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Ohio Water Resources Center and WMAO Luncheon Seminar

Water Resources Vulnerability: James Stagge, PhD
Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Olentangy Wetland Research Park

The Ohio State University

352 West Dodridge Street

Columbus, Ohio 43202


Planning for water resilience during extreme drought requires a long temporal perspective because these events are rare by definition, with return periods of decades or centuries. While the USGS maintains some of the longest modern stream gauge records in the world, these long records are distributed heterogeneously across the country and 80% of daily gauges are shorter than 45 years. Our perspective on drought risk is therefore a limited snapshot in time, with uncertainty about how the modern period fits into prior centuries of drought and how it will compare with future hydroclimatic conditions and changing demands

Dr. James Stagge, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, will demonstrate how his work quantifies drought risk to engineered water systems by reconstructing flows from previous centuries with tree rings and by simulating future flows based on projections of climate, land cover, and demand change. He will describe successes and challenges incorporating these approaches alongside water managers to simulate drought risk for the water supplies of Washington DC and Salt Lake City, UT. These two systems have vastly different water availability, water demands, and legal frameworks, but are facing many of the same water challenges. The seminar will end with a discussion of how this relates to Ohio water resources and a preview of research studying Cleveland stream erosion and the hydrologic impacts of land cover in the Great Lakes watershed.