Category: Emerging and Innovative Technologies

394759 - Development of a Monitoring Network in a Paired Watershed Study to Investigate Water Supply Benefits of Controlling Yellow Starthistle Infestation in Northern California

Tuesday, Jun 5
8:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Yellow starthistle is a winter annual weed native to the Mediterranean region. Its infestation is considered as a serious problem in the rangelands, grasslands, and wildlands of the northwestern United States. Due to its high water usage, yellow starthistle increases water conservation costs and threatens native plant ecosystems, potentially necessitating the control of its invasive growth. The benefits of such a control are examined in this study, which focuses on the design of a paired watershed approach to quantify surface water and groundwater response to different vegetation treatments – with and without yellow starthistle – in small sub-watersheds located in Northern California. Four sub-watersheds that are heavily infested by the yellow starthistle and representative of the larger landscape (with varying sizes from 4.5 to 9 acres) are identified. The experimental period will span three years, the first year without treatment and the remaining two including treatment. Over the study period, meteorological information, surface runoff, and changes in groundwater conditions and soil moisture conditions will be monitored to characterize baseline and after-treatment hydrologic functioning of the watersheds. For this purpose, meteorological stations, soil moisture sensors, piezometers, and flumes are installed. The monitoring system provides data via wireless communication technology which allows continuous monitoring from the remote project site, and makes data acquisition and analysis easier.

Co-Authors: Michael L. Deas, Davis, CA – Watercourse Engineering, Inc.

Merve Gorguner

Water Resources Scientist
Watercourse Engineering, Inc.
DAVIS, California

Merve Gorguner, Ph.D. is a Water Resources Scientist at Watercourse Engineering, Inc. in Davis, California. She obtained her M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey in 2013, and her Ph.D. in Water Resources Engineering from the University of California, Davis in 2016. Her doctoral studies focused on regional atmospheric modeling, watershed hydrology modeling, reservoir system modeling, and drought analysis. In Watercourse Engineering, Inc., she performs hydrologic modeling and water quality modeling on water systems in California.