Climate change impacts on the hydrology of a watershed have become an important question for everyone who is concerned with stream flows, aquatic species, and water availability. Having a modeling approach to assess potential impacts from the many various scenarios reported better allows decision makers an opportunity to review a range of possible future impacts to infrastructure and natural channels.
HSPF has been in an important hydrologic model over the years as it provides the ability to perform long term continuous simulations with customizable input and output parameters. The Climate Assessment Tools within the EPA BASINS suite of models provides the user to create climate change scenarios based on changes to meteorological data files. Using calibrated HSPF models multiple climate change scenario were modeled. The resulting time series flow data was used to assess the potential impacts on stream health related to floodplain inundation, streambank erosion, and conveyance capacity.
This presentation is intended to provide an over view of the modeling approach and the potential uses for regulators concerned with how existing infrastructure and natural systems may be impacted by changes in the volume and timing of precipitation.