SWAT Literature Database for Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Title:Impacts of near-term climate change and population growth on within-year reservoir systems 
Authors:Singh, H., T. Sinha and A. Sankarasubramanian 
Journal:Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 
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Broad Application Category:hydrologic only 
Primary Application Category:model interface 
Secondary Application Category:climate change  
Watershed Description:Upper Cape Fear River, consisting of the 3,264 km^2 Haw River and 3,761 km^2 Deep River, in central North Carolina, U.S. 
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Abstract:Climate change and increased urban demand can significantly stress water supply systems, emphasizing the importance of reallocating reservoir storage for the designed uses. Most studies on climate change assessment have analyzed arid region reservoirs due to high interannual variability in streamflows. This study focuses on a within-year reservoir system, Lake Jordan in North Carolina, from a temperate region that has been experiencing rapid growth since the 1990s. Given the interest in utilizing climate change projections for planning purposes, the current operational policies are evaluated, and revised rules for operating the within-year system over 30 year period (2012–2041) are suggested. Downscaled general circulation model (GCM) projections are used to implement the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) model for the Upper Cape Fear River basin to estimate changes in mean monthly streamflows during 2012–2041 at Lake Jordan. Projected monthly streamflows from four GCMs indicate wet winter conditions and increased interannual variability. The authors forced the reservoir model with multiple streamflow realizations that preserve the projected changes in monthly streamflow using a stochastic scheme. The within-year reservoir system performance was evaluated under stationary climate, climate change under existing and projected water demands, and by investigating interventions to ensure the design reliability under increased demands. These results indicate that the changes in the reliability due to increased urban demands are small because initial reservoir storage ensure the demand for multiple seasons. However, increases in the urban demand and streamflow variability tend to decrease the reservoir resiliency, forcing the within-year reservoir to behave like an over-year system. This could result in increased period of proactive measures such as restrictions and necessitates periodical reevaluation of drought management plans for better managing existing systems. 
Keywords:Climate change; Hydroclimate; Reservoir analyses; Water supply; Flood control