Western U.S. Stream Flow Metrics - A dataset of modeled flow metrics for streams in major river basins of the Western US for historical and future climate change scenarios.
Climate change is projected to alter the flow regimes of streams and rivers, with consequences for physical processes, aquatic organisms, and water resource management. To study these hydrologic changes, we have developed a database of flow metrics for streams in the western US (extent shown in Figure 1 of the User Guide) under historical conditions and climate change scenarios. These are based on daily simulations of the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) macroscale hydrologic model produced by the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group. The US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station used these model outputs to calculate a set of summary flow metrics to describe key attributes of the flow regime for each stream segment in the 1:100,000 scale National Hydrography Dataset (NHDPlus version 2) in the western US. Datasets are available for the historical period (1977-2006), the 2040s, and the 2080s. Future datasets (2040s and 2080s) are based on the ensemble mean of ten global climate models associated with the A1B emissions scenario. Please see the User Guide for more information and important caveats on appropriate use.
Related: National forest contributions to streamflow - Forested and mountainous locations, such as national forests, tend to receive more precipitation than adjacent non-forested or low-lying areas. However the precise contributions of national forest lands to regional streamflow volumes is largely unknown. New modeling work illustrates the importance of water yield from National Forest System land to water quantity and quality through visual and textual presentations of each forest’s contributions to regional streamflow.