Providing Regional Climate Services to British Columbia

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Hydrologic Impacts

The aim of the Hydrologic Impacts (HI) theme at PCIC is to quantify the effect of climate change and climate variability on regional hydrology in order to provide analysis and information relevant to water resources management. This is accomplished by using hydrologic models driven with downscaled climate data to produce hydrologic projections spanning the entire 21st-century. The work of the theme anticipates the need to provide information on multiple time and spatial scales and the requirement to understand potential changes in extreme hydrologic events. Substantial effort is also invested in ensuring that the theme’s modelling capability evolves in concert with improvements in hydrologic science and technology.

Recent activity has resulted in the capability to explicitly simulate glacier mass balance and dynamics, the production of CMIP5-based hydrologic projections for the Columbia, Fraser and Peace basins as well as several smaller basins on Vancouver Island, and the implementation of water temperature modelling in the Fraser River basin. Activity between 2019 and 2020 will focus on expanding the hydrologic projections and water temperature modelling into additional basins and completing an analysis of regional changes in hydrologic extremes. Subsequent years (2021-2023) will see the focus shift to model development and improvement.

Research objectives

  • Analyse changes in future hydrologic extremes
  • Expand spatial domain of water temperature modelling
  • Model upgrades with respect to:
  • Increased spatial resolution
  • Lake/reservoirs storage and water temperature
  • Permafrost
  • Land use and landcover change

Key Personnel: