Client: Stroud Water research Center
Location: Avondale, PA
Meliora is currently providing technical input for the development of "Model My Watershed," a water model that will be used as an educational tool to provide understanding of water resources and the water cycle.
The tool will be developed to help the user understand the rainfall patterns in their watershed, and how that rainfall provides the water resource that they depend upon. Using regional rainfalldata, the model will help the user to understand:
• The amount of rainfall on an average annual and monthly basis, and how much rainfall has fallen so far that year.
• The amount of rainfall that the natural vegetation returns to the atmosphere.
• The amount of rainfall that soaks into the ground and becomes stream baseflow.
• How much rainfall occurs as stormwater runoff under natural conditions, and under the current land use conditions of their watershed.
• Basic information about the soils and geology of the watershed will also be provided.
The goal will be for the user to understand the importance of small frequent rainfalls in "resupplying" our water resources and the important role that soils and vegetation play as the earth's filter, cleaning and recycling our water. It will also help students understand that the water in streams and wetlands in constantly being supplied by the small storms as they are filtered through soils and vegetation. Additionally, it will help the students understand the impacts of land use on water resources, and the amount of runoff and pollutants that are generated from different land uses. The user will then be able to implement land use changes in their watershed, such as creating a suburban shopping center or residential community, and see the effects in the amount of increased runoff and decreased infiltration and evapotranspiration. Estimates of critical pollutants, such as total suspended sediment and nutrients, will also be provided. Students will be able to term annual impacts on their watershed and its water resources, as well as the short-term impacts, such as during a single rainfall. Meliora's role in this effort is to assist the development team in identifying the appropriate sources of data related to rainfall, streamflow, land use, and water balance statistics, and the algorithms to sort and apply the data.