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Project Research Components

Vulnerability Assessment of Rural Communities
Analysis of Water Conflicts and Institutions
Historical Study of Institutional Adaptation
Analysis of Environmental Vulnerabilities
Assessment of Formal Institutions
Climate Change Scenarios
Geospatial Data
Unit 2: Climate Change Scenarios

This unit involves Cluster 2 activities. It examines the potential contingent effects of climate change risks on the identified vulnerabilities to water resource scarcity. Achieving this outcome involves: (a) an analysis of a range of climate change model scenarios; and (b) an assessment of how these scenarios could impact the current social and physical vulnerabilities in the regions as determined from Unit 1. Participants in this project are D. Sauchyn (Unit Coordinator) and E. Wheaton (Canada), and J. Cepeda and M. Fiebig (Chile), supported by research assistants and one research associate (V. Wittrock). D. Corkal and H. Zavala are advisors to this project. The main activities identified in the Milestone Report for this project are:

  1. Baseline data collection: Data collection for the two basins is in progress.

  2. Development of working papers: A draft of a working paper that describes the climate and impact scenarios for the SSRB has been developed (See Wittrock, Wheaton, and Kulshreshtha, 2005).

  3. Development of climate change characteristics relative to future risks: Since drought is recognized as the most serious climate risk in both basins, two projects have been developed in relation to this phenomenon: (a) The Statistical Characteristics of Drought in the Western Prairies (Sauchyn), an analysis of the long-term statistical characteristics of this severe climate hazard. This long-term perspective complements the work of other team members, such as the impacts of the droughts of 2001-02 (Wheaton, and Kulshreshtha) and the 1920-30s (Marchildon); and (b) Proxy Drought Records for the ERB (Feibig). To enable the statistical analysis of drought in the ERB, it was necessary to collect the type of proxy climate data that already exist for the SSRB. This work is in progress.

  4. Creation of climate change and impact scenarios: In the SSRB, we have begun to develop climate change and impact scenarios following the guidelines outlined in the IACC's "Climate Change, Ecosystem and Water Resources: Modeling and Impact Scenarios for the South Saskatchewan River Basin, Canada: A Working Paper." The paper was produced by V. Wittrock, E. Wheaton and S. Kulshreshtha, and it was published by the Saskatchewan Research Council. In addition, a research fellow, Suzan Lapp, is developing climate change scenarios under the supervision of Sauchyn and other IACC project researchers (Wheaton and Wittrock). In the case of the ERB we are starting to develop climate change and impact escenarios. A document, "Modelos Climáticos, Escenarios de Emisiones de Gases de Efecto Invernadero y Escenarios Climáticos" (Pérez, Fiebig, and Cepeda, 2006) discusses the existent escenarios and their limitations: the grid size of the GCMs are still too large and in the ERB there are only 8 precipitation time series over 20 years without gaps: statistical downscaling would be not meaningful. We have the MM5 model running as a precipitation forecast model; however, it is not operational as a Regional Climatic Model yet. At the Department of Geophysics of the University of Chile, a regional climatic model is being validated in order to create impact sceneries of local climate change. In addition, SHETRAN, Hydrologic Model, is being validated, and STEP model, a model for vegetative ecosystem, is being calibrated at the Universidad de La Serena.

  5. Assessment of vulnerabilities (communities and region) under changing climatic conditions: This activity will take place in 2007 based on the climate change scenarios.

  6. Final report: Click here

Proposals and Participants
• Original Proposal
• Research Team
• Advisory Board
• Partners
• Policy Relevant
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