Concurrent Session: Hydrologic assessment in flood-prone landscapes
10:40 AM - 12:00 PM Wed
TITLE: Developing a new hydrologic conditions assessment framework in the Marengo River watershed
ABSTRACT: Streams, wetlands, and floodplains have diverse but interrelated water management roles. When one or more of these is not functioning properly, the effects are often seen both at the natural site of interest as well as in aggregate downstream. Building on existing natural flood management work in the Marengo River Watershed, Wisconsin Wetlands Association and the Association of State Floodplain Managers are collaborating on the development of new methods to identify where a loss of wetland and floodplain storage and connectivity has occurred, to quantify those losses, and to evaluate how the loss or restoration of storage and connectivity affect streamflow and downstream flood risks. The objective is to create a holistic hydrologic conditions assessment and screening framework that links storage and connectivity functions to built infrastructure, particularly vulnerable roads and culverts. Catchment scale flood scenario modeling and vulnerability assessments are enabling cross-catchment comparisons of the current and potential capacity of natural infrastructure (i.e., stream, wetland, and floodplain system) to store and slow the flow of flood waters. The goals of this approach are to help prioritize natural flood management actions that restore healthy wetland and floodplain hydrology and to help road managers and community leaders make informed and fiscally responsible investments in hydrology-focused flood risk reduction strategies.
BIO: Stephanie Rockwood is the geospatial analyst for Wisconsin Wetlands Association, working to link geospatial information and local knowledge to help communities make informed decisions for natural flood management. Stephanie has more than 12 years of experience in plant conservation and GIS across many landscapes and agencies, most of which were with the National Park Service in the northern great plains and desert southwest.