Potential Effects of Global Climatic Change on the Tennessee Valley Authority Reservoir System

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by B. A. Miller, TVA Engineering Lab, United States,
W. G. Brock, TVA Engineering Lab, United States,
W. R. Waldrop, TVA Engineering Lab, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering:

Abstract: Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other 'greenhouse' gases are likely to increase global temperatures and modify regional hydrologic cycles. To assess the significance of these climatic shifts, potential impacts of two climate scenarios were evaluated for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reservoir system. The warmer and wetter scenario resulted in increased water availability for power production, recreation, minimum flow requirements and water supplies, as well as in increased flood potential. The warmer and drier scenario, while decreasing flood potential, resulted in decreased water availability for power production, recreation and water quality. Both scenarios would impact the ability of the system to meet present project purposes and necessitate a reevaluation of present reservoir operating philosophy.

Subject Headings: Climate change | Reservoirs | Federal government | Hydro power | Water-based recreation | Water quality | Climates | Thermal pollution | Carbon dioxide | North America | United States | Tennessee | Colorado

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