This chapter explores four water resources issues: 1) hydrologic variability, hazards, water supply and ecosystem preservation; 2) urban landscape design; 3) non-point source water quality, and 4) climate change, resiliency, and nonstationarity. It also considers what science, technology, and engineering practice may be needed in the coming decades to sustain water supplies and ecosystems in the face of increasing stresses from a growing demand for water. Dealing with these four water resource issues in the highly uncertain future would will demand predictive models that are rooted in real-world data. In a non-stationary world, continuity of observations is crucial. All watersheds are influenced by human actions through changes in land use, water use, and climate. The focus of water planning and management between today and 2050 will depend more than ever on collection and analysis of long-term data to learn about the evolving state of the system, understanding ecosystem processes in the water and on the landscape, and finding innovative ways to manage water as a shared resource. This includes sharing water with our neighbors on the landscape, sharing with the other species that depend on water, and sharing with future generations.
Additional Publication Details
The science, information, and engineering needed to manage water availability and quality in 2050: Chapter 23