Hydrology (928 words) Essay

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Water Resource Engineering
Dealing with the natural resources of our environment, both in management capacities for present needs and safety and in planning for the future available resources, is the responsibility of water resource engineers. Working in the fields of Hydrology and Hydraulics, water resource engineers help to guarantee the availability and quality of public water supplies and the timely handling of excess water, in any of its forms. Water resource engineering includes the analysis of water supply, treatment and storage, watershed management, which includes surface and ground water hydrology and hydrogeology, urban / rural rainfall and run-off analyses, and stormwater management and master drainage plans. The last function of water resource engineering is wastewater treatment and disposal, which includes sewage collection, treatment and disposal systems, sanitary sewer systems construction, inspection and rehabilitation, and sewage pumping stations collection, storage and treatment of urban run-off.
Water resource engineering mainly falls in the fields of Hydrology and Hydraulics. Hydrology is the study of the sources and natural flows of water, whether it be underground, watershed runoff, snowpack, etc. The practice in this field is the planning and management of the available resources, whatever their form. Hydraulics is the study of both confined and unconfined fluid flow phenomena, and the designing of engineered systems to utilize such fluid properties as head, pressure, and velocity.

Hydrological research in its widest sense comprises the circulation of water in nature under the influence of climatic variability and of man’s actions concerning the exploitation and control of the water resources. A quantitative model description of the circulation of water is central as a background for the analysis of groundwater contamination, environmental effects of groundwater recovery, soil erosion, flooding, drought, and the interaction of areal use and water resources. Hydrology can be divided into two main areas: groundwater hydrology and surface water hydrology. Groundwater hydrology includes the flow and transport processes in saturated and unsaturated soil, including laboratory experiments and field investigations describing the exhaustive physical or chemical processes and the development of mathematical or numerical model systems. The focus of groundwater hydrology is especially upon the effect of heterogeneities in the subsurface (for example stone, clay or sand lenses and macropores), dispersion and solution of oil contamination in soil, coupling between chemical processes and transport, and definition of model parameters by optimization and validation of models. A prevailing part of the research resources will also in the future be concentrated on groundwater research with the main theme being flow and transport modeling in heterogeneous aquifers including scale-dependent model description, geochemical modeling, inverse modeling, and modeling of multi-phase transport (oil contamination). New, important areas are transport of pesticides, estimation of model uncertainties, and optimization of remediation initiatives at point sources. On the other hand, surface water hydrology includes the planning, development, and management of the water resources. It focuses on the understanding and model description of the global, regional, and local interaction between atmosphere, soil, water, and vegetation, including the change of precipitation to evaporation, the creation and run-off of groundwater.
Research in water resources and hydraulic engineering includes problems in the hydrodynamic modeling of free surface flows, the dynamics of ice formation and transport in rivers and oceans, remote sensing of sea ice dynamics, the spreading of oil and other chemical spills, modeling deep water oil/gas jets and plumes, and mathematical modeling of oil spills on rivers and oceans. Hydraulic engineering also deals with fluid statics, fluid dynamics, pipe flow, open channel flow, the design of various hydraulic structures, measurements, and model studies. The following are water resources engineering case studies.

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Water Quality Modeling of Lake West Point
West Point Reservoir, on the Chattahoochee River downstream of metro Atlanta, is subject to algal production and blooms due to excessive nutrient loadings that need to be evaluated and controlled. The 2D hydrodynamic and water quality model CE-QUAL-W2 is being calibrated and applied to West Point Reservoir with the goal of assisting Georgia EPD in developing total Maximum Daily Loadings (TMDL’s) of nutrients in order to meet water quality standards in the reservoir. The effect of using different temporal scales for model inputs is being investigated, and the impact of reduced phosphorus loading on reservoir water quality will be evaluated over a multi-year period.
Use of Satellite Information in Modeling Runoff, Erosion, and Non-point Source Pollution for Large Watersheds
This project focuses on assessing the value of using satellite sensed weather and land cover/land use for the management of large watersheds (*1000 km 2). The project includes four major components: (1) estimation of rain using satellite images, (2) runoff modeling using distributed watershed models, (3) erosion modeling and sediment transport, and (4) modeling of non point source pollution loads. Case studies will be conducted for the Southeastern US and the Lake Victoria Basin.
Works Cited
http://vig.prenhall.com/acadbook/0,2581,0131766031,00.html http://www.ce.gatech.edu/~water/research.html#efm11
PRIVATE TYPE=PICT;ALT=Pressure Column PRIVATE TYPE=PICT;ALT=Hydraulic Jump http://www.isva.dtu.dk/research.htm#hydrology
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