Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Cheng Li; Ge SunPeter V Caldwell; Erika Cohen; Yuan Fang; Yindan Zhang; Ludovic Oudin; Georgina M. Sanchez; Ross K. Meentemeyer
    Date: 2020
    Source: Water Resources Research
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (889.0 KB)

    Description

    Urbanization impacts ecosystem functions and services by fundamentally altering the balances between precipitation, water yield (Q), and evapotranspiration (ET) in watersheds. Accurate quantification of future hydrologic impacts is essential for national urban planning and watershed management decision making. We hypothesize that ‘hydrologic impacts of urbanization are not created equal’ as a result of the large spatial variability in climate and land use/land cover change (LULCC). A monthly water balance model was validated and applied to quantify the hydrologic responses of 81,900 12-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) watersheds to historical and projected LULUC in 2000, 2010, 2050, and 2100 in the conterminous United States (CONUS). Stepwise and Geographically Weighted Regression models were used to identify key factors controlling the spatially varied hydrologic impacts across CONUS. Although the simulated impact of future urbanization on mean change in water yield (ΔQ) was small at the national level, significant changes (ΔQ>50 mm/year) were found in 1,046 and 3,747 watersheds by 2050 and 2100, respectively. Hydrologic responses varied spatially and were more pronounced in the eastern U.S. Overall, the impacts of urbanization on water yield were influenced by local climate, previous LULC characteristics, and the magnitude of changes in land use and impervious surfaces. The continued increase in impervious surface, especially in previously urbanized watersheds, and background precipitation contributed most to future ΔQ through both increase in direct runoff and reduction in ET. Effective national-scale integrated watershed management strategies must consider local climatic and LULC conditions to minimize negative hydrologic impacts of urbanization.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to pubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Li, Cheng; Sun, Ge; Caldwell, Peter V.; Cohen, Erika; Fang, Yuan; Zhang, Yindan; Oudin, Ludovic; Sanchez, Georgina M.; Meentemeyer, Ross K. 2020. Impacts of urbanization on watershed water balances across the conterminous United States. Water Resources Research. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019WR026574.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/60173