Bulletin-163 — Monitoring Effects of Wildfire Mitigation Treatments on Water Budget Components: A Paired Basin Study in the Santa Fe Watershed, New Mexico
By Amy C. Lewis, 2018, 52 pages
A paired basin study in the Upper Santa Fe River watershed following forest restoration has successfully measured water budget components in a treated and an untreated (control) basin. The paired basin study was established to investigate questions that have arisen with regards to changes in water yield from forest treatments. The chloride mass balance and water budget equations force agreement in the water budget components, and thus, the integration periods that consider the cycling of chloride through each basin, will impact the estimated evapotranspiration and recharge rates. The results from nine years of data collection and analysis show that evapotranspiration, while greater in the treated basin than the control before and after treatments, appears to be declining in the treated basin. An increase in stream flow in the treated basin is only evident in years with a greater percentage of winter precipitation.
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