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WATERS Network, an NSF environmental observatory initiative: Transformative facilities for environmental research, education, and outreach Patrick Brezonik.

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Presentation on theme: "WATERS Network, an NSF environmental observatory initiative: Transformative facilities for environmental research, education, and outreach Patrick Brezonik."— Presentation transcript:

1 WATERS Network, an NSF environmental observatory initiative: Transformative facilities for environmental research, education, and outreach Patrick Brezonik Program Director, Environmental Engineering National Science Foundation WATERS Network Test-Bed/HIS Phase 2 Kick-off Meeting Austin, Texas November 15, 2006

2 WATERS Network is an MREFC (Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction) initiative in two directorates of the National Science Foundation CLEANER (ENG) + Hydrologic Observatories (GEO) = WATERS Network)

3 Four critical deficiencies in current abilities: 1. Basic data about water-related processes at needed spatial and temporal resolution. 2. The means to integrate data from different media and sources (observations, experiments, simulations). 3. Sufficiently accurate modeling and decision-support tools to predict underlying processes and forecast effects of different engineering management strategies. 4. The understanding of fundamental processes needed to transfer knowledge and predictions across spatial and temporal scales—from the scale of measurements to the scale of a desired management action. Courtesy of Tom Harmon Why WATERS Network? Critical importance of water to society and ecosystems, and increasing demands for water. Growing recognition that old-style, piecemeal, small-scale research efforts simply are not adequate.

4 WATERS Network: MISSION STATEMENT Transform our understanding of the Earth’s water and related biogeochemical cycles across spatial and temporal scales to enable forecasting of critical water-related processes that affect and are affected by human activities… and develop scientific and engineering tools that will enable more effective management approaches for water resources in large-scale human-stressed environments.

5 WATERS Network Grand Challenge How do we better detect (in near-real time, where appropriate), predict, and manage the effects of human activities and natural perturbations on the quantity, distribution and quality of water? Examples of more specific science questions for three hydrologic-climatic regions Coastal  How spatially/temporally variable are pollutant inputs in coastal watersheds, and how can public drinking water supplies and fisheries be protected using engineered systems?  What sampling frequency and spatial extent is required to obtain accurate assessments of pollutant quantities in coastal watersheds susceptible to large variations in water flows due to large storms events, particularly hurricanes? Humid-Continental  What environmental conditions, variables and disturbances lead to elevated pathogen levels or unacceptable taste/odor problems, and how should drinking water treatment plants respond?  What rate of mercury emissions and landscape characteristics will maintain human and wildlife exposure to methylmercury in safe bounds? Arid-Continental  How can issues of water conservation and reclamation be effectively managed in the arid west?  Can sustainable communities be developed, minimizing impacts to undeveloped landscape and controlling pollution and runoff problems for downstream communities?

6 WATERS Network DRAFT SCIENCE QUESTIONS How are the fate and transport of water, sediments, and contaminants affected by spatial and temporal variability? How do we scale our knowledge of processes from point to management levels? How can sensing systems improve identification of the spatial and temporal sources of water contaminants, their pathways through the environment, and their reaction rates? What treatment/management practices have the greatest benefits for reducing large-scale contaminant and sediment transport and improving human and ecological health? How can human uses of water be made sustainable in light of long- term environmental and demographic changes?

7 The Idea: The WATERS Network will: 1. Consist of: (a) a national network of interacting field sites; across a range of spatial scales, climate and land-use/cover conditions (b) teams of investigators studying human-stressed landscapes, with an emphasis on water problems; (c) specialized support personnel, facilities, and technology; and (d) integrative cyberinfrastructure to provide a shared-use network as the framework for collaborative analysis 2. Transform environmental engineering and hydrologic science research and education 3. Enable more effective management of water resources in human-dominated environments based on observation, experimentation, modeling, engineering analysis, and design

8 Network Design Principles: Enable multi-scale, dynamic predictive modeling for water, sediment, and water quality (flux, flow paths, rates), including: Near-real-time assimilation of data Feedback for observatory design Point- to national-scale prediction Network provides data sets and framework to test: Sufficiency of the data Alternative model conceptualizations Master Design Variables: Scale Climate (arid vs humid) Coastal vs inland Land use, land cover, population density Energy and materials/industry Land form and geology Nested Observatories over Range of Scales: Point (individual sensor sites) Plot (100 m 2 ) Sub-catchment (2 km 2 ) Catchment (10 km 2 ) – single land use Watershed (100–10,000 km 2 ) – mixed use Basin (10,000–100,000 km 2 ) Continental

