Effects of Urbanization and Climate Change on Stream Health in North‐Central Texas
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Estimation of stream health involves the analysis of changes in aquatic species, riparian vegetation, microinvertebrates, and channel degradation due to hydrologic changes occurring from anthropogenic activities. In this study, we quantified stream health changes arising from urbanization and climate change using a combination of the widely accepted Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) and Dundee Hydrologic Regime Assessment Method (DHRAM) on a rapidly urbanized watershed in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area in Texas. Historical flow data were split into pre-alteration and post-alteration periods. The influence of climate change on stream health was analyzed by dividing the precipitation data into three groups of dry, average, and wet conditions based on recorded annual precipitation. Hydrologic indicators were evaluated for all three of the climate scenarios to estimate the stream health changes brought about by climate change. The effect of urbanization on stream health was analyzed for a specific subwatershed where urbanization occurred dramatically but no stream flow data were available using the widely used watershed-scale Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The results of this study identify negative impacts to stream health with increasing urbanization and indicate that dry weather has more impact on stream health than wet weather. The IHA-DHRAM approach and SWAT model prove to be useful tools to estimate stream health at the watershed scale.
author list (cited authors)
Jeong, J., Kannan, N., & Arnold, J. G.