Ever wonder how changes in land use affect the balance of how much water infiltrates the ground, how much runs off, and how much evaporates? With this handy interactive online app, see how changes in the amount of rainfall, the surfaces on which the rain falls and the texture of the soil change where the water goes.
Try it here: http://www.stroudcenter.org/mmw/mini/
Decide how much rain will fall by using an easy to manipulate slide bar. Then select the land-cover type where the rain will fall. Finally, pick a soil type – from sandy soils to clay loam. As the simulation runs, follow where the water flows…
It’s a generic model, but a good fundamental learning tool. For regions in the US they are taking this tool a step further by incorporating GIS / Google Maps data to apply rainfall scenarios to exisiting land-cover and soil conditions. Then they use the “Modify my WatershedThe geographic area of land that drains water to a shared destination. The boundary is determined topographically by ridges, or high elevation points. Water flows downhill, so mountains and ridge tops define watershed boundaries.” modelling tool to to make changes to the underlying environmental conditions and model parameters, implement best management practices and calculate the impact of the changes from an economic, social, ecosystem and water quality perspective.
We think that is pretty cool! – See more at: http://wikiwatershed.org/model.php#sthash.3TMH6rFt.dpuf