'Assessing climate change risks to a municipal water supply: A pilot project incorporating downscaled climate projections, operational hydrologic modeling, and a systems planning model'
Tim Bardsley (email@example.com), Western Water Assessment
Assessing regional risks that climate change poses to the long-term reliability of municipal water supplies requires hydrologic modeling efforts specific to local watersheds and infrastructure to ensure that results and products are compatible with existing planning frameworks. This study utilizes the modeling capacity of an operational streamflow forecasting center to quantify projected changes to hydrology and subsequent impacts to the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities (SLCDPU) water system and planning processes. Previous study explored the basic sensitivities of runoff to changes in temperature and precipitation; here, we present a more in depth analysis for a portion of the SLCDPU watershed area. We use climate scenarios selected from the bias corrected and statistically downscaled projections from the Climate Model Intercomparision Project, as well as high-resolution dynamically downscaled climate change projections, to develop a projected hydrologic ensemble over the proposed study area. The resulting ensemble is then used to force a recently developed SLCDPU systems planning model, in combination with future demand scenarios, to evaluate potential impacts to water supply and infrastructure, and implications for management.