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News Article | November 4, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A UTA civil engineering professor and hydrologic researcher expects to improve the accuracy of rainfall maps produced by the National Weather Service by 10 to 20 percent for heavy-to-extreme rainfall events through a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant. D.J. Seo, the Robert S. Gooch Professor of Water Resources Engineering in the Civil Engineering Department, is collaborating with Lin Tang, a research scientist at the University of Oklahoma; Jian Zhang of the NOAA's National Severe Weather Storms Laboratory; and David Kitzmiller and Greg Fall of the NOAA's National Water Center. Seo said that more accurate rainfall maps such as those available from http://water. , will positively impact decisions made by emergency managers, water managers, municipalities, the agricultural sector, the insurance industry and others. In addition, the more accurate precipitation information affects everyday people. Under the grant, UTA will receive $188,442 and OU will receive $197,546. That $385,988 is part of $6 million in total funding from the NOAA's National Weather Service as part of its Joint Technology Transfer Initiative. The total funding was dispersed to more than 100 academic institutions. The initiative's aim is to get new tools and technologies more rapidly into the hands of weather forecasters. "NOAA has sharpened its focus on speeding up this important transition of technology to National Weather Service day-to-day operations," said John Cortinas, director of NOAA Research's Office of Weather and Air Quality, which manages the Joint Technology Transfer Initiative in close coordination with NWS, in a news release. "This funding represents another important step to get new tools and technologies more rapidly into the hands of our weather forecasters who serve communities around the nation." Seo said the project will take into account the weather radar networks, tens of thousands of rain gauges and satellite sensors that the National Weather Service employs. "We'll be using that information, running it through a new suite of algorithms to determine heavy-to-extreme precipitation amounts more accurately," Seo said. "Our goal is to improve the accuracy by 10 to 20 percent. Being able to estimate precipitation better has a chain reaction of sorts on the entire water prediction and management enterprise. If we're more accurate in precipitation, then we can be more accurate in our streams, creeks and rivers. That leads to being more accurate in flood warnings and in the operation and management of our reservoirs." Greg Waller, service coordination hydrologist for the National Weather Service's West Gulf River Forecast Center, said Seo's work will enhance the agency's ability to better serve the public. "Dr. Seo is a great teammate," Waller said. "His work will help us forecast flooding more accurately. That helps meteorologists and invariably helps the public. We are looking forward to another collaborative effort with UTA." College of Engineering Dean Peter Crouch said the research Seo and his team are carrying out in this project is another example of UTA-led research that cuts across data-driven discovery, sustainable urban communities and global environmental impact, three tenants under UTA's Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact. "Creating a better tool in determining precipitation amounts is especially beneficial in severe weather episodes," Crouch said. "Improving forecasts could save lives and property." Seo joined the University in 2010 following professional appointments to the National Weather Service's Hydrologic Research Laboratory in Maryland and as a senior researcher in the Environmental Remote Sensing Research Laboratory at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology in Taejon, Korea. Seo earned his master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his doctoral degree from Utah State University. In the spring of 2016, he launched a new Android cell phone app called iSeeFlood to encourage the public to file timely reports when they see flooding of varying severity on the streets, in and around their houses, and in streams and creeks. At that same time, Seo's team also installed innovative wireless sensors to improve high-resolution modeling of urban water systems. Researchers about a dozen of the high-tech sensors in Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Dallas, Arlington and Kennedale. Seo was awarded in 2014 a four-year, $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant to improve sustainability of large urban areas from extreme weather, urbanization and climate change. That project built on Seo's previous work to help establish the Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere, or CASA, radar system in North Texas. UT Arlington installed the first radar station in North Texas atop of Carlyle Hall in 2012 as part of Seo's research. The CASA system provides weather data every minute compared to every five to six minutes with previous weather radar systems. CASA can adapt to focus on smaller areas, giving the users more detailed information to better monitor and track storms and precipitation. Seo was also awarded a two-year $283,000 grant in 2015 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Program Office to forecast inflows into water supply reservoirs and to generate optimal solutions for operation of water supply systems for major water providers in the region. He and his team collaborate on the project with the Tarrant Regional Water District, the National Weather Service, the Trinity River Authority and the North Central Texas Council of Governments. About The University of Texas at Arlington The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie "highest research activity" institution of more than 50,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UTA as one of the 20 fastest-growing public research universities in the nation in 2014. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times' 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit http://www. to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at http://www. .

