Modeling future water demand for current and future climate in the Okanagan basin, B.C, Canada.

Neilsen, D., Van der Gulik, T.W., Cannon, A.J., Taylor, B., and Fretwell, R. (2015). "Modeling future water demand for current and future climate in the Okanagan basin, B.C, Canada.", Acta Horticulturae (ISHS), 1063, pp. 211-218.

Abstract

To identify agricultural water requirements and the potential for water conservation, we have developed a GIS based model to estimate water demand based on crop type, seasonal crop development and spatial distribution. Multiple data layers characterize topography, surface and subsurface hydrology, crop distribution, irrigation management, soils and a range of geographic and political boundaries. The model is driven 500 x 500m gridded climate data for the years 1960-2006 and future climate data sets downscaled from GCM output (12 scenarios) from 1961-2100. These climate surfaces have been used to provide calculations of Penman Monteith reference ET and a range of agro-climatic indices for each climate grid cell in addition to crop and terrain based irrigation water demand. Sample scenarios of changing climate, expanded agriculture and urbanization demonstrate the usefulness of this type of modeling for regional water planning.

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