Water management vs. climate change. Which one should we worry about?

16 November 2015, 1.00 PM - 16 November 2015, 2.00 PM

Room 1.68, Queens Building

Prof Amin Elshorbagy is currently a Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor in the Water research group. Amin specialises in water resources engineering and he will talk about water management in the presence of climate change.  


Competing water users, including hydropower, agriculture, mining, domestic, and instream flow requirements, call for sustainable water management and water governance that can stand the various challenges including climate change. In this presentation, Sustainability-oriented Water Allocation, Management, and Planning (SWAMP) model is used to show the challenges of integrated water resource systems modeling and management in the Saskatchewan River Basin (SaskRB), Canada. Saskatchewan is a mid-stream province in the Saskatchewan River Basin (SaskRB), receiving water from the upstream province of Alberta and releasing water to the downstream province of Manitoba according to a national apportionment agreement. Water to various users in the Province is supplied mainly through operating Lake Diefenbaker – a large reservoir created in 1968. SWAMP can estimate the long-term hydro-economic aspects of the various components of the system, and it is employed to quantify the net revenue of various water use sectors (e.g., hydropower) over a 30-year planning period in a risk-based framework. First, net revenue is presented in a probabilistic chart as a result of the natural variability of the reservoir inflows, represented by stochastically generating multiple realizations of historical inflows. Climate change-induced variability of reservoir inflows and policy changes represented by varying the reservoir operating rule curves add additional levels of uncertainty. The considered policy changes include alternative reservoir operating rule curves based on flood protection, drought resilience, and hydropower maximization priorities. Second, probabilistic charts representing the effects of natural variability of historical flows, climate change, and policy change on net revenues are produced to show the relative contribution of each risk factor to the overall risk encountered by the various water sectors in Saskatchewan. Factors considered include agricultural expansion and the ability to maintain environmental flows and lake levels. 

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