News Article | August 22, 2016
Site: www.scientificcomputing.com

As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this month launches a comprehensive system for forecasting water resources in the United States, it is turning to technology developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and its university and agency collaborators. WRF-Hydro, a powerful NCAR-based computer model, is the first nationwide operational system to provide continuous predictions of water levels and potential flooding in rivers and streams from coast to coast. NOAA's new Office of Water Prediction selected it last year as the core of the agency's new National Water Model. "WRF-Hydro gives us a continuous picture of all of the waterways in the contiguous United States," said NCAR scientist David Gochis, who helped lead its development. "By generating detailed forecast guidance that is hours to weeks ahead, it will help officials make more informed decisions about reservoir levels and river navigation, as well as alerting them to dangerous events like flash floods." WRF-Hydro (WRF stands for Weather Research and Forecasting) is part of a major Office of Water Prediction initiative to bolster U.S. capabilities in predicting and managing water resources. By teaming with NCAR and the research community, NOAA's National Water Center is developing a new national water intelligence capability, enabling better impacts-based forecasts for management and decision making. Unlike past streamflow models, which provided forecasts every few hours and only for specific points along major river systems, WRF-Hydro provides continuous forecasts of millions of points along rivers, streams, and their tributaries across the contiguous United States. To accomplish this, it simulates the entire hydrologic system — including snowpack, soil moisture, local ponded water, and evapotranspiration — and rapidly generates output on some of the nation's most powerful supercomputers. WRF-Hydro was developed in collaboration with NOAA and university and agency scientists through the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, the U.S. Geological Survey, Israel Hydrologic Service, and Baron Advanced Meteorological Services. Funding came from NOAA, NASA, and the National Science Foundation, which is NCAR's sponsor. "WRF-Hydro is a perfect example of the transition from research to operations," said Antonio (Tony) J. Busalacchi, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, which manages NCAR on behalf of the National Science Foundation (NSF). "It builds on the NSF investment in basic research in partnership with other agencies, helps to accelerate collaboration with the larger research community, and culminates in support of a mission agency such as NOAA. The use of WRF-Hydro in an operational setting will also allow for feedback from operations to research. In the end this is a win-win situation for all parties involved, chief among them the U.S. taxpayers." "Through our partnership with NCAR and the academic and federal water community, we are bringing the state of the science in water forecasting and prediction to bear operationally," said Thomas Graziano, director of NOAA’s new Office of Water Prediction at the National Weather Service. The continental United States has more than 3 million miles of rivers and streams, from major navigable waterways such as the Mississippi and Columbia to the remote mountain brooks flowing from the high Adirondacks into the Hudson River. The levels and flow rates of these watercourses have far-reaching implications for water availability, water quality, and public safety. Until now, however, it has not been possible to predict conditions at all points in the nation's waterways. Instead, computer models have produced a limited picture by incorporating observations from about 4,000 gauges, generally on the country's bigger rivers. Smaller streams and channels are largely left out of these forecast models, and stretches of major rivers for tens of miles are often not predicted — meaning that schools, bridges, and even entire towns can be vulnerable to unexpected changes in river levels. To fill in the picture, NCAR scientists have worked for the past several years with their colleagues within NOAA, other federal agencies, and universities to combine a range of atmospheric, hydrologic, and soil data into a single forecasting system. The resulting National Water Model, based on WRF-Hydro, simulates current and future conditions on rivers and streams along points two miles apart across the contiguous United States. Along with an hourly analysis of current hydrologic conditions, the National Water Model generates three predictions: an hourly 0- to 15-hour short-range forecast, a daily 0- to 10-day medium-range forecast, and a daily 0- to 30-day long-range water resource forecast. The National Water Model predictions using WRF-Hydro offer a wide array of benefits for society. They will help local, state, and federal officials better manage reservoirs, improve navigation along major rivers, plan for droughts, anticipate water quality problems caused by lower flows, and monitor ecosystems for issues such as whether conditions are favorable for fish spawning. By providing a national view, this will also help the Federal Emergency Management Agency deploy resources more effectively in cases of simultaneous emergencies, such as a hurricane in the Gulf Coast and flooding in California. "We've never had such a comprehensive system before," Gochis said. "In some ways, the value of this is a blank page yet to be written." WRF-Hydro is a powerful forecasting system that incorporates advanced meteorological and streamflow observations, including data from nearly 8,000 U.S. Geological Survey streamflow gauges across the country. Using advanced mathematical techniques, the model then simulates current and future conditions for millions of points on every significant river, steam, tributary, and catchment in the United States. In time, scientists will add additional observations to the model, including snowpack conditions, lake and reservoir levels, subsurface flows, soil moisture, and land-atmosphere interactions such as evapotranspiration, the process by which water in soil, plants, and other land surfaces evaporates into the atmosphere. Scientists over the last year have demonstrated the accuracy of WRF-Hydro by comparing its simulations to observations of streamflow, snowpack, and other variables. They will continue to assess and expand the system as the National Water Model begins operational forecasts. NCAR scientists maintain and update the open-source code of WRF-Hydro, which is available to the academic community and others. WRF-Hydro is widely used by researchers, both to better understand water resources and floods in the United States and other countries such as Norway, Germany, Romania, Turkey, and Israel, and to project the possible impacts of climate change. "At any point in time, forecasts from the new National Water Model have the potential to impact 300 million people," Gochis said. "What NOAA and its collaborator community are doing is trying to usher in a new era of bringing in better physics and better data into forecast models for improving situational awareness and hydrologic decision making."

