Project A1-1: Quantifying vulnerability, resiliency, and adaptability of U.S. urban water systems to climatic and socio-economic variability

 

Jorge Ramirez, PhD – Colorado State University

Thomas C. Brown, PhD – USDA Forest Service

Water scarcity, water supply vulnerability, and water supply resiliency and adaptability are dynamic, multidimensional, and scale-dependent. The interactions between water systems and social, economic, and environmental systems occur at multiple spatial and temporal scales; therefore assessment of impacts, tradeoffs, and benefits must include feedbacks across all spatiotemporal scales, and incorporate all multiple-way interactions.

Relative importance of changes in vulnerability resulting from changes in supply with respect to those resulting from changes in demand, from the current period to 2060 projected by teh CGCM model under the A1B scenario.

Relative importance of changes in vulnerability resulting from changes in supply with respect to those resulting from changes in demand, from the current period to 2060 projected by the CGCM model under the A1B scenario.

We will explore the impacts of urbanization on water scarcity, supply vulnerability and resiliency, answering the following questions:

  • How does urbanization lead to increased/decreased vulnerability?
  • How does urbanization lead to increased/decreased resiliency or capacity for adaptation?
  • How do changes in vulnerability or resiliency depend on the location in a city or the analysis scale?
  • How do the answers to the above questions vary by region, or depend on the rate of urbanization?

 

We will enhance the approach of Foti et al. (2014) to characterize distributions of water yield, water supply, and water demand in terms of spatially and temporally variable and mutually interacting probability distribution functions that will be used to assess water scarcity, water supply vulnerability, and water supply resiliency and capacity for adaptation. Water yield will be determined by coupling an ensemble of downscaled climatic projections from CMIP5 global climate models to a land surface eco-hydrologic model accounting for both surface and ground water processes (e.g., the Variable Infiltration Capacity model – VIC model), which will itself be enhanced to allow for climatically dependent and eco-hydrological optimal vegetation responses (e.g., Quebbeman and Ramirez, 2016).

The fully integrated model will be implemented for the entire contiguous US at spatial scales ranging from 10 by 10 km to continental scales, and at temporal scales ranging from daily to monthly to annual over the 21st century. Water supply will be determined using a detailed water allocation model (e.g., WEAP, MODSIM).

Ramirez_Jorge_Profile

Jorge Ramirez, PhD – Principal Investigator

Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Colorado State University
Voice: (970) 491-7621
Email: jorge.ramirez@colostate.edu

 

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Hydrometeorology. Global scale hydrology and climate change. Vulnerability analysis. Soil moisture and vegetation interactions. Land surface/atmosphere interactions. Runoff production mechanisms, river basin geomorphologydownstream hydraulic geometry and optimal channel networksRegional water balanceEvapotranspiration and Complementary RelationshipSurface interactions in Hortonian overland flow. Spatial and temporal heterogeneity of hydroclimatic variables and their impact on hydrologic response. Hydrologic scaling. Hydrologic impact assessment studies. Description of distribution and variability of mesoscale precipitation fields. Physically-based parameterization of stochastic hydrologic precipitation models. Physically-based, distributed watershed modeling. Development of knowledge-based decision support systems for water resource system management. Optimal irrigation scheduling. Water resource systems modeling, optimization, and control.

 

Tom BrownThomas C. Brown, PhD – Co-Investigator

USDA Forest Service
Economist
Voice: (970) 498-2562
Email: tcbrown@fs.fed.us

 

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Assessment of risk of water quality impairment in the over 15,000 fifth-level watersheds of the contiguous 48 states; estimates future water demand in the coterminous US, including specification of the effect of climate change on water demand; vulnerability of future US water supply to shortage, based on a comparison of supply and demand in light of climate change; the effect of climate change on wildfire extent and sediment yield in the Southern Rockies Ecosystem; and public perception of the relative importance of mitigation versus adaptation in responding to expected climate change.

 

 

 

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