Water Resource System

Posted by on gen 15, 2014 in Sustainability Mission | 0 comments

Water Resource System

Modeling Water Resource Systems under Climate Change: IGSM-WRS

Three Questions with Ken Strzepek

Why did you find the need to add a Water Resource System (WRS) component to the IGSM?

Fresh water sources throughout the world are experiencing considerable stress because of an increasing global population and recent droughts, floods and other effects consistent with increased risks associated with climate change. This can have spiraling implications for the economy and sectors that rely on water, such as agriculture, transportation and energy. A lack of fresh water can also, in extreme cases, affect the stability of nations as communities compete for dwindling supplies. Because the IGSM is designed to evaluate the uncertainties associated with the social and environmental consequences of climate change, it became necessary to integrate the managed aspect of the fresh water cycle.

What does the IGSM-WRS evaluate?

The framework has three main parts that it studies: the collection, storage and diversion of surface and ground water; the withdrawal, consumption and flow management of water for economic and environmental purposes; and the supply and balance at river basins, particularly for agricultural use.
Together, these components further enhance the IGSM by linking economic, hydrologic and climatological aspects of global change into one model. This useful tool will be vital to future assessments of conflicts between alternative water uses as they may evolve with population and economic growth and in considering the effects climate change will have on our water supply.

How does it work?

The IGSM provides economic drivers and relevant climate variables such as emissions and socio-economic information, and temperature and precipitation evaluations. These inputs allow the WRS component to estimate runoff. It then combines these inputs with estimates of water requirements, and simulates the operation of the water management system to assess the balance of water supply and demand at the river basin level. Right now, this is a one-way connection between the economic and climate components of the water system. We plan to further develop the model to explore the economic effects from changes in the managed water cycle and evaluate the associated risks and uncertainties.

Read the full paper here by Kenneth Strzepek, Adam Schlosser, Arthur Gueneau, Xiang Gao, Charles Fant, Elodie Blanc, Bilhuda Rasheed and Henry Jacoby

Source: MIT Global Change

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