Erger C.,Water Center | Erger C.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Schmidt T.C.,Water Center | Schmidt T.C.,University of Duisburg - Essen
TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2014

Solid-phase extraction (SPE) disks are used in many application fields as modified versions of the widespread SPE cartridges. Due to current trends in legislation and normalization in the context of implementation of the Water Framework Directive, their use will probably increase in the future. A particular reason is the better capability of SPE disks to deal with suspended particulate matter (SPM) compared with SPE cartridges. This overview focuses on the application of standard SPE disks for the analysis of priority pollutants in water. We discuss in detail the design and the characteristics of SPE disks and various general aspects of their application, such as the extraction, drying and desorption process, and the subsequent analytical method combined with SPE-disk-based sample preparation. © 2014.

Lutze H.V.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Lutze H.V.,Water Center | Kerlin N.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Schmidt T.C.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Schmidt T.C.,Water Center
Water Research | Year: 2015

Sulfate radical (SO4-) based oxidation is discussed as a potential water treatment option and is already used in ground water remediation. However, the complex SO4- chemistry in various matrices is poorly understood. In that regard, the fast reaction of SO4- with Cl- is of high importance since Cl- belongs to the main constituents in aqueous environments. This reaction yields chlorine atoms (Cl) as primary products. Cl initiate a cascade of subsequent reactions with a pH dependent product pattern. At low pH (<5) formation of chlorine derived oxidation products such as chlorate (ClO3-) is favoured. This is undesired because ClO3- may reveal adverse effects on the environment and human health. At pH>5 Cl mainly react with water yielding hydroxyl radicals. Thus, at moderate Cl- concentrations (mM range) the SO4--based process may be converted into a conventional (hydroxyl radical -based) advanced oxidation process. The conversion of SO4- into OH, however, is interrupted in presence of bicarbonate by scavenging of Cl. © 2014.

Lewandowski J.,Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries | Putschew A.,TU Berlin | Schwesig D.,Water Center | Neumann C.,University of Bayreuth | Radke M.,University of Bayreuth
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2011

Many rivers and streams worldwide are impacted by pharmaceuticals originating from sewage. The hyporheic zone underlying streams is often regarded as reactive bioreactor with the potential for eliminating such sewage-born micropollutants. The present study aims at checking the elimination potential and analyzing the coupling of hydrodynamics, biogeochemistry and micropollutant processing. To this end, two sites at the lowland stream Erpe, which receives a high sewage burden, were equipped and sampled with nested piezometers. From temperature depth profiles we determined that at one of the sites infiltration of surface water into the aquifer occurs while exfiltration dominates at the other site. Biogeochemical data reveal intense mineralization processes and strictly anoxic conditions in the streambed sediments at both sites. Concentrations of the pharmaceuticals indomethacin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, bezafibrate, ketoprofen, naproxen and clofibric acid were high in the surface water and also in the subsurface at the infiltrating site. The evaluation of the depth profiles indicates some attenuation but due to varying surface water composition the evaluation of subsurface processes is quite complex. Borate and non-geogenic gadolinium were measured as conservative wastewater indicators. To eliminate the influence of fluctuating sewage proportions in the surface water, micropollutant concentrations are related to these indicators. The indicators can cope with different dilutions of the sewage but not with temporally varying sewage composition. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

