The United States Country Studies Program on Water Resources Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change: Scope and Significance
ASSESSMENT OF WATER RESOURCES VULNERABILITY AND ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE (pp. 111-119)
Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the ‘standard’ methodology developed for the United States Country Studies Program on the Assessment of Water Resources Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change. The methodology is described in more detail in accompanying articles in this issue. A standard methodology was developed for two reasons. First, for countries with little or no experience in hydrologic and water resources modelling, it provided a simple, yet appropriate set of modelling tools that could be quickly learned and applied with a limited data set. Second, it provided a consistent methodology for synthesizing results for regional and global assessments as well as cross-country and cross-regional comparisons.
WATBAL: AN INTEGRATED WATER BALANCE MODEL FOR CLIMATE IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF RIVER BASIN RUNOFF (pp. 121-139)
Abstract: A water balance model combined with the Priestley-Taylor method for computing potential evapotranspiration has been developed as an integrated tool for modelling the response of river basins to potential climate change. The system was designed in the EXCEL 5.0 spreadsheet environment making use of the Visual Basic programming language. The model is simple to use and takes advantage of IIASA’s mean monthly hydrologic data base (Leemans & Cramer, 1991). The model environment and two case studies are described.
ASSESSING THE ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE: CHOOSING THE RIGHT MODEL FOR THE RIGHT QUESTION (pp. 141-150)
aCivil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA; bClimate and Policy Assessment Division US Environmental Protection Agency Washington, DC, USA
Abstract. The purpose of this paper is to discuss some of the issues that need to be considered when choosing a model to assess the economic impacts of climate change, and to explore a small subset of modelling approaches that may be used. There is no single model appropriate for all economic assessments of climate impacts. Careful attention must be given at the outset of the assessment process to defining the key questions to be addressed and the specific effects of concern that the model needs to consider. An example of model selection and analysis design related to economic impacts of climate change on water resources and agricultural production is presented.
DEVELOPMENT OF ADAPTATION MEASURES FOR WATER RESOURCES (pp. 151-163)
Abstract: Many countries are preparing national climate change action plans that describe specific measures they are taking to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the potential effects of climate change. Among the reasons for preparing such plans is that climate change is likely to occur and many anticipatory measures that would be taken in response to climate change are no-regret measures that will produce benefits even if climate does not change. Additionally, these plans can serve as communications required by the Framework Convention on Climate Change. This article proposes an assessment process for anticipatory adaptation measures that will enable countries to identify, select and implement measures to adapt to climate change. These measures anticipate potential climate changes and thus must be flexible enough to meet objectives under a wide variety of future climate conditions. The process builds on assessments of vulnerability by focusing on adaptation measures for the most sensitive regions, or populations within a country. Potential anticipatory adaptation measures are identified and two or three are chosen based on expert judgement regarding which measures would produce the greatest benefits and be easiest to implement. Formal analytic techniques are used to assess the benefits and costs of each of the measures and to evaluate barriers to implementation. The measure that has the greatest net benefits and is easiest to implement is selected. The final step in the process is preparing an implementation plan. The application of the process is illustrated by examining a hypothetical reservoir threatened by climate change.
CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS ON THE WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM IN THE WARTA RIVER CATCHMENT, POLAND (pp. 165-180)
aInstitute of Geophysics, Warsaw, Poland; bUniversity of Colorado, Boulder, USA
Abstract: The effects of a non-stationary climate on a water management system in the Warta River Catchment in Central Poland which already suffers from seasonal water deficits are examined in this paper. To determine a range of possible implications of global change on the region of interest, two scenarios were selected for the study: the warm-dry scenario predicted by the GFDL model, and warm scenario obtained from the GISS model. It is shown that the basin’s water supply and demand are both sensitive and vulnerable to climatic changes. Possible adaptation options to cope with further degradation of domestic, industrial and agricultural water supplies are recommended.
