Groundwater Flooding and Guerrilla Trenches : a Participatory Approach for Flood Control Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/x059c957k

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  • Residents in South Falls City, a small town in the foothills of Oregon's Coast Range, battle intense flooding during the rainy season. Disagreements about surface water management pit neighbor against neighbor, but preliminary evidence suggests that groundwater flooding is an underlying cause. OSU researchers pair the emerging literature on groundwater flooding with a collaborative learning framework to manage conflict and characterize the region's hydrology. This joint fact-finding mission seeks to determine if (1) the groundwater contributes to the apparent stormwater flooding, and (2) if a Coupled Human and Naturals Systems (CHANS) approach to groundwater control can alleviate both flooding and conflict. A Falls City/OSU partnership provide funds for a monitoring well to measure depth of the alluvial aquifer, produce water table hydrographs, and determine aquifer properties. LIDAR based surface elevation data help resolve surface-groundwater interactions. Results show that groundwater plays an active role in the surface flooding. AquiferWin32 software provided by Dr. Steve Taylor from Western Oregon is used to evaluate potential mitigation strategies including ditch modifications, drain tiles, land cover changes, and dewatering wells. Engineering measures and stakeholder suggestions are synthesized to create mitigation recommendations for South Falls City. South Falls City joins a growing body of media reports and literature on groundwater flooding. A common theme emphasizes the importance of cooperative land and aquifer management in flooding regions, particularly in light of predicted precipitation increases with global climate change.
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