News Article | March 17, 2016
Site: www.reuters.com

Steve Sands came with his son Weston to see the rising waters in the Mississippi River as flood waters approach their crest in Greenbelt Park in Memphis, Tennessee January 4, 2016. The risk extends to eastern Texas and the southeastern Coastal Plain, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in issuing its spring outlook. Early spring storms fueled by El Nino have already drenched areas of Louisiana, eastern Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas with up to 20 inches (50.8 cm) of rain, causing widespread flooding, said Tom Graziano, acting director of NOAA's National Water Center. "The good news is that once the ongoing river flooding recedes, the risk for additional widespread major flooding is low across the country for the remainder of the spring," Graziano said in a conference call with reporters. "Because of a mild winter and little snow accumulation, the western half of the country, the Upper Midwest, the Middle Atlantic and Northeast all have a low risk of river flooding, which is typically enhanced by snow melt," Graziano said. Following a record-warm winter in the contiguous United States, above-normal temperatures should persist in most of the country through June, except for the southern Plains. "There might be some cool outbreaks from time to time but the general spring outlook is for a warm-weather pattern," said Brad Rippey, a U.S. Department of Agriculture meteorologist on the call. However, he cautioned farmers and gardeners against planting before typical last-frost dates, saying, "you can still have these episodic freezes or cold outbreaks within an overall mild regime." NOAA called for above-normal precipitation through June for the southern half of the United States and an equal chance of above- or below-normal rainfall in the northern Plains, Midwest and Northeast. In California, which has endured a multi-year drought, conditions are improving in the northern half of the state, particularly after storms in the last two weeks. The state's water resources "are more favorable than they have been since 2011," said Rob Hartman, a hydrologist with NOAA's California Nevada River Forecast Center, on the call. But Southern California is still mired in drought that is expected to persist through June. Ending California's drought statewide will take multiple years, Hartman said. "It's going to take a while. Over the last four years prior to this year, we were missing between one and two years of rainfall. That has to be made up in some fashion," Hartman said.

News Article | March 18, 2016
Site: www.sej.org

"Heavy winter rains have left the Missouri and Mississippi River basins, from Iowa to Louisiana, at an elevated risk of moderate flooding through June, U.S. government forecasters said on Thursday. The risk extends to eastern Texas and the southeastern Coastal Plain, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in issuing its spring outlook. Early spring storms fueled by El Nino have already drenched areas of Louisiana, eastern Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas with up to 20 inches (50.8 cm) of rain, causing widespread flooding, said Tom Graziano, acting director of NOAA's National Water Center."

News Article | December 9, 2016
Site: www.sciencemag.org

A decades-long feud between Georgia and Florida over water has killed a bill in the U.S. Congress that was poised to bolster the nation’s weather forecasting capabilities, including support for seasonal predictions and commercial alternatives to collecting data. The Senate passed the bill on 1 December, building off earlier legislation in the House of Representatives. With broad bipartisan support, it was widely expected to pass the House again and be signed into law by President Barack Obama. But when the bill returned to the House this week, a section had been added by Senator Bill Nelson (D–FL) calling for a study of the water management of a river system shared by Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. That addition drew a heated, nearly unanimous rebuke from Georgia representatives, and the bill was not brought up for a vote before the House adjourned for the remainder of the year. The study was not relevant to the rest of the bill, says Representative Doug Collins (R–GA). It was “the latest in a series of attempts by Alabama and Florida senators to interfere in the ongoing tristate water wars through congressional intervention. I have maintained that Congress should not interfere in this issue, yet Alabama and Florida repeatedly try to tilt the playing field at the expense of Georgia.” For decades, the states have battled over the Apalachicola River and its two tributaries, the Chattahoochee and Flint. In the 1950s, Georgia dammed the Chattahoochee to create Lake Lanier, which has fueled Atlanta’s rapid growth. In Florida’s view, this has reduced the freshwater reaching the Gulf of Mexico, causing brackish water and threatening oysters. The conflict has reached the highest levels, with the Supreme Court expected to rule next year on a lawsuit Florida has brought against Georgia. The bill would have mandated that the National Water Center, an outpost of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, produce a study within 3 years advising the Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the watershed’s dams and reservoirs, on ways to improve the system, focusing especially on environmental protection, flood risk, and recreation. Georgia lawmakers, noticing no mention of agriculture or drinking waters, sought additional language supporting these other authorized uses. But no compromise could be found. It’s a blow to the weather community, and disappointing to see, says David Titley, a director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Pennsylvania State University in State College. “While no bill is perfect, this bill had many components that would have significantly advanced the capabilities of our national weather enterprise, and would have enhanced both the safety of our citizens, and our economy.” It remains likely that the bill will return next year. It could move quickly toward approval, if it can get past the likely partisan gridlock in the next Congress. Scientists will continue to push for a deal, says Tony Busalacchi, the president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, based in Boulder, Colorado, which has advocated for the bill for 4 years. “We look forward to working with lawmakers next year on legislation to further strengthen the nation’s weather forecasting capabilities.” The bill would have been the first significant legislation to address weather in a generation. It would have boosted NOAA’s capacity to make seasonal weather predictions between 2 weeks and 2 years out, and called for the agency to improve its hurricane, tsunami, and tornado research. It also required NOAA to shift from relying exclusively on its own satellites and weather data and to look for commercial alternatives wherever possible. For more related coverage visit our water topic page.

News Article | April 8, 2016
Site: www.sej.org

"More than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of shoreline and 44,000 square kilometers (17,000 square miles) of open water in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan could be at risk if oil spilled from twin 63-year-old underwater pipelines that run below the Straits of Mackinac, according to a study released Thursday by the University of Michigan Water Center and supported by the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center. It is the latest analysis of the threat posed by Enbridge, Inc.’s Line 5, which carries oil and natural gas products from Canada through the straits pipelines to refineries in southern Michigan and Ontario. The line has been the focus of intense public scrutiny since a 2012 report by the National Wildlife Federation highlighted concerns about the integrity of the aging pipelines, as well as the operating record of Enbridge, the company responsible for a 2010 oil spill into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. That incident was the worst inland oil spill in U.S. history. Subsequent reports and studies found that the straits, a turbulent 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) stretch of water connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, would be the worst possible place for an oil spill in the Great Lakes because it could quickly spread along shorelines in both lakes, affecting Michigan and Ontario."

Nodler K.,University of Gottingen | Hillebrand O.,University of Gottingen | Idzik K.,University of Gottingen | Strathmann M.,Water Center | And 3 more authors.
Water Research | Year: 2013

The substantial transformation of the angiotensin II receptor antagonist valsartan to the transformation product 2'-(2H-tetrazol-5-yl)-[1,1'-biphenyl]-4-carboxylic acid (referred to as valsartan acid) during the activated sludge process was demonstrated in the literature and confirmed in the here presented study. However, there was a severe lack of knowledge regarding the occurrence and fate of this compound in surface water and its behavior during drinking water treatment. In this work a comparative study on the occurrence and persistency of valsartan acid, three frequently used β-blockers (metoprolol, atenolol, and sotalol), atenolol acid (one significant transformation product of atenolol and metoprolol), and the two widely distributed persistent anthropogenic wastewater indicators carbamazepine and acesulfame in raw sewage, treated wastewater, surface water, groundwater, and tap water is presented. Median concentrations of valsartan acid in the analyzed matrices were 101, 1,310, 69, <1.0, and 65ngL-1, respectively. Treated effluents from wastewater treatment plants were confirmed as significant source. Regarding concentration levels of pharmaceutical residues in surface waters valsartan acid was found just as relevant as the analyzed β-blockers and the anticonvulsant carbamazepine. Regarding its persistency in surface waters it was comparable to carbamazepine and acesulfame. Furthermore, removal of valsartan acid during bank filtration was poor, which demonstrated the relevance of this compound for drinking water suppliers. Regarding drinking water treatment (Muelheim Process) the compound was resistant to ozonation but effectively eliminated (≥90%) by subsequent activated carbon filtration. However, without applying activated carbon filtration the compound may enter the drinking water distribution system as it was demonstrated for Berlin tap water. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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