Effects of spatially distributed sectoral water management on the redistribution of water resources in an integrated water model
Leung, L. Ruby
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Realistic representations of sectoral water withdrawals and consumptive demands and their allocation to surface and groundwater sources are important for improving modeling of the integrated water cycle. To inform future model development, we enhance the representation of water management in a regional Earth system (ES) model with a spatially distributed allocation of sectoral water demands simulated by a regional integrated assessment (IA) model to surface and groundwater systems. The integrated modeling framework (IA-ES) is evaluated by analyzing the simulated regulated flow and sectoral supply deficit in major hydrologic regions of the conterminous U.S, which differ from ES studies looking at water storage variations. Decreases in historical supply deficit are used as metrics to evaluate IA-ES model improvement in representating the complex sectoral human activities for assessing future adaptation and mitigation strategies. We also assess the spatial changes in both regulated flow and unmet demands, for irrigation and nonirrigation sectors, resulting from the individual and combined additions of groundwater and return flow modules. Results show that groundwater use has a pronounced regional and sectoral effect by reducing water supply deficit. The effects of sectoral return flow exhibit a clear east-west contrast in the hydrologic patterns, so the return flow component combined with the IA sectoral demands is a major driver for spatial redistribution of water resources and water deficits in the US. Our analysis highlights the need for spatially distributed sectoral representation of water management to capture the regional differences in interbasin redistribution of water resources and deficits.
Voisin, Nathalie, Mohamad I Hejazi, L Ruby Leung, Lu Liu, Maoyi Huang, Hong-Yi Li, and Teklu Tesfa. "Effects of spatially distributed sectoral water management on the redistribution of water resources in an integrated water model." Water Resources Research 53, no. 5 (June 2017): 4253-4270. DOI: 10.1002/2016WR019767.