovery, river change detection, many more Exciting Projects at the Utah Water Research Laboratory The UWRL Air Force in the Sevier Basin 3.

31  Questions? Visit us at: or contact: Mac McKee, , Sunrise Session (4/25/08) 31

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