Instrumenting Wildlife Water Developments to Collect Hydrometeorologic Data in Remote Nevada Catchments
AuthorGrant, Nicholas Joseph
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Hydrologic models estimating the contribution of surface water runoff to groundwater recharge often require inputs of precipitation data. However, models estimating precipitation in Nevada are based on extremely limited data, especially in remote, mid- to high-elevation catchments. Wildlife water developments, or guzzlers, are anthropogenic catchments designed to capture and store precipitation, making the water available to wildlife throughout the year. Guzzlers are typically installed in remote, mid- to high-elevation catchments, the same areas where observational data are lacking. This study investigates the feasibility of instrumenting wildlife water developments to collect hydrometeorologic data in a cost-effective manner. Instruments considered for deployment were tested under conditions simulating temperature extremes in remote Nevada. Recommendations for deployment are made based on those results. Two pilot field sites were instrumented in early 2009 and data are presented from those sites. Based on results from instrument tests and field data, installing hydroclimatic instrumentation at guzzlers can improve data availability in remote Nevada catchments.