Mountain watersheds provide a large proportion of water and ecosystem services to communities in the intermountain west. Climate change impacts affect the ability of these watersheds to improve water quality, groundwater storage, and flow moderation. Even subtle changes in climate may lead to cascading impacts on interactions between precipitation, vegetation growth, soil moisture, and other landscape properties, but the mechanisms responsible for observed and projected change are poorly understood.
In order to address the challenge of understanding hydrologic change in high-elevation watersheds, the EPSCoR jurisdictions of Idaho, Nevada, and New Mexico have collaborated to create the Western Consortium for Watershed Analysis, Visualization and Exploration (WC-WAVE).
WC-WAVE will create a virtual watershed (VW) framework to create and integrate watershed models. The VW framework capabilities will simulate watershed dynamics, enabling researchers to easily acquire and integrate data, visualize the data to obtain results, and identify environmental consequences of hydrologic changes. WC-WAVE in Nevada is funded by the National Science Foundation award #IIA-1329469, 8/1/13 – 7/31/16.