9 I III II I I Simplified schema of a potential national WATERS Network based on three hydrologic regions: (I) coastal, (II) humid-continental, and (III) arid-continental; large blue circles: regional, watershed-based observatories; smaller circles: nested watershed and intensively instrumented field sites. NOTE: All locations shown are hypothetical examples. I

10 WATERS Network will employ a variety of technologically advanced methods, many gathering data in real-time, to measure water-related environmental processes in natural and human-dominated systems.

11 WATERS Network observatories in the humid-continental portion of the U.S. likely will be based on the concept of nested watersheds and will include field sites to measure water-related processes in pristine, managed (agricultural), and urban areas.

12 In addition to a physical architecture based on climate and land-use patterns, WATERS Network will have “meta-units” or “problemsheds” to focus on specific water issues.

13 Wastewater Conduits Stormdrains Septic Systems Impervious Surfaces Artificial Channels ET Wells Water Table Hyporheic & Parafluvial Zones E RO Regional GW Local GW Riparian & Upland Forest Patches RO I Rooting Zone Water Supply Pipes RO Interbasin Transfers of Water & Wastewater The Urban Water Cycle P Courtesy of Ken Belt, USFS

14  Depth profiler using computer- controlled, programmable winch sonde package includes  Conductivity  Temperature  Turbidity  DO  pH/ORP  Chlorophyll-a  Internal battery  Data transmitted via cellular modem Sontek-YSI FlowCAM Images of Zebra mussel veligers Nierzwicki-Bauer, RPI Microcytometry using FlowCam Solar AUV (SAUV II) Autonomous Undersea Systems Institute (AUSI) Falmouth Scientific Inc. Art Sanderson, RPI Microbial Genosensor (D. Fries, USF) ADVANCES IN SENSORS ARE OCCURRING AT BREATH-TAKING RATES

15 WATERS Network cyberinfrastructure

16 Development of WATERS Network CI is based on the concept of providing supporting technology for all the steps in the basic research process Create Hypo- thesis Obtain Data Analyze Data &/or Assimilate into Model(s) Link &/or Run Analyses &/or Model(s) Discuss Results Publish Knowledge Services Data Services Workflows & Model Services Meta- Workflows Collaboration Services Digital Library Research Process Supporting Technology Integrated CI ECID Project Focus: Cyberenvironments HIS Project Focus

17 NWIS ArcGIS Excel NCAR Unidata NASA STORET NCDC Ameriflux Matlab AccessJava Fortran Visual Basic C/C++ Some operational services CUAHSI Web Services Data Sources Applications Extract Transform Load

18 Meta-Workflow Using CyberIntegrator: Observatory efforts will involve: –Studying complex systems that require coupling analyses or models of different system components –Real-time, automated updating of analyses and modeling that require diverse tools CyberIntegrator is a prototype technology to support modeling and analysis of complex systems Some key features of CyberIntegrator: ● Integration of heterogeneous tools: GeoLearn, D2K, Kepler/Ptolemy, Excel, Im2Learn, ArcGIS, D2KWS ● Provenance information gathering: records user’s activities, from data to models to visualization to publication to provide easily reproducible history and make recommendations of next steps to users ● Reduce manual labor in linking models and analysis tools, visualize results and update in real time

19 Models for the processes River (InfoWorks RS) Rainfall (database) Sewer (Mouse) RR (Sobek-Rainfall -Runoff)

20 Data exchange 3 Rainfall.GetValues River (InfoWorks-RS) Rainfall (database) Sewer (Mouse) 2 RR.GetValues 7 RR.GetValues RR (Sobek-Rainfall -Runoff) 1 Trigger.GetValues 6 Sewer.GetValues call data 4 5 8 9

