American Society of Civil Engineers

Modeling the Impacts of Hydromodification

by Y. M. Mohamoud, (Hydrologist, National Exposure Research Laboratory, USEPA, 960 College Station Road, Athens, GA E-mail:
Section: Watershed Modeling, pp. 1316-1327, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Watershed Management 2010: Innovations in Watershed Management under Land Use and Climate Change
Abstract: Hydromodification is caused by anthropogenic activities driven by human population growth and resource consumption that alter watershed hydrologic responses. These activities include urbanization, channel modification, flow regulation by water impoundments, water withdrawal, and climate change. Hydromodification is a major source of integrated stressors that disrupt ecosystem functions and consequently the ecosystem services that watersheds provide. Stressors associated with hydromodification include flow alteration, water quality degradation, habitat degradation, and loss of aquatic life and biodiversity. Hydromodification is one of the leading sources of water quality impairment. Under the Clean Water Act, it is a regulatory requirement to develop total daily maximum loads (TMDLs) for streams and rivers affected by hydromodification. However, modeling approaches that address the complexities of hydromodification are not well established. Specifically, quantifying stressor levels associated with different hydromodification activities and assessing their impacts on aquatic ecosystems is a major challenge. In this paper, we propose Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources (BASINS) as a modeling framework suitable for forecasting anthropogenic-induced stressors and their effects on aquatic ecosystems.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Hydrologic models
Population growth
Water demand