Hydrologic Response to Climate Change in the Sprague River Basin, Oregon
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|Title||Hydrologic Response to Climate Change in the Sprague River Basin, Oregon|
Hay, Lauren E.
Markstrom, Steven L.
|Other Date||24-May-2011 (iso8601)|
|Note||Presented at The Oregon Water Conference, May 24-25, 2011, Corvallis, OR.|
|Abstract||In 2008 the U.S. Geological Survey began a Global Change study that evaluated the watershed scale response to climate change in selected basins across the United States. Fourteen basins for which the Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) had been calibrated and evaluated were selected as study sites. PRMS is a deterministic, distributed-parameter, watershed model developed to evaluate the effects of various combinations of precipitation, temperature, and land use on streamflow and general basin hydrology. PRMS results for the Sprague River basin located in the Upper Klamath Basin in south-central Oregon are summarized below.
Five General Circulation Models (GCMs) incorporating three climate change scenarios were used to develop an ensemble of climate change inputs to PRMS. Although the climate change projections for 2001–2099 showed a wide range of variability between the GCMs, which would indicate a large amount of uncertainty, the central tendency lines showed an increase in temperature and precipitation over the 21st century. Using these data as model input, simulated streamflow output from PRMS for the Sprague River indicate earlier spring high flows as a consequence of increased and decreased proportions of rainfall and snowfall, respectively. Supplying approximately 25 percent of inflow to the Upper Klamath Lake, the Sprague River basin is vital to environmental and human water needs within the Klamath River basin. As water demands increase, the reliability and timing of flow from the Sprague River becomes increasingly critical in water-management decisions. Potential alterations in flows to the Upper Klamath Lake as a result of climate change could necessitate (1) modifications to the operation of the lake as a storage reservoir and (2) creation of additional storage capacity to meet water demand during the summer.