Resilient Energy Water Infrastructure

Algorithm Provides Early Warning System for Tracking Groundwater Contamination

Groundwater contamination is increasingly recognized as a widespread environmental problem. The most important course of action often involves long-term monitoring. But what is the most cost-effective way to monitor when the contaminant plumes are large, complex, and long-term, or an unexpected event such as a storm could cause sudden changes in contaminant levels that may…

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New Simulations Break Down Potential Impact of a Major Quake by Building Location and Size

ABOVE: Images resulting from recent simulations at NERSC show the distribution of ground motion intensity across the San Francisco Bay Area region 10 and 15 seconds after a large-magnitude earthquake along the Hayward Fault. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)   With unprecedented resolution, scientists and engineers are simulating precisely how a large-magnitude earthquake along the Hayward Fault…

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Bhavna Arora Talked Ecohydrology and Watersheds with AGU

Bhavna Arora is a research scientist within the Energy Geosciences Division and a member of the Ecohydrological Technical Committee for the American Geophysical Union, which celebrates 100 years in 2018. This week the committee featured a conversation with Arora, wherein she described her study of water resource management and contributions to the Watershed Function Scientific…

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Scientists Unveil New Version of Popular Flow-Simulation Tool

Scientists from the Energy Geosciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) have released the latest version of TOUGH (Transport Of Unsaturated Groundwater and Heat), a suite of software codes used worldwide to simulate nonisothermal multiphase flow and transport in fractured and porous media. TOUGH3 builds on the impressive legacy of its TOUGH predecessors, which…

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Panel Discussion on Lab’s Water Technology Research Jan. 10

East River watershed, Colorado CA

On Jan. 10 at noon in the Building 50 auditorium, five Lab scientists will discuss innovative solutions to improving the reliability, efficiency, and sustainability of water-energy systems in California and the nation. The event, “Big Ideas in Water Technology Research,” will be moderated by Peter Fiske, director of Berkeley Lab’s Water-Energy Resilience Research Institute, which…

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Susan Hubbard and Margaret Torn Honored as #AGU17 Fellows

About 80 EESA scientists are representing Berkeley Lab at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union this week in New Orleans. AGU’s annual fall meeting is the largest Earth and space science meeting in the world, with more than 24,000 attendees. For the first time in several years, the meeting is being held away…

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Team Gathered for Annual Meeting of Watershed Function Project

  The Watershed Function Project held an annual retreat on November 9th, which included over 80 team members and collaborators assembled from 14 institutions. Through fast-paced presentations and breakout sessions, and with a focus on the East River Watershed in the Upper Colorado River Basin, the team discussed new insights about how mountainous watersheds respond…

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EESA Develops New Approach to Restock California’s Groundwater via Almond Orchards, Vineyards

Flooding of California almond orchard for groundwater recharge demonstration project

Groundwater—the water stored underneath the Earth’s surface between the cracks and spaces in soil, sand, and bedrock—is essential for the California residents and farmers who rely on it for up to 46 percent of their annual water use. Yet during the 2012-2017 drought, the state’s surface water supply was not sufficient to meet demand, resulting in excess groundwater pumping that caused land subsidence of up to 13 inches in some parts of the San Joaquin Valley. Now a team of scientists at Berkeley Lab’s Earth & Environmental Sciences Area are working with farmers and partners like the Almond Board of California and UC Davis to test on-farm banking, a new approach that has the potential to manage groundwater more sustainably. It’s an improvement on the age-old method of groundwater recharge, the process of replenishing aquifers by infiltrating water from the surface into shallow aquifers. “On-farm banking has the promise of making the most productive use of the greatest amount of land possible while increasing the reliability and resiliency of California’s groundwater supply,” says EESA scientist Peter Nico, a soil and environmental biogeochemist.

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