Esmeralda Vargas

Esmeralda Vargas
M.S, Earth Systems and Environmental Engineering, Graduate, 12/20/2020

Cohort Level: Cohort - III

Career Goal: After I graduate, I want to continue a career in water resources. I would like to work on environmental policy and create regulations that help improve water quality in New York. My goal is to help restore waterways to what they once were in order to boost recreational activities.

Expected Graduation Date: December 20, 2020

Degree: M.S Earth Systems and Environmental Engineering

Research Title: Identifying and Interviewing River Water Stakeholders in California’s Watersheds

Research Synopsis: Water quantity and water quality continue to be an issue worldwide and with a changing climate, new issues pertaining to water resources are arising. Climate change is increasing drought conditions and causing streamflow to fall below normal. Lack of sufficient streamflow can impact water quantity for sectors such as agriculture, tourism, and hydropower. Using high-resolution land use datasets, stream gauge time-series data to study a specific waterbody we can map where low flows occur and what sectors along a waterbody are impacted. Mapping helps policymakers identify which sectors will be more hindered by low flows and thus should consider implementing policies for surface water withdrawals or water allocation for various sectors during such events. Using mapping technologies, interviews, and surveys, this study will explore water usage in a few watersheds in California, to understand how different sectors use adjacent streams so as to understand how lower river flows impact water users.