Climate Change Streamflow Scenarios for Critical Period Water Planning Studies JISAO Center for Science in the Earth System Climate Impacts Group and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering University of Washington April, 2003 Alan F. Hamlet Dennis P. Lettenmaier Amy K. Snover Changing Awareness of Climate Change in the Water Management Community ~1985: Global warming? ~1995: Is global warming real? ~1997: What are the expected impacts of climate change for our region and our water system? ~2002: How do we include climate change and climate uncertainty in long term planning to reduce risks? The primary impact pathway in the western US: less snow Current Climate 2020s Snow Water Equivalent (mm) 2040s Columbia River at The Dalles for “Middle-of-the-Road” Scenarios Columbia River at The Dalles 500000 400000 Base 300000 2020s 2040s 200000 100000 aug jun apr feb dec 0 oct Average Flow (cfs) 600000 Effects to Moderate Elevation Basins in the Cascades 9000 8000 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 9/2 8/5 7/8 6/10 5/13 4/15 3/18 2/18 1/21 12/24 11/26 10/29 Base 2020s 2040s 10/1 Inflow (acre-ft) Inflow to Chester Morse Lake Project Motivation: •Target existing planning processes at the watershed scale •Make streamflow scenarios freely available to help reduce costs of including climate uncertainty in long-term planning (Recommendations from regional stakeholders and policy makers attending a CIG sponsored climate change workshop Skamania, 2001) Critical Period Planning Methods for Water Studies Columbia River at The Dalles 1934 1934 1933 1933 1932 1932 1932 1931 1931 1930 1930 1930 1929 1929 1928 1928 1927 1927 1927 1926 1926 1925 1925 1925 800000 700000 600000 500000 400000 300000 200000 100000 0 Observed Streamflows Planning Models System Drivers Incorporating Climate Change in Critical Period Planning Long term planning for climate change may include a stronger emphasis on drought contingency planning, testing of preferred planning alternatives for robustness under various climate change scenarios, and increased flexibility and adaptation to climate and streamflow uncertainty. Observed Streamflows Planning Models Altered Streamflows Climate Change Scenarios System Drivers Project Goals: •Create climate change streamflow scenarios that cover the same period of record and are numerically consistent with the historic record of streamflows traditionally used in water planning studies. •Make these streamflow scenarios freely available on the web for a large number of river locations to facilitate the incorporation of climate change information into existing water planning efforts. Choice of GCM Downscaling Methods for the Pilot Study Although more sophisticated methods are also available, the “Delta” method of downscaling GCM results was chosen for the pilot applications. •Good fit with producing alternate versions of the historic record used in critical period planning studies. •Easy to understand and interpret (the project has an educational component). •Captures much of the regional scale information from GCM simulations. Delta Method Climate Change Scenarios for the PNW Delta T, 2020s Delta T, 2040s 5 5 ~ + 1.7 C ~ + 2.5 C 4 hadCM2 3 hadCM3 2 PCM3 ECHAM4 1 Degrees C Degrees C 4 mean 0 hadCM2 3 hadCM3 2 PCM3 ECHAM4 1 mean 0 J F M A M J J A S O N D J -1 F M A Precipitation Fraction, 2020s J J A S O N D Precipitation Fraction, 2040s 1.75 1.75 1.5 1.5 hadCM2 hadCM3 1.25 PCM3 1 ECHAM4 Fraction Fraction M -1 hadCM2 hadCM3 1.25 PCM3 1 ECHAM4 mean 0.75 mean 0.75 0.5 0.5 J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S O N D Somewhat wetter winters and perhaps somewhat dryer summers Changes in Mean Temperature and Precipitation or Bias Corrected Output from GCMs VIC Hydrology Model ColSim Reservoir Model Issues with Hydrologic Model Bias 900000 800000 700000 600000 500000 400000 300000 200000 100000 0 VIC 1999 1999 1998 1997 1997 1996 1995 1995 1994 1993 1993 1992 1991 1991 1990 1989 1989 1988 1987 1987 1986 1985 Observed 1985 Streamflow (cfs) Columbia River at The Dalles Quantile-Based Bias Correction (Wood et al. 2002) VIC Input = 19000 35000 30000 Flow (cfs) 25000 20000 obs 15000 vic 10000 5000 0 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 Probability of Exceedence Bias Corrected Output = 10000 0.8 1 Bias Correction Objectives: Raw Bias Corrected Result: Bias corrected hydrologic simulations are quite consistent with observed streamflows in absolute value and climate change signals are translated without significant distortion. Bias Corrected Time Series Plot for the Current Climate Bias Corrected Time Series Plot for the Composite 2040 Scenario Web-Based Data Archive http://www.ce.washington.edu/~hamleaf/climate_change_streamflows/CR_cc.htm Goals and Objectives of Two Regional-Scale Pilot Studies in the Pacific Northwest Northwest Power Planning Council: Primarily focused on reliability of the Columbia River hydropower system. Study will use the GENESYS model. Preliminary results in John Fazio’s talk this afternoon. Idaho Department of Water Resources: Primarily focused on groundwater/surface water interactions, sustainability of irrigated agriculture in the Snake River basin, groundwater/surface water interactions and water allocation amongst different users and uses. Current Streamflow Routing Locations Some Selected Results for the Snake River Basin (Composite Scenarios) Planned Project Extensions •Extend the period of record of the data to 1928-1999. •Extend the number of climate change scenarios and the downscaling methods used. Summary and Conclusions Water policy workshops (Skamania 2001) have highlighted the need to inject climate change information into existing river basin planning activities where possible and to provide access to free streamflow scenarios to help reduce costs. Because most planning studies currently use a critical period framework, our project produces “adjusted” realizations of the historic streamflow record based on simulations from a physically based hydrologic model driven by simple climate change scenarios. The methods are flexible and portable and can be used to create streamflow scenarios deriving from different climate model scenarios, different downscaling methods, or different hydrologic models.