Impact of climate change on Cannonsville Reservoir thermal structure in the New York City water supply

Samal, N. R.; Pierson, D. C.; Schneiderman, E.; Huang, Y.; Read, J. S.; Anandhi, A.; Owens, E. M.
July 2012
Water Quality Research Journal of Canada (IWA Publishing);2012, Vol. 47 Issue 3/4, p389
Academic Journal
Global Circulation Model values of mean daily air temperature, wind speed and solar radiation for the 2081-2100 period are used to produce change factors that are applied to a 39 year record of local meteorological data to produce future climate scenarios. These climate scenarios are used to drive two separate, but coupled models: the Generalized Watershed Loading Functions-Variable Source Area model in order to simulate reservoir tributary inflows, and a one-dimensional reservoir hydrothermal model used to evaluate changes in reservoir thermal structure in response to changes in meteorological forcing and changes in simulated inflow. Comparisons between simulations based on present-day climate data (baseline conditions) and future simulations (change-factor adjusted baseline conditions) are used to evaluate the development and breakdown of thermal stratification, as well as a number of metrics that describe reservoir thermal structure, stability and mixing. Both epilimnion and hypolimnion water temperatures are projected to increase. Indices of mixing and stability show changes that are consistent with the simulated changes in reservoir thermal structure. Simulations suggest that stratification will begin earlier and the reservoir will exhibit longer and more stable periods of thermal stratification under future climate conditions.


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