Upstream-Downstream Relationships in Terms of Annual Streamflow Discharges and Drought Events in Nebraska
Hong WU, Leen Kiat SOH, Ashok SAMAL, Tao HONG, David MARX, Xunhong CHEN
DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2009.15037   PDF    HTML     9,070 Downloads   17,149 Views   Citations


Upstream-downstream relationships of annual streamflow discharges and severity and frequency of stream-flow drought events are critical in understanding how streamflow droughts propagate over time and space. Such information can be used to resolve water disputes, trigger mitigation strategies, and understand how streamflow changes due to changes in the environment. During drought years, such information is even more critical as water resources are contested. The objective of this research is to study the upstream-downstream relationships of streamflow in Nebraska along four major river systems with diverse hydrologic characteris-tics and human activities: North Platte, Big Blue, Republican, and Niobrara. The relationships among the upstream and downstream stations along the four rivers are investigated by comparing several statistics de-rived from the annual flow discharge and on drought events. Trend analysis and coefficient of variation are applied to annual flow discharge values, and a host of drought-related parameters (e.g., annual maximum drought duration, annual accumulated drought duration, number of drought events) are also computed with respect to five different levels of streamflow drought events: water shortage, mild drought, moderate drought, significant drought, and extreme drought. The paired-t test and ANOVA with MIXED procedure are subse-quently applied to the statistics to observe whether there is a significant difference between upstream and downstream stations along a river. The analysis allows us to characterize the upstream-downstream relation-ships of the four river systems, laying the groundwork for further investigations to identify the reasons for some of the trends and observations. These findings will be essential in water resources management during or prior to hydrological droughts.

Share and Cite:

H. WU, L. SOH, A. SAMAL, T. HONG, D. MARX and X. CHEN, "Upstream-Downstream Relationships in Terms of Annual Streamflow Discharges and Drought Events in Nebraska," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 1 No. 5, 2009, pp. 299-315. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2009.15037.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] T. F. Homer-Dixon, “Strategies for studying causation in complex ecological political systems,” Occasional Paper, The Myth of Global Water Wars.
[2] C. A. Flowerday, Ed., “Flat water: A history of nebraska and its water, conservation and survey division institute of agricultural and natural resources,” University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Resource Report, No. 12.
[3] H. Hisdal and L. M. Tallaksen, Eds., “Assessment of the regional impact of droughts in Europe,” Drought Event Definition,Technical Report, No. 6, pp. 41, 2002.
[4] M. P. Lawson, A. Reiss, R. Phillips, and K. Livingston, “Nebraska droughts: A study of their past chronological and spatial extent with implications for the future,” Occasional Papers, Department of Geography, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, No. 1, pp. 147, 1971.
[5] L. B. Leopold, “A view of the river,” Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 298, 1994.
[6] H. F. Lins and J. R. Slack, “Streamflow trends in the United States,” Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 227?230, 1999.
[7] M. A. Miah, “Man-made climatic changes in the Ganges basin,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 22, pp. 993?1016, 2002.
[8] R. Neff, H. Chang, C. G. Knight, R. G. Najjar, B. Yarnal, and H. A. Walker, “Impact of climate variation and change on Mid-Atlantic region hydrology and water resources,” Climate Research, Vol. 14, pp. 207?218, 2000.
[9] C. Revenga, S. Murray, J. Abramovitz, and A. Hammond, “Watersheds of the world: Ecological value and vulnerability,” World Resources Institute and Worldwatch Institute, Washington DC, 1998.
[10] D. A. Wilhite, “Government response to drought in the United States: With particular reference to the Great Plains,” Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology, Vol. 22, pp. 40?50, 1983.
[11] V. Yevjevich, “An objective approach to definition and investigation of continental hydrologic droughts,” Hydrology Paper, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, 1967.
[12] E. Zelenhasic and A. Salwai, “A method of streamflow drought analysis,” Water Resources Research, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 156?168, 1987.
[13] Nebraska Agricultural Statistics Service, http://www.agr. (accessed in 2009).
[14] F. J. Wen and X. H. Chen, “Evaluation of the impact of groundwater irrigation on streamflow depletion in Nebraska,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 327, pp. 603?617, 2006.
[15] N. Peranginangin, R. Sakthivadivel, N. R. Scott, E. Kendy, and T. S. Steenhuis, “Water accounting for con-junctive groundwater/surface water management: Case of the Singkarak-Ombilin river basin, Indonesia,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 292, pp. 1?22, 2004.
[16] H. Hisdal, K. Stahl, L. M. Tallaksen, and S. Demuth, “Have streamflow droughts in Europe become more se-vere or frequent,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 21, pp. 317?333, 2001.
[17] A. Bleed, “Groundwater in an atlas of the sand hills,” A. Bleed and C. Flowerday (Editors), Conservation and Survey Division, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lin-coln, Nebraska, Resource Atlas, No. 5b, pp. 67?92, 1989.
[18] SAS Institute Inc. SAS System Version 9.1, SAS Institute Inc. Cary, NC.
[19] J. A. Dracup, K. S. Lee, and E. G. Paulson, Jr., “On the definition of droughts,” Water Resources Research, Vol. 16, pp. 297?302, 1980.
[20] L. M. Tallaksen, “Streamflow drought frequency ana- lysis,” in J. V. Vogt and F. Somma, Eds., “Drought and drought mitigation in Europe,” Kluwer Academic Pub-lishers, Derdrecht, pp. 103?117, 2000.
[21] J. Abaurrea and A. C. Cebrián, “Drought analysis based on a cluster Poisson model: Distribution of the most se-vere drought,” Climate Research, Vol. 22, pp. 227?235, 2002.
[22] D. A. Wilhite, “Drought as a natural hazard: Concepts and definitions,” Chapter 1, in D. A. Wilhite, Ed., “Drought: A global assessment,” Natural Hazards and Disasters Series, Routledge Publishers, U. K., 2000.
[23] D. R. Helsel and R. M. Hirsch, “Statistical methods in water resources: Techniques of water resources investiga-tions of the United States geological survey,” Book 4, Chapter A3, Hydrologic Analysis and Interpretation, pp. 510, 2002.
[24] D. Yang, B. Ye, and D. L. Kane, “Streamflow changes over Siberian Yenisei river basin,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 296, pp. 59?80, 2004.
[25] D. P. Lettenmaier, E. F. Wood, and J. R. Wallis, “Hydro-climatological trends in the continental United States: 1948 1988,” Journal of Climate, Vol. 7, pp. 586?607, 1994.
[26] A. Tabidian and D. T. Pederson, “Impact of irrigation wells on baseflow of the big blue river, Nebraska,” Water Resources Bulletin, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 295?306, 1995.
[27] S. Stefan, M. Ghioca, N. Rimbu, and C. Boroneant, “Study of meteorological and hydrological drought in southern Romania from observational data,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 24, pp. 871?881, 2004.
[28] E. Kahya and S. Kalayci, “Trend analysis of streamflow in Turkey,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 289, pp. 128?144, 2004.
[29] USGS, U. S., Geological Survey, nsip (accessed in 2009).
[30] X. H. Chen and L. C. Shu, “Groundwater evapotranspiration captured by seasonally pumping wells in river valleys,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 318, pp. 334?347, 2006.
[31] G. J. McCabe and D. M. Wolock, “Trends and tempera-ture sensitivity of moisture conditions in the contermi-nous United States,” Climate Research, Vol. 20, pp. 19?29, 2002.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.