Presenter/Author Information

Xiaodong Zhang

Keywords

devils lake, flooding, remote sensing, land use change, climate change

Start Date

1-7-2010 12:00 AM

Description

A dry period in the mid-20th century caused the lake area to become greatlyreduced, allowing people to build and begin farming on the floodplain. Since 1993, DevilsLake has risen a dramatic 8.5 m in elevation to 442 m, flooding both residential andagricultural zones in the surrounding area. Rising another 3 feet to an elevation of 445 m,the lake would overspill. To date, $1 billion in federal, state and local funds have beenspent to help mitigate flooding in the Devils Lake basin. It will cost several hundreds ofmillions if protection of overspill is needed. Some communities, displaced families andbusinesses have lost everything, and the future of those who remain is clouded by the veryreal possibility of continued disaster. A model is currently under development that willincorporate satellite observation to investigate the effect on the lake level of agricultureexpansion and future climate change. The results will be of great value in helping localcommunity to solve a real problem and make a wise (and educated) decision.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

The Fate of Devils Lake: An Interwoven Aftermath of Agriculture and Climate Change

A dry period in the mid-20th century caused the lake area to become greatlyreduced, allowing people to build and begin farming on the floodplain. Since 1993, DevilsLake has risen a dramatic 8.5 m in elevation to 442 m, flooding both residential andagricultural zones in the surrounding area. Rising another 3 feet to an elevation of 445 m,the lake would overspill. To date, $1 billion in federal, state and local funds have beenspent to help mitigate flooding in the Devils Lake basin. It will cost several hundreds ofmillions if protection of overspill is needed. Some communities, displaced families andbusinesses have lost everything, and the future of those who remain is clouded by the veryreal possibility of continued disaster. A model is currently under development that willincorporate satellite observation to investigate the effect on the lake level of agricultureexpansion and future climate change. The results will be of great value in helping localcommunity to solve a real problem and make a wise (and educated) decision.