Dr. Robert Hirsch, USGS Research Hydrologist, will deliver the keynote at the 2016 New England Graduate Student Water Symposium, Saturday September 10th, 2016 at 8:30 am in the Elab 2 Auditorium on the campus of UMass Amherst. He will talk about Reflections on Water Resources in a Changing World.
Historically, water science and engineering has focused on describing the hydrologic environment as a set of stationary processes where the variables of interest (such as discharge or solute fluxes) are assumed to have a mean value and some variability about that mean that is unchanged over time. The existence of uncertainty was well recognized but the assumption was that the system was, and will continue to be, stationary. Today, we live in a world in which the non-stationarity of hydrologic systems is widely accepted. The drivers of the non-stationarity include: urbanization, groundwater depletion, changes in engineered land-drainage systems, changes in the application of nutrients and other chemicals at the land surface, and climate changes that result from enhanced greenhouse forcing. Understanding and quantifying nonstationarity in hydrologic variables are important for a number of reasons,
including: 1) for the design and operations of water resource systems, 2) to help evaluate deterministic models of trend by comparing observed trends to model hindcasts, and 3) to identify emerging water resource issues and evaluate success at achieving environmental goals. To these ends, the water resources community needs new tools that provide a more nuanced view of hydrologic change than are commonly available, and needs to be mindful of the difficulty of distinguishing anthropogenic environmental change from long-term natural
persistence. “Stationarity is Dead: Whither Water Management” has a wide range of implications for the practice of water resources science.
Everyone is welcome to this free admission event.