Abstract. This study adopted a differential land-use/land-cover (LULC) analysis to evaluate dam-triggered land–atmosphere interactions for a number of LULC scenarios. Two specific questions were addressed: (1) can dam-triggered LULC heterogeneities modify surface and energy budget, which, in turn, change regional convergence and precipitation patterns? (2) How extensive is the modification in surface moisture and energy budget altered by dam-triggered LULC changes occurring in different climate and terrain features? The Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS, version 6.0) was set up for two climatologically and topographically contrasting regions: the American River watershed (ARW), located in California, and the Owyhee River watershed (ORW), located in eastern Oregon. For the selected atmospheric river precipitation event of 29 December 1996 to 3 January 1997, simulations of three pre-defined LULC scenarios are performed. The definition of the scenarios are (1) the "control" scenario, representing the contemporary land use, (2) the "pre-dam" scenario, representing the natural landscape before the construction of the dams and (3) the "non-irrigation" scenario, representing the condition where previously irrigated landscape in the control is transformed to the nearby land-use type. Results indicated that the ARW energy and moisture fluxes were more extensively affected by dam-induced changes in LULC than the ORW. Both regions, however, displayed commonalities in the modification of land–atmosphere processes due to LULC changes, with the control–non-irrigation scenario creating more change than the control–pre-dam scenarios. These commonalities were: (1) the combination of a decrease in temperature (up to 0.15 °C) and an increase at dew point (up to 0.25 °C) was observed; (2) there was a larger fraction of energy partitioned to latent heat flux (up to 10 W m−2) that increased the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere and resulted in a larger convective available potential energy (CAPE); (3) low-level wind-flow variation was found to be responsible for pressure gradients that affected localized circulations, moisture advection and convergence. At some locations, an increase in wind speed up to 1.6 m s−1 maximum was observed; (4) there were also areas of well-developed vertical motions responsible for moisture transport from the surface to higher altitudes that enhanced precipitation patterns in the study regions.
Abstract. Summer streamflows in the Pacific Northwest are largely derived from melting snow and groundwater discharge. As the climate warms, diminishing snowpack and earlier snowmelt will cause reductions in summer streamflow. Most regional-scale assessments of climate change impacts on streamflow use downscaled temperature and precipitation projections from general circulation models (GCMs) coupled with large-scale hydrologic models. Here we develop and apply an analytical hydrogeologic framework for characterizing summer streamflow sensitivity to a change in the timing and magnitude of recharge in a spatially explicit fashion. In particular, we incorporate the role of deep groundwater, which large-scale hydrologic models generally fail to capture, into streamflow sensitivity assessments. We validate our analytical streamflow sensitivities against two empirical measures of sensitivity derived using historical observations of temperature, precipitation, and streamflow from 217 watersheds. In general, empirically and analytically derived streamflow sensitivity values correspond. Although the selected watersheds cover a range of hydrologic regimes (e.g., rain-dominated, mixture of rain and snow, and snow-dominated), sensitivity validation was primarily driven by the snow-dominated watersheds, which are subjected to a wider range of change in recharge timing and magnitude as a result of increased temperature. Overall, two patterns emerge from this analysis: first, areas with high streamflow sensitivity also have higher summer streamflows as compared to low-sensitivity areas. Second, the level of sensitivity and spatial extent of highly sensitive areas diminishes over time as the summer progresses. Results of this analysis point to a robust, practical, and scalable approach that can help assess risk at the landscape scale, complement the downscaling approach, be applied to any climate scenario of interest, and provide a framework to assist land and water managers in adapting to an uncertain and potentially challenging future.
Abstract. Reduction of rainfall and runoff in recent years across southwest Western Australia (SWWA) has attracted attention to the climate change impact on water resources and water availability in this region. In this paper, the hydrologic impact of climate change on the Murray–Hotham catchment in SWWA has been investigated using a multi-model ensemble approach through projection of rainfall and runoff for the periods mid (2046–2065) and late (2081–2100) this century. The Land Use Change Incorporated Catchment (LUCICAT) model was used for hydrologic modelling. Model calibration was performed using (5 km) grid rainfall data from the Australian Water Availability Project (AWAP). Downscaled and bias-corrected rainfall data from 11 general circulation models (GCMs) for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emission scenarios A2 and B1 was used in LUCICAT model to derive rainfall and runoff scenarios for 2046–2065 (mid this century) and 2081–2100 (late this century). The results of the climate scenarios were compared with observed past (1961–1980) climate. The mean annual rainfall averaged over the catchment during recent time (1981–2000) was reduced by 2.3% with respect to the observed past (1961–1980) and the resulting runoff reduction was found to be 14%. Compared to the past, the mean annual rainfall reductions, averaged over 11 ensembles and over the period for the catchment for A2 scenario are 13.6 and 23.6% for mid and late this century respectively while the corresponding runoff reductions are 36 and 74%. For B1 scenario, the rainfall reductions were 11.9 and 11.6% for mid and late this century and the corresponding runoff reductions were 31 and 38%. Spatial distribution of rainfall and runoff changes showed that the rate of changes were higher in high rainfall areas compared to low rainfall areas. Temporal distribution of rainfall and runoff indicate that high rainfall events in the catchment reduced significantly and further reductions are projected, resulting in significant runoff reductions. A catchment scenario map has been developed by plotting decadal runoff reduction against corresponding rainfall reduction at four gauging stations for the observed and projected periods. This could be useful for planning future water resources in the catchment. Projection of rainfall and runoff made based on the GCMs varied significantly for the time periods and emission scenarios. Hence, the considerable uncertainty involved in this study though ensemble mean was used to explain the findings.
THREE years ago the residents of Hualiba village in central China’s Henan province were moved 10km (six miles) from their homes into squat, yellow houses far from any source of work or their newly allocated fields. These days only the very young and very old live there.
Although Canada is a water-rich nation, debates over water — who has access to it and how we use it — are still part of our public discussions, with controversies and conflicts bubbling up to the surface regularly.