Water availability and quality and their effects on humankind are among the greatest challenges for the United States in general and Texas in particular. Variability in the precipitation and drought patterns throughout the southwest United States, combined with increasing water demand continue to have significant social, political, economic, and environmental impact on the 50 million people who live in Texas and the other Gulf states.
A greater understanding of the water availability, storage, usage, and quality, in both space and time, is critical for ensuring a sustainable future for the citizens of Texas. At the heart of this grand challenge, key opportunities lie for building capacity with skilled individuals, infrastructure, and institutions to:
- Develop a framework for guiding decisions based on accurate water cycle observations,
- Enable improved water management based on fluxes and stores to close the local, regional, and global water budget,
- Acquire, analyze, and provide value-added data products and indicators for water users on a sustainable and easily accessible manner, and
- Generate accurate regional hydrologic/climatic modeling tools to better predict the short and long-term water resources availability.
We propose to develop a distributed network of field observatories in Brazos River corridor, known as Texas Water Observatory (TWO), for better understanding of the hydrologic flow across various natural and manmade reservoirs in the critical zone (encompassing groundwater, soil water, surface water, and atmospheric water) at various space and time scales. Using many advanced observational platforms and real-time / near real time sensors, this observatory will be monitoring high frequency data of water stores and fluxes, critical for understanding and modeling the water resources sustainability in the state of Texas and Southern USA.
TWO will be positioned to support high-impact water science that is beyond the existing capabilities at Texas A&M University (or other Texas Universities) and that is highly relevant to societal needs. Among others, this will be a regional resource for better understanding and/or managing agriculture, water resources, ecosystems, biodiversity, disasters, health, energy, and weather/climate.
For more information:
Binayak Mohanty, PhD – Regents Professor & College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Chair in Hydrologic Engineering & Sciences – email@example.com