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Water 2017, 9(8), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9080585

A Geospatial Approach for Identifying and Exploring Potential Natural Water Storage Sites

1
Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59718, USA
2
KirK Engineering, 136 Tuke Lane, Sheridan, MT 59749, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 May 2017 / Revised: 26 July 2017 / Accepted: 31 July 2017 / Published: 8 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources)
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Abstract

Across the globe, climate change is projected to affect the quantity, quality, and timing of freshwater availability. In western North America, there has been a shift toward earlier spring runoff and more winter precipitation as rain. This raises questions about the need for increased water storage to mitigate both floods and droughts. Some water managers have identified natural storage structures as valuable tools for increasing resiliency to these climate change impacts. However, identifying adequate sites and quantifying the storage potential of natural structures is a key challenge. This study addresses the need for a method for identifying and estimating floodplain water storage capacity in a manner that can be used by water planners through the development of a model that uses open-source geospatial data. This model was used to identify and estimate the storage capacity of a 0.33 km2 floodplain segment in eastern Montana, USA. The result is a range of storage capacities under eight natural water storage conditions, ranging from 900 m3 for small floods to 321,300 m3 for large floods. Incorporating additional hydraulic inputs, stakeholder needs, and stakeholder perceptions of natural storage into this process can help address more complex questions about using natural storage structures as ecosystem-based climate change adaptation strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: water; natural infrastructure; green infrastructure; natural storage; drought resilience; floodwater retention; climate change adaptation; water storage modeling; participatory governance water; natural infrastructure; green infrastructure; natural storage; drought resilience; floodwater retention; climate change adaptation; water storage modeling; participatory governance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Holmes, D.; McEvoy, J.; Dixon, J.L.; Payne, S. A Geospatial Approach for Identifying and Exploring Potential Natural Water Storage Sites. Water 2017, 9, 585.

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