ACF River Basin: Climate and Demand Change Impacts and Mitigation Measures
Georgakakos, Aristidis Peter
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This article presents the potential impacts of climate change on the Apalachicola -Chattahoochee- Flint (ACF) river basin (Figure 1) in the southeast US. The long term future basin inflow sequences corresponding to A1B and A2 climate change scenarios were used to drive a water resources model that incorporates the river network, all storage projects and hydroelectric facilities, water withdrawals and returns, instream flow requirements, and