Characterization of pulsed flow attenuation on a regulated montane river

A major benefit of hydropower is its ability to respond quickly to fluctuating electrical loads. However, the sharp changes in discharge caused by this practice have detrimental environmental effects downstream. This study investigated the effects of hydrograph shape on attenuation of regulated...

Quantifying the Restorable Water Volume of California's Sierra Nevada Meadows

The Sierra Nevada is estimated to provide over 66% of California's water supply, which is largely derived from snowmelt. Global climate warming is expected to result in a decrease in snow pack and an increase in melting rate, making the attenuation of snowmelt by any means, an important...

A Method to Consider Whether Dams Mitigate Climate Change Effects on Stream Temperatures

This article provides a method for examining mesoscale water quality objectives downstream of dams with anticipated climate change using a multimodel approach. Coldwater habitat for species such as trout and salmon has been reduced by water regulation, dam building, and land use change that...

Simulating High-Elevation Hydropower with Regional Climate Warming in the West Slope, Sierra Nevada

Water systems in snowmelt-dominated hydroregions such as California’s Sierra Nevada mountains are sensitive to regional climate change, hydropower systems in particular. In this study, a water resources management model was developed for the upper west slope Sierra Nevada to understand the...

In bad waters: Water year classification in nonstationary climates

Water year indices and drought indices are helpful for categorizing water years into similar types, allowing water managers and policymakers to quantify years, visualize variability, and guide water operations. Many water management decisions, such as environmental flow requirements and water...

Hydroclimatic alteration increases vulnerability of montane meadows in the Sierra Nevada, California

Meadow ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada (California, USA) have been maintained by the interplay of biotic and abiotic forces, where hydrological functions bridge aquatic and terrestrial realms. Meadows are not only key habitat for fishes, amphibians, birds, and mammals alike, but also provide...

Characterization of the Unregulated Spring Snowmelt Recession in the Sierra Nevada, California, and Potential Changes with Regional Climate Warming

In previous work, we developed a conceptual model for the ecology and management of the spring snowmelt recession in Mediterranean-montane catchments. This conceptual model focused on three components of the Natural Flow Regime: magnitude, timing, and rate of change. Here we provide a model...

Modeling the Hydrology of Climate Change in California’s Sierra Nevada for Sub-Watershed Scale Adaptation

The rainfall-runoff model presented in this study represents the hydrology of 15 major watersheds of the Sierra Nevada in California as the backbone of a planning tool for water resources analysis including climate change studies. Our model implementation documents potential changes in...

Why Climate Change Makes Riparian Restoration More Important than Ever: Recommendations for Practice and Research

Over the next century, climate change will dramatically alter natural resource management. Specifically, historical reference conditions may no longer serve as benchmarks for restoration, which may foster a “why bother?” attitude toward ecological restoration. We review the potential role for...

Floodplain Heterogeneity Drives Riparian Vegetation Composition and Structure Through Channel Meander Migration and Channel Abandonment

Riparian vegetation composition and structure reflect the legacy of fine- and coarse-scale patterns of hydrology, geomorphology and ecology. Understanding the dynamics of complex systems requires scaling-up mechanistic patterns and processes. Coupling hydro-geomorphic processes with vegetation...

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