CLIMATE CHANGE HYDROLOGY AND WATER RESOURCES IMPACTS AND ADAPTATION FOR SELECTED RIVER BASINS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC (pp. 181-192)
aTGM Water Research Institute, Prague, Czech Republic; bCzech Hydrometeorological Institute, Prague, Czech Republic
Abstract: In terms of climate, the Czech Republic belongs to the northern hemisphere Atlantic-continental type of moderate climate. Mean annual temperature ranges between 1.0° and 9.4°C (for summer between 8.8°C and 18.5°C, and for winter between – 6.8° and 0.2°C). Annual precipitation ranges between 450 mm in dry regions and 1300 mm in mountainous regions of the country. With its 2000 m3 per capita fresh water availability, the Czech Republic is a region that can be characterized as slightly below average in availability. The occasional water shortages usually do not result from unavailability of water, but rather from temporal or spatial variability of water supply and demand and a high degree of water resources exploitation. To study potential impacts of climate change on the hydrological system and water resources, four river basins have been selected in the territory of the Czech Republic: the Elbe River at (50762 km2), the Zelivka River at Soutice (1189 km2), the Upa River at Ceska Skalice (461 km2), and the Metuje River at Marsov n. M. (94 km2). To simulate potential changes in runoff, three hydrological models have been applied using incremental and GCM (GISS, GFDL and CCCM) scenarios: the BILAN water balance model, the SACRAMENTO (SAC-SMA) conceptual model and the CLIRUN water balance model. After comparison of the results, the BILAN model was selected to serve for subsequent analyses of hydrological systems in the river basins. The paper reviews methods applied in the study and results of the assessments, and it concludes with suggestions for general adaptation policy options where the preference is for non-structural measures such as water conservation, efficient water demand management and protection of water resources.
VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT OF THE WATER RESOURCES OF KAZAKHSTAN TO ANTHROPOGENIC CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE STRUCTURE OF ADAPTATION MEASURES (pp. 193-208)
Abstract: A brief summary of water resources and water use in the Republic of Kazakhstan is presented. Input data and methods of making water resource vulnerability assessments taking into account climate change are given. There is a discussion on the results, and the structure of measures of adaptation to water resources change under anticipated future climatic conditions is suggested.
IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND SEASONAL VARIABILITY ON ECONOMIC TREATMENT COSTS: A CASE STUDY OF THE NITRA RIVER BASIN, SLOVAKIA (pp. 209-228)
aDepartment of Economics, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA; bCivil Environmental and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA; cSlovak Hydrometeorological Institute, Bratislava, Slovakia
Abstract: Analysis of climate change impacts upon water resources has focused primarily on water quantity issues. The impacts upon water quality and water quality management have had little attention. This paper presents a framework for assessing climate change impacts upon stream water quality and the management costs associated with adaptation to the new hydroclimatic conditions resulting in changes instreamflow and stream temperature. Water quality indicators as well as chemical and biological processes important to water quality are a function of stream temperature. This paper reports not only on how water quality indices will be impacted by alternative climate change scenarios, but on the economic cost of maintaining water quality standards. The costs of maintaining water quality standards result from increased treatment of waste loads due to decreased waste assimilation capacity of warmer streams. A case study based on regionally developed climate change scenarios shows that water quality levels are greatly impacted in the low flow periods (by as much as 14 times), while average annual conditions are not impacted significantly.
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL ADAPTATIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS ON WATER RESOURCES: A CASE STUDY OF EGYPT (pp. 229-244)
Abstract: Literature is emerging on the adaptation of water resource systems to climate change (Stakhiv, 1995; Strzepek & Smith, 1995). These adaptations are generally discussed at either the sectoral or at the micro-economic level. However, little has been said about the macro-economic adaptation to shifts in water resources due to climate change. This lack of discussion is primarily due to the fact that very few countries have been able to make a comprehensive national assessment of climate change impacts on water resources at the same scale as a macro-economic modelling analysis. Where macro-economic modelling has been done, the water resource systems are highly regional and difficult to aggregate to a single national impact. Where homogenous water resources systems exist, macro-economic impact modelling has not incorporated water resources. This paper examines the macro-economic adaptations to climate change impacts on national water resources. Because of the problems listed above, a ‘laboratory’ country was chosen. Egypt has a single water resource-the Nile-and a substantial portion of Egypt’s economic activity is related to this river. Changes in Nile discharges can be directly linked to macro-economic accounts, yet obviously more strongly linked to the agricultural sector. For this reason, a macro-economic model has been used which contains a disaggregated agricultural sector and a highly aggregated non-agricultural sector. A discussion of technical adaptations to climate change-induced reductions in Nile flows is presented. While these technical adaptations of the Nile are important, the macro-economic impacts of decreases or increases in Nile River discharge are shown to be minor compared with future socioeconomic development and domestic policy strategies. The paper concludes with a discussion of anticipatory economic and policy adaptations that appear to be more significant than technical adaptations for Egypt.