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Entiat River Basin Climate Change Impacts
This Economic Recovery project was led by Richard Woodsmith of the PNW Research
Station’s Threat Characterization and Management Program, and was accomplished
through a Cooperative Agreement with the Climate Impacts Group (CIG) of the
University of Washington’s Center for Science in the Earth System.
Under this agreement the CIG employed a researcher, two research assistants,
and a computer analyst to participate in an ongoing effort to refine and
test the Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model (DHSVM) in the Entiat
Experimental Forest (EEF) in Chelan County (WA), a low rainfall area in the
Columbia Basin subject to wildland fire and drought typical of the dry interior
The project supported collection of hydrologic and meteorologic data
in the EEF, which were then used to refine the DHSVM for assessment of
impacts on parameters important to the the local water supply. Results of
this work will help land managers, the Entiat Watershed Planning Unit, and
decision makers to anticipate affects of climate change on federal, state
and private lands across the Interior Columbia Basin, including forecasting
on threatened and endangered salmon.
The Entiat WPU is an association of resource
specialists, local, state and federal agencies, and landowners that seek
an informed approach to balancing
the competing interests at stake within the watershed. Over the last decade,
the Entiat WPU has advanced the goals of seeking restoration of depleted
salmon stocks, restoring aquatic and riparian function and meeting the needs
human activity in the Entiat River Basin in Chelan County, Washington, USA.
This project was completed during the winter of 2010. The work contributed
substantially to building the fundamental EEF database for use in current
and future studies. Using this database, the researchers successfully refined
tested the DHSVM to allow its application over the experimental forest at
30-meter-resolution and over the entire Entiat basin at 100-meter-resolution.
This provided a foundation
that directly supports ongoing research on likely effects of climate change
on the snowpack, streamflow, water supply, habitat, and ecosystem processes
in the Entiat basin.
Based on this foundation, the research will now (using
non-ARRA funds) be able to expand to more fully characterize and quantify
disturbance and recovery
processes, and to relate these processes to physical parameters (such as
soil moisture or meteorological drivers). This will allow computer models to
simulate the vegetation recovery process in response to disturbance and climate
change and to simulate the hydrologic impacts of these changes.