Essay, Research Paper: Hydrology


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Dealing with the natural resources of our environment, both in management
capacities for present needs and safety and in planning for the future available
resources, is the responsibility of water resource engineers. Working in the
fields of Hydrology and Hydraulics, water resource engineers help to guarantee
the availability and quality of public water supplies and the timely handling of
excess water, in any of its forms. Water resource engineering includes the
analysis of water supply, treatment and storage, watershed management, which
includes surface and ground water hydrology and hydrogeology, urban / rural
rainfall and run-off analyses, and stormwater management and master drainage
plans. The last function of water resource engineering is wastewater treatment
and disposal, which includes sewage collection, treatment and disposal systems,
sanitary sewer systems construction, inspection and rehabilitation, and sewage
pumping stations collection, storage and treatment of urban run-off. Water
resource engineering mainly falls in the fields of Hydrology and Hydraulics.
Hydrology is the study of the sources and natural flows of water, whether it be
underground, watershed runoff, snowpack, etc. The practice in this field is the
planning and management of the available resources, whatever their form.
Hydraulics is the study of both confined and unconfined fluid flow phenomena,
and the designing of engineered systems to utilize such fluid properties as
head, pressure, and velocity. Hydrological research in its widest sense
comprises the circulation of water in nature under the influence of climatic
variability and of man's actions concerning the exploitation and control of the
water resources. A quantitative model description of the circulation of water is
central as a background for the analysis of groundwater contamination,
environmental effects of groundwater recovery, soil erosion, flooding, drought,
and the interaction of areal use and water resources. Hydrology can be divided
into two main areas: groundwater hydrology and surface water hydrology.
Groundwater hydrology includes the flow and transport processes in saturated and
unsaturated soil, including laboratory experiments and field investigations
describing the exhaustive physical or chemical processes and the development of
mathematical or numerical model systems. The focus of groundwater hydrology is
especially upon the effect of heterogeneities in the subsurface (for example
stone, clay or sand lenses and macropores), dispersion and solution of oil
contamination in soil, coupling between chemical processes and transport, and
definition of model parameters by optimization and validation of models. A
prevailing part of the research resources will also in the future be
concentrated on groundwater research with the main theme being flow and
transport modeling in heterogeneous aquifers including scale-dependent model
description, geochemical modeling, inverse modeling, and modeling of multi-phase
transport (oil contamination). New, important areas are transport of pesticides,
estimation of model uncertainties, and optimization of remediation initiatives
at point sources. On the other hand, surface water hydrology includes the
planning, development, and management of the water resources. It focuses on the
understanding and model description of the global, regional, and local
interaction between atmosphere, soil, water, and vegetation, including the
change of precipitation to evaporation, the creation and run-off of groundwater.
Research in water resources and hydraulic engineering includes problems in the
hydrodynamic modeling of free surface flows, the dynamics of ice formation and
transport in rivers and oceans, remote sensing of sea ice dynamics, the
spreading of oil and other chemical spills, modeling deep water oil/gas jets and
plumes, and mathematical modeling of oil spills on rivers and oceans. Hydraulic
engineering also deals with fluid statics, fluid dynamics, pipe flow, open
channel flow, the design of various hydraulic structures, measurements, and
model studies. The following are water resources engineering case studies. Water
Quality Modeling of Lake West Point West Point Reservoir, on the Chattahoochee
River downstream of metro Atlanta, is subject to algal production and blooms due
to excessive nutrient loadings that need to be evaluated and controlled. The 2D
hydrodynamic and water quality model CE-QUAL-W2 is being calibrated and applied
to West Point Reservoir with the goal of assisting Georgia EPD in developing
total Maximum Daily Loadings (TMDL's) of nutrients in order to meet water
quality standards in the reservoir. The effect of using different temporal
scales for model inputs is being investigated, and the impact of reduced
phosphorus loading on reservoir water quality will be evaluated over a
multi-year period. Use of Satellite Information in Modeling Runoff, Erosion, and
Non-point Source Pollution for Large Watersheds This project focuses on
assessing the value of using satellite sensed weather and land cover/land use
for the management of large watersheds (*1000 km 2). The project includes four
major components: (1) estimation of rain using satellite images, (2) runoff
modeling using distributed watershed models, (3) erosion modeling and sediment
transport, and (4) modeling of non point source pollution loads. Case studies
will be conducted for the Southeastern US and the Lake Victoria Basin.

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