Developing ACRU utilities for modelling future water availability : a case study of the Oldman Reservoir Watershed, Alberta

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Bonifacio, Charmaine Michelle T
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Geography
A changing climate can seriously perturb hydrological response within a watershed. The potential impacts on the future water availability for the upper Oldman Reservoir Watershed (ORW) was investigated using the Agricultural Catchments Research Unit (ACRU) model. Due to the operational challenges of the model, several utility tools were developed. Once the limitations were addressed, the Klemeš (1986) model testing was applied to assess the performance of the ACRU model. The ACRU model performed very well using the standard split-sampling test; as the testing progressed, its performance decreased. The future hydrological response was then analysed using two regional climate projections by comparing the historical baseline and future period. Despite the inherent arid climate characteristics of the ORW, both projections indicated increasing summer temperatures and seasonal shifts in hydrology. The ORW is expected to experience a decrease of summer streamflow and an increase in spring and winter streamflow.
ACRU , climate , GIS , HRU , hydrological modelling , watershed