Water Resources Research is now a fully open access journal

AGU remains committed to open science and open data. As part of our mission, we are focused on making science available to the widest possible audience. With the growing open access requirements placed by funders on researchers around the world, this transition to an open access model also makes compliance easier.

All articles in the journal are open access as of 1 January 2024. For more information, including funding options for publishing fees, please visit the FAQ.

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Open access

Convection‐Permitting Climate Models Can Support Observations to Generate Rainfall Return Levels

  •  13 April 2024

Key Points

  • We utilize high-resolution climate model data as covariates in spatial Generalized Extreme Value models to assess extreme precipitation

  • Compared to using only topographical information, adding climate model data can improve the representation of 10- and 100-year return levels

  • An extensive cross-validation study shows great potential of our approach for data-scarce regions

Open access

Dune Development Dominates Flow Resistance Increase in a Large Dammed River

  •  13 April 2024

Key Points

  • Random wave analysis is utilized to evaluate dune characteristics and calculate flow resistance

  • An amplificated flow resistance after upstream damming, declining with downstream distance

  • The development of large dunes accompanied by riverbed grain coarsening jointly increases flow resistance

Open access

Transformer Versus LSTM: A Comparison of Deep Learning Models for Karst Spring Discharge Forecasting

  •  12 April 2024

Key Points

  • The Transformer architecture was applied in karst hydrology for the first time, showing high performance for discharge forecasting

  • Monte Carlo dropout revealed that the prediction intervals are smallest and cover the measured discharges best in winter and autumn

  • The high temporal resolution of the input data sets improved the forecasting performance

Open access

Virtual Hydrological Laboratories: Developing the Next Generation of Conceptual Models to Support Decision Making Under Change

  •  12 April 2024

Key Points

  • New thinking is needed to improve the predictive skill of conceptual hydrological models as they are confronted by multi-faceted change

  • Next generation conceptual models need to increase their “hydrological fidelity” founded upon multiple hydrological lines of evidence

  • Virtual Hydrological Laboratories accelerate this development through controlled testing for future changes yet to be observed

Open access

Topography‐Based Particle Image Velocimetry of Braided Channel Initiation

  •  12 April 2024

Key Points

  • Topography-based particle image velocimetry effectively tracks the migration of braided channel threads in a laboratory experiment

  • During the initiation of a braided channel, channel threads migrate quickly as incipient meanders form and slow down as braiding develops

  • Similar to channel belt growth, migration rates vary quasi-periodically along stream, at the half scale of initial meander bends

Open access

How to Choose Suitable Physics‐Based Models Without Tuning and System Identification for Model‐Predictive Control of Open Water Channels?

  •  12 April 2024

Key Points

  • Simple models for open water channels for control purposes are compared through open and closed-loop simulation tests and frequency response

  • Open channels are categorized based on their geometry and flow conditions and for each category a model is recommended

  • A guideline is given for internal/surrogate model choice for control purposes

Open access

Automated Input Variable Selection for Analog Methods Using Genetic Algorithms

  •  12 April 2024

Key Points

  • Genetic algorithms were successful in selecting relevant input variables for the prediction of precipitation by analog methods

  • The analogy criteria were automatically selected, resulting in the discovery of a new promising criterion

  • The optimization resulted in a structure combining different predictors into a single level of analogy, while outperforming stepwise methods

Open access

Seasonal and Species‐Level Water‐Use Strategies and Groundwater Dependence in Dryland Riparian Woodlands During Extreme Drought

  •  12 April 2024

Key Points

  • Dryland riparian cottonwoods used shallow soil moisture when available but ultimately relied on groundwater for survival during drought

  • Species had different water-use strategies related to their distribution along a gradient of increasing aridity with distance from coast

  • Populus trichocarpa appears more susceptible to warming, and P. fremontii more vulnerable to groundwater decline due to high water demand

Open access

Distributed Hydrological Modeling With Physics‐Encoded Deep Learning: A General Framework and Its Application in the Amazon

  •  12 April 2024

Key Points

  • A fully differentiable framework that seamlessly integrates physics and deep learning was developed for distributed hydrological modeling

  • The framework flexibly fuses multi-source observations and improves the efficiency and accuracy of large-scale hydrological modeling

  • The hybrid model for the Amazon Basin exhibits excellent fidelity and physical plausibility and provides insights into the ET process

Open access

Anomalous Pressure Diffusion and Deformation in Two‐ and Three‐Dimensional Heterogeneous Fractured Media

  •  12 April 2024

Key Points

  • Fluid production and subsidence are studied for three-dimensional fractured poroelastic media

  • Strong tailing in the temporal evolution of the fluid production rate and displacement is observed

  • A multi-porosity model explains scaling regimes and behaviors, and quantifies the full evolution of coupled flow and deformation

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Open access

A Transdisciplinary Review of Deep Learning Research and Its Relevance for Water Resources Scientists

