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Climate Change and Agricultural Water Management in Developing Countries
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The explicit valuation of instream flows can be challenging because formal markets for these services are often absent, or subject to a range of distortions and missing information. The penalty is zero if flows do not encroach into the fish and wildlife zone, and is greater than zero if they do. This penalty was based on the Frederick and Schwartz value, but was adjusted downward to reflect literature showing that the value of water for ecological use values and nonuse values may generally be lower than the Fredrick and Schwartz value.
The literature on the value of ecological flows is sparse, and even more limited for identifying that value of ecological flows when flows are less than critical levels.
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Raucher et al. Business-as-usual: reflects a path that GHG emissions are projected to follow if emissions continue on the current trajectory in the absence of new mitigation policy. By , atmospheric concentration of CO 2 under this BAU scenario is projected to rise to parts per million ppm , nearly three times pre-industrial levels. GHG emissions are benchmarked to the U. International emissions projections under this scenario are based on the EMF baseline see Calvin et al. Policy: U. GHG emissions are consistent with targets included in the American Power Act of , a comprehensive energy and climate bill proposed in the th U.
Congress, along with other assumptions regarding future emissions from developed and developing countries. Specific monthly climatic variables used in the simulation-optimization model include: average, minimum, and maximum temperature; total precipitation; relative humidity; and wind speed.
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Cloud cover values used to calculate net radiation are held equal to historical values. They were selected as the most skilled at replicating recent climate patterns globally and over the coterminous US Wigley The advantage of using averages across multiple GCMs is that multi-model averages, also known as ensembles, tend to be better than any one individual model at simulating present-day climate Reichler and Kim ; Wigley We present results using the mean of the ensemble in order to demonstrate that the water model can be used for policy analysis, not to present a full analysis of consequences of climate change.
It should be recognized that there is substantial difference across individual model runs on the magnitude of projected temperature increase in the 21st century, and pattern of precipitation changes Christensen, et al. The baseline period used for comparison to future projections is — Climate change projections are made for timeslices at , , , and , with a year time period surrounding and centered on each of these years.
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The year window averaging is used to smooth out inter-annual variability. The net damages associated with climate change for each scenario and each timeslice are derived by comparing net impacts by sector, and in total, with comparable impacts generated under the appropriate baseline for that timeslice.
Projections of future climate are used to estimate streamflow by applying the CLIRUN lumped integral water balance model Kaczmarek This model uses monthly projections of changes in temperature average, minimum, and maximum and precipitation to estimate changes in monthly streamflow. CLIRUN simulates the most important lumped hydrologic processes, including soil moisture storage, ET 0 , surface runoff, subsurface runoff, and base flow. Average change in runoff across all water resources regions by time period runoff ratios.
Total damages in all WRR by scenario and time period millions of U. Annual damages from all US sectors in 2,, business-as-usual vs. Reductions in damages between the BAU and POL scenarios result from a smaller rise in temperatures under the POL scenario, which results in a reduction in evaporation, leaving more water available for use. Nationally, net evaporation increased as a function of emission scenario as well as over time.
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By , climate change will have resulted in the loss of between 9. Although this is small compared with overall U. The category with the largest damage is environmental flows. Environmental flow penalties under climate change result from reductions in runoff accompanying climate change, reallocation of water to meet increasing domestic and commercial consumption levels, and the increase in agricultural water demand on a per-hectare basis as higher temperatures lead to higher potential crop ET 0.
In basins where ASRs are components of larger basin networks, particularly the greater Mississippi and Columbia systems, modest reductions in flow can lead to large changes in the environmental flow penalty at the WRR level. This is because the penalty is evaluated at the outlet of each individual ASR, and shortages upstream can cascade through the system, multiplying the environmental impact. This is a realistic specification, and serves to standardize environmental flow penalties to stream miles.
Hydropower is the third largest category of damages under the BAU scenario, and the second largest under the POL scenario. Damages from hydropower reflect reallocation of water to meet increasing domestic and commercial consumption levels, higher reservoir evaporation compared to the baseline, and changes in runoff under climate change. Domestic and municipal uses are well protected from climate change in the national model, as water is reallocated to meet existing demand and growth in demand for relatively high marginal value domestic and municipal uses. Higher domestic and municipal damages under the POL scenario as compared to the BAU scenario are due to reduced runoff under the POL scenario for most WRRs, but the difference in national damages between the two scenarios is very small.
Commercial and industrial uses are not highly sensitive to climate change scenarios, and are therefore similar to domestic and municipal uses because of their high marginal value. Estimates presented here may not be directly comparable to previous studies reviewed, such as Frederick and Schwarz , because the present study is confined to water supply and demand, and excludes flood damages and water quality impacts, which were among the largest categories of cost in the previous studies.
Another reason for the lower damage estimates compared to those of Frederick and Schwartz is that their study used comparatively drier and wetter models to produce future climate scenarios. Our study used an ensemble average of GCM projections rather than individual GCMs, and therefore represents less extreme potential changes in temperature and precipitation.
Model results were unsurprisingly found to be very dependent on change in runoff and evaporation. However, the gain from the BAU scenario to the POL scenario in water available for use due to reduced reservoir evaporation compensated for reduced runoff in many WRRs. Reduced reservoir evaporation is a main driver of reduced damages under the POL scenario compared to the BAU scenario, as more water is available to meet growing demands in water-constrained WRRs. Municipal and domestic as well as commercial and industrial damages were slightly less under the POL scenario compared to the BAU scenario.
For each of these WRRs, runoff was projected to be less under the POL scenario than under the BAU scenario, and in the case of the Lower Colorado, the reduction in runoff was a larger factor than the savings in evaporation.
Hydropower damages are also very sensitive to changes in runoff. Generally, our results show that the effect on evaporation from climate change is often more important than the effect of change in runoff on streamflow. However, there are some cases, particularly for hydropower and environmental flow penalty, in which the change in streamflow had a greater effect. These results suggest several key strategies for adapting to the effect of climate change on U. Increased evaporation projected into the future suggest benefits from increased use of groundwater aquifers to store and recover surface water supplies when needed to significantly reduce evaporative losses compared to reservoir storage.
Increased use of recycled municipal wastewater by municipal and agricultural users will allow reduced demand for freshwater supplies, and water transfers will reduce the total value of losses if water is transferred from relatively lower valued uses to higher valued uses. The results we present carry a number of important limitations and caveats associated with the details surrounding our simulation-optimization modeling approach.
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