Water Resources Research Report



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This report aims to present an alternate approach to climate change impact mod- elling of water resources. The focus of the project is on the analysis of existing water resources management guidelines specifically targeting critical hydrologic events (ex- treme droughts in this case). The critical hydrologic events are converted to their corresponding meteorologic conditions via use of an appropriate hydrologic model (continuous based hydrologic model for drought analysis). The local climatic signal is generated by use of a non-parametric weather generator linked to outputs from a global circulation model for three climate scenarios, and their corresponding fre- quency curves generated. Then, a critical hydrologic event of interest is selected, its corresponding meteorological condition obtained, and its frequency of occurrence for each climate scenario determined. It is noted that all climate change scenarios showed less frequent occurrence of extreme droughts. However, potentially severe droughts are still possible (with a chance of 1 in 10 any given year, sometime less) in the basin; this coupled with the fact that drought damage assessments are non existent in the basin suggests that new or improved drought management guidelines should be investigated.

Based on the analysis presented, recommendations are made for future work to in- clude: (i) drought impact studies (where impacts to agriculture, recreation, wetlands, reservoir operation, ground water withdrawal and streamflow quality are assessed); (ii) definition of local drought triggers (including guidelines on subwatershed scale, as well as monitoring how drought triggers change over time); (iii) water quality man- agement (setting in place practises that enhance water quality over short and long term); (iv) education programs (to bring up to date knowledge in science to all who stand to be adversely impacted by drought).

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Western Ontario


London, Ontario, Canada


Inverse approach, Assessment of climatic change, Frequency analysis, Weather generator, Continuous hydrologic model, Water resources management guidelines


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Report no.: 053

Inverse Drought Risk Modelling of the Upper Thames River Basin