Calgary, Canada
Calgary, Canada

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Sauchyn D.J.,University of Regina | St-Jacques J.-M.,WaterSMART Solutions Ltd. | Barrow E.,HydroLogics Inc. | Nemeth M.W.,WaterSMART Solutions Ltd. | And 4 more authors.
Journal of the American Water Resources Association | Year: 2016

The South Saskatchewan River Basin is one of Canada's most threatened watersheds, with water supplies in most subbasins over-allocated. In 2013, stakeholders representing irrigation districts, the environment, and municipalities collaborated with researchers and consultants to explore opportunities to improve the resiliency of the management of the Oldman and South Saskatchewan River subbasins. Streamflow scenarios for 2025-2054 were constructed by the novel approach of regressing historical river flows against indices of large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate oscillations to derive statistical streamflow models, which were then run using projected climate indices from global climate models. The impacts of some of the most extreme scenarios were simulated using the hydrologic mass-balance model Operational Analysis and Simulation of Integrated Systems (OASIS). Based on stakeholder observations, the project participants proposed and evaluated potential risk management and adaption strategies, e.g., modifying existing infrastructure, building new infrastructure, changing operations to supplement environmental flows, reducing demand, and sharing supply. The OASIS model was applied interactively at live modeling sessions with stakeholders to explore practical adaptation strategies. Our results, which serve as recommendations for policy makers, showed that forecast-based rationing together with new expanded storage could dramatically reduce water shortages. © 2016 American Water Resources Association.

Sheer A.M.S.,HydroLogics Inc. | Nemeth M.W.,WaterSMART Solutions Ltd. | Sheer D.P.,HydroLogics Inc. | Van Ham M.,WaterSMART Solutions Ltd. | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the American Water Resources Association | Year: 2013

The Bow River Basin is a cornerstone of Alberta's development. In 2010, stakeholders representing interests from agriculture, municipalities, environment, and more formed the Bow River Project Research Consortium to help determine the potential for improving the operations in the basin. At present, upstream reservoirs are operated primarily for hydropower, whereas downstream reservoirs are operated for irrigation. Through Collaborative Modeling for Decision Support the stakeholders were able to develop a new method for operating the system that would dramatically improve environmental performance. The main components of the new operating strategy called for: purchase or setting aside of a small amount of storage volume in the power reservoirs; a set of rules for releases from that storage; an agreement by the major irrigation districts with the largest water licenses to utilize their ability to shift deliveries to and from their large offstream storage reservoirs to allow for increased instream flows, and to allow junior water license holders (mainly municipal and industrial supplies) an uninterrupted water supply; limitations of reservoir fluctuations to improve inreservoir habitat for fisheries; and increased minimum flows throughout the system leading to improved environmental outcomes. Costs of this strategy were minimal, impacts on power revenue were estimated at

Nemeth M.W.,WaterSMART Solutions Ltd | Kienzle S.W.,University of Lethbridge | Byrne J.M.,University of Lethbridge
Hydrological Sciences Journal | Year: 2012

The ACRU agro-hydrological modelling system was set up to simulate the impacts of climate change on the hydrological responses of the 3856-km 2 Cline River watershed, the major headwater of the upper North Saskatchewan River basin in central Alberta, Canada. The physical-conceptual ACRU model was set up to simulate all elements of the hydrological cycle on a daily time step for the 1961-1990 baseline period, to serve as the basis for later climate change impact simulations. After parameterization, the output from the ACRU model was verified against temperature, snow water equivalent, glacier mass balance, potential evapotranspiration, and two sets of long-term daily streamflow records. The multi-variable verification analyses were implemented to instil confidence that the simulated streamflow time series is based on a realistic combination of bio-physical parameters and represents the watershed behaviour in terms of annual water yields, seasonality, shape and magnitude of the hydrographs, and streamflow variability. © 2012 Copyright 2011 IAHS Press.

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