Effect of historical changes in land use and climate on the water budget of an urbanizing watershed
Hopkinson, Charles S.
Rastetter, Edward B.
Vallino, Joseph J.
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordWater budgets; Evapotranspiration; Climate change; Land-use change; Urbanization; Water-balance model; Ipswich River
We assessed the effects of historical (1931-1998) changes in both land-use and climate on the water budget of a rapidly urbanizing watershed, Ipswich River basin (IRB), in northeastern Massachusetts. Water diversions and extremely low flow during summer are major issues in the IRB. Our study centers on a detailed analysis of diversions and a combined empirical/modeling treatment of evapotranspiration (ET) response to changes in climate and land-use. A detailed accounting of diversions showed that net diversions increased due to increases in water withdrawals (primarily ground water pumping) and export of sewage. Net diversions constitute a major component of runoff (20% of streamflow). Using a combination of empirical analysis and physically based modeling we related an increase in precipitation (2.7 mm/yr) and changes in other climate variables to an increase in ET (1.7 mm/yr). Simulations with a physically based water-balance model showed that the increase in ET could be attributed entirely to a change in climate, while the effect of land-use change was negligible. The land-use change effect was different from ET and runoff trends commonly associated with urbanization. We generalized these and other findings to predict future streamflow using climate change scenarios. Our study could serve as a framework for studying suburban watersheds, being the first study of a suburban watershed that addresses long-term effects of changes in both land-use and climate, and accounts for diversions and other unique aspects of suburban hydrology.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2006. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Water Resources Research 42 (2006): W03426, doi:10.1029/2005WR004131.
Suggested CitationWater Resources Research 42 (2006): W03426
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Levang, Samuel J.; Schmitt, Raymond W. (American Meteorological Society, 2015-08-15)The global water cycle is predicted to intensify under various greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. Here the nature and strength of the expected changes for the ocean in the coming century are assessed by examining the ...
The changing landscape : ecosystem responses to urbanization and pollution across climatic and societal gradients Grimm, Nancy B.; Foster, David R.; Groffman, Peter M.; Grove, J. Morgan; Hopkinson, Charles S.; Nadelhoffer, Knute J.; Pataki, Diane E.; Peters, Debra P. C. (Ecological Society of America, 2008-06)Urbanization, an important driver of climate change and pollution, alters both biotic and abiotic ecosystem properties within, surrounding, and even at great distances from urban areas. As a result, research challenges and ...
Valiela, Ivan; Martinetto, Paulina (American Institute of Biological Sciences, 2007-04)The abundance of birds recorded in the North American Breeding Bird Survey decreased by up to 18 percent between 1966 and 2005. The abundance of US and Canadian resident species decreased by 30 percent, and that of migrants ...