Key Points

  • Deep learning (DL) is transforming many scientific disciplines, but its adoption in hydrology is gradual
  • DL can help tackle interdisciplinarity, data deluge, unrecognized linkages, and long-standing challenges such as scaling and equifinality
  • The new field of AI neuroscience opens up many opportunities for scientists to use DL as an exploratory tool for scientific advancement

Open access

MERIT Hydro: A High‐Resolution Global Hydrography Map Based on Latest Topography Dataset

Key Points

  • A global hydrography map was generated using the latest topography dataset
  • Near-automatic algorithm applicable for global hydrography delineation was developed
  • Adjusted elevation and river width layers consistent with flow direction map are provided

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Open access

Toward an Integrated Probabilistic Coastal Vulnerability Assessment: A Novel Copula‐Based Vulnerability Index

Key Points

  • Introduction of a new Probabilistic Coastal Vulnerability Index (PCVI), which contains various socio-economic and biophysical factors

  • Using joint-probability analysis of vulnerability factors using copula functions to preserve simultaneous information about various factors

  • Benchmarking PCVI against post-hazard flood maps and the cost of fatalities from Hurricane Florence (2018) and Hurricane Matthew (2016)

free access

Investigating the Propagation From Meteorological to Hydrological Drought by Introducing the Nonlinear Dependence With Directed Information Transfer Index

Key Points

  • Directed information transfer index was introduced in drought propagation study to build a new drought response time evaluation system for the first time

  • Trigger thresholds from meteorological to hydrological drought were determined by a drought propagation model

  • Sub-regions with smaller meteorological drought trigger thresholds had longer durations of hydrological drought events

Open access

Aridification of Colorado River Basin's Snowpack Regions Has Driven Water Losses Despite Ameliorating Effects of Vegetation

Key Points

  • A 10.3% reduction in Colorado Basin's present-day natural flow exists due to anthropogenic warming despite vegetation response to CO2

  • Anthropogenic warming reduced Colorado Basin's natural flow by roughly the storage of Lake Mead during the ongoing megadrought (2000–2021)

  • Greater aridification in snowpack regions is causing water losses to occur roughly twice as fast compared to non-snowpack regions

Plain Language Summary

The Colorado River Basin provides a crucial source of water for an expansive water-limited region covering the southwestern US and its major cities. Several studies have demonstrated that this basin has experienced substantial reductions in water availability due to warming. Here, we quantify how reductions in water availability have varied from 1954 to 2021 across this basin due to human-driven warming that has occurred since 1880. As a part of this analysis, we include how the vegetation response to historical increases in CO2 has impacted water losses. We find that the basin has roughly 10% less water available under present-day conditions due to warming since the 1880s. The majority of water loss has occurred due to a heightened sensitivity to warming in the basin's regions associated with snowpack, compared to regions without snowpack. We also demonstrate that without this warming, the Colorado Basin would have had significantly larger amounts of water available, equal to the size of Lake Mead, over the duration of the 2000–2021 megadrought.

free access

ChatGPT in Hydrology and Earth Sciences: Opportunities, Prospects, and Concerns

Key Points

  • Large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT, are new technological tools that might fundamentally change academia

  • ChatGPT can assist in academic writing but should not be relied on as the only source of information in hydrology and Earth Science studies

  • Authors should exhibit transparency in their utilization of LLMs and uphold ethical responsibility

free access

A new drought index that considers the joint effects of climate and land surface change

Key Points

  • Newly developed drought index SWI considers the joint effects of climate and land surface change (variability)
  • SWI has potential to evaluate the impacts of climate and land surface changes (variability) on dryness/wetness
  • Land surface change has larger (less) impacts on drought conditions in water-limited Wuding (energy-limited Poyang) catchment

free access

Status of CO2 storage in deep saline aquifers with emphasis on modeling approaches and practical simulations

Key Points:

  • Carbon storage in deep saline aquifers is a viable carbon mitigation option
  • A wide range of modeling approaches can provide practical simulation results
  • Field-scale observations and modeling enhance system understanding

Open access

Water Use in Global Livestock Production—Opportunities and Constraints for Increasing Water Productivity

Key Points

  • Annually, 4,387 km3 of water is required to produce the feed consumed by the global livestock sector, of which 94% is green water
  • Opportunities for increasing livestock water productivity exist for all livestock types but are particularly large for ruminants
  • Water productivity improvements for ruminants through supplementation with feed crops are constrained by high water cost to produce crops

free access

The science and practice of river restoration

Key Points

  • River restoration is a prominent area of applied water-resources science
  • restoration includes connectivity, physical-biotic interactions, and history
  • effective restoration requires collaboration among scientists and practitioners

Open access

Estimating Reservoir Inflow and Outflow From Water Level Observations Using Expert Knowledge: Dealing With an Ill‐Posed Water Balance Equation in Reservoir Management

Key Points

  • This study proposed an analytical framework to determine daily reservoir inflow and outflow from reservoir water level observations

  • An ill-posed reservoir water balance equation was solved by carefully combining water level data, expert knowledge, and modeling

  • The proposed framework outperformed conventional (benchmark) approaches in accuracy and uncertainty

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