21 1.CLEANER (WATERS Network) Project Office established in August 2005. Six committees have prepared draft reports on: Science challenges and issues Cyberinfrastructure needs Sensors and sensor networks Organization (consortium possibilities) Role of social sciences in EOs Educational plans See http://cleaner.ncsa.uiuc.edu 2. Interdisciplinary group of engineers and scientists, with with additional advisors, are developing a conceptual design via a set of science and technical requirements that links the science issues with the facilities needed to achieve the science goals. Draft report due in spring 2007. History of Recent Planning

22 3. NSF (and others) are funding numerous projects related to sensor network development. 4. Tangible progress is being made on the development of cyberinfrastructure needs for WATERS Network: ● Cyberinfrastructure Committee is creating a CI program plan ● Three new CEO:P projects focus on cyberinfrastructure for water research. ● Two major projects are creating CI prototypes for WATERS: ● CUAHSI’s Hydrologic Information System (David Maidment, PI) now has capabilities to extract and merge water data from various databases. ● NCSA’s Environmental CI Demonstration project (ECID) (Barbara Minsker and Jim Meyer, Co-PIs) is developing a prototype “cyberintegrator” to provide a meta-work-flow system to streamline analysis of data from diverse sources and link various models and analysis tools. Recent Progress, cont.

23 5. Workshop on modeling needs (Tucson, May 2006) for NSF’s environmental observatories enhanced collaboration among the initiatives, stimulated communication among modelers across fields, and produced useful contacts with other federal agencies. This also led to the formation of a Project Office Modeling Committee, which will produce a report for WATERS Network in January 2007. 6. The National Research Council’s Water Science and Technology Board issued a report “CLEANER and NSF’s Environmental Observatories” supporting the concept of WATERS Network, and providing advice on science questions and implementation issues (May 2006). Negotiations for a full-scale committee study are underway. Recent Progress, cont.

24 7. EET and HS jointly are funding 11 new “test-bed” projects to gain field experience with EO development and operation (FY 2006/early FY 2007). Recent Progress, cont. Observatory Design in the Mountain West: Scaling Measurements and Modeling in the San Joaquin Valley and Sierra Nevada A Synthesis of Community Data and Modeling for Advancing River Basin Science: the Evolving Susquehanna River Basin Experiment Design and Demonstration of a Distributed Sensor Array for Predicting Water Flow and Nitrate Flux in the Santa Fe Basin Wireless Technologies and Embedded Networked Sensing: Application to Integrated Urban Water Quality Management Clear Creek Environmental Hydrologic Observatory: from Vision toward Reality An Environmental Information System for Hypoxia in Corpus Christi Bay: A WATERS Network Test-bed Linking Time and Space of Snowpack Runoff: Crown of the Continent Hydrologic Observatory FerryMon, Unattended Water Quality Monitoring Utilizing Advanced Environmental Sensing Demonstration and Development of a Test-Bed Digital Observatory for the Susquehanna River Basin and Chesapeake Bay Tools for Environmental Observatory Design and Implementation: Sensor Networks, Dynamic Bayesian Nutrient Flux Modeling, and Cyberinfrastructure Advancement Quantifying Urban Groundwater in Environmental Field Observatories: a Missing Link in Understanding How the Built Environment Affects the Hydrologic Cycle


26 The Need…and Why Now? Nothing is more fundamental to life than water. Not only is water a basic need, but adequate safe water underpins the nation’s health, economy, security, and ecology. NRC (2004) Confronting the nation’s water problems: the role of research. ● Water use globally will triple in the next two decades, leading to increases in erosion, pollution, dewatering, and salinization. ● Major U.S. aquifers (e.g., the Ogallala) are being mined and the resource consumed. ● Only ~55% of the nation’s river and stream miles and acres of lakes and estuaries fully meet their intended uses; ~45% are polluted, mostly from diffuse-source runoff. ● From 1990 through 1997, floods caused more than $34 billion in damages in the U.S. ● Of 45,000 U.S. wells tested for pesticides, 5,500 had harmful levels of at least one. ● Fish consumption advisories are common in 30 states because of elevated mercury levels. FY 2008 Administration R&D Budget Priorities: U.S. and global supplies of fresh water continue to be critical to human health and economic prosperity. Agencies are developing a coordinated, multi-year plan to improve understanding of the processes that control water availability and quality, and collect the data needed to ensure an adequate water supply for the future. Agencies should participate in this plan and its implementation.

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