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Wednesday, April 11 • 2:30pm - 2:45pm
MODELLING CLIMATE AS PROCESS DRIVERS: Integrating Hydrological Models and Census Data to Prioritize Climate Change Preparedness

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AUTHORS: Sheila Saia, Kelly Suttles – ORISE U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station and North Carolina State University; David Wear, John Coulston, James Vose – U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station and North Carolina State University

ABSTRACT: Global Change Models project an increase in the frequency and magnitude of storm events in the Southeastern United States in the next several decades. Additionally, urban development in this region is expected to double by 2060 and this growth will likely intensify discrepancies between water supply and demand. Communities unable to adapt to climate-induced changes in water resources may experience adverse social and economic impacts. To address these concerns, we use the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to project future stream discharge under four future climate change scenarios. We combine SWAT results and 2010 socio-economic vulnerability data (i.e., the social vulnerability index; SoVI) derived from Census data to prioritize future (2050-2070) county-based climate change preparedness efforts in the Upper Yadkin-Pee Dee (UYPD) Watershed, North Carolina, USA. SWAT results indicate moderate variability in the percent change of low outlier flows (LOFs; daily stream discharge +3s from mean) between future climate scenarios. General trends suggest that lower parts of the UYPD are projected to have more HOFs as well as more days with no streamflow—this translates to more extreme streamflow events. SoVI data indicate that communities in lower parts of the UYPD lack permanent housing and have limited access to transportation. Therefore, by combining SWAT outcomes and SoVI data, this study offers a science-based decision support method to prioritize future (2050-2070) county-based climate change preparedness efforts.

Wednesday April 11, 2018 2:30pm - 2:45pm CDT
LaSalle 1 (7th Floor)

Attendees (6)