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Estimating Future Surface Water Availability Through an Integrated Climate-Hydrology-Management Modeling Framework at a Basin...

Publication Type
Journal Name
Water Resources Research
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1 to 18

Climate change and increasing water demand due to population growth pose serious threats to surface water availability. The biggest challenge in addressing these threats is the gap between climate science and water management practices. Local water planning often lacks the integration of climate change information, especially with regard to its impacts on surface water storage and evaporation as well as the associated uncertainties. Using Texas as an example, state and regional water planning relies on the use of reservoir “Firm Yield” (FY)—an important metric that quantifies surface water availability. However, this existing planning methodology does not account for the impacts of climate change on future inflows and on reservoir evaporation. To bridge this knowledge gap, an integrated climate-hydrology-management (CHM) modeling framework was developed, which is generally applicable to river basins with geographical, hydrological, and water right settings similar to those in Texas. The framework leverages the advantages of two modeling approaches—the Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model (DHSVM) and Water Availability Modeling (WAM). Additionally, the Double Bias Correction Constructed Analogues method is utilized to downscale and incorporate Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 GCMs. Finally, the DHSVM simulated naturalized streamflow and reservoir evaporation rate are input to WAM to simulate reservoir FY. A new term—“Ratio of Firm Yield” (RFY)—is created to compare how much FY changes under different climate scenarios. The results indicate that climate change has a significant impact on surface water availability by increasing reservoir evaporation, altering the seasonal pattern of naturalized streamflow, and reducing FY.