Hydrological impacts of climate change on the Castle River watershed, Alberta, Canada

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Anderson, Timothy S.
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Geography
The ACRU (Agricultural Catchments Research Unit) agro-hydrological model was used to estimate historical and future hydro-climatological variables including streamflow that have occurred during 1951-2010, and to simulate the impacts of climate change in the Castle River watershed (CRW) for the future period 2041-2070. ACRU is driven by a driver station(s) by extrapolating meteorological variables across the watershed, making corrections for differences between elevation, slope and aspect. Two driver station datasets, the Beaver Mines Climate Station (BMCS, 05AA022) and 10 km Grid (Hutchinson et al., 2009) are compared to determine whether impacts of climate change are best suited for simulation using single point locations or spatially interpolated grids. Model parameterization is based on the Hydrological Response Unit (HRU) concept. Verification of mean temperature, snow water equivalent (SWE) and streamflow is reported. Projected increases in air temperature and precipitation resulted in decreases of SWE and increases in streamflow during peak runoff season.
hydrological modelling , climate change , Castle River , Alberta , Canada , streamflow