Eichinger, Kruger Help Study Kansas River Environment
Two faculty research engineers from IIHR--Hydrosciene & Engineering will join a team of water specialists at the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas, to monitor the environment along the Whitewater River in Butler County, Kansas, west of El Dorado and northeast of Wichita. The study is supported by a $172,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
Soil moisture and groundwater, normally abundant in riparian zones, can be reduced by evaporation or transpiration - the release of water into the atmosphere by plants as part of photosynthesis. Deep-rooted plants, such as hackberry, elm and green ash trees, may tap into groundwater and release more moisture into the air than is replaced by precipitation.
Atmospheric and hydrologic models will be developed from data gathered in the study and used to understand the effect of water cycle processes on such matters as flood control, sustainable water supplies, agricultural practices and preservation of the environment.