Global Climate Change Effects on Water Quality

by G. K. Meyer, Univ of California, Davis, United States,
G. T. Orlob, Univ of California, Davis, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management: Saving a Threatened Resource—In Search of Solutions


The annual thermal energy cycle of Shasta Reservoir in California is simulated under scenarios of climate corresponding to present conditions and as predicted by global climate models for a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Boundary conditions for simulation of reservoir water quality under the climate change case were derived by adjustment of driving variables, e.g., inflow, inflow temperature, precipitation, and cloud cover, in proportion to global climate model (GCM) estimates of these quantities, interpolated for the location of the reservoir from the GCM grid covering the southwestern United States. Comparison of results indicates that water temperatures were generally elevated throughout most of the year at all depths in the reservoir. Temperatures of water released to the river downstream would be expected to be about 1.5 degrees C higher during the salmon spawning period.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Climate change | Reservoirs | Climates | Temperature effects | Water pollution | Aquatic habitats | Thermal analysis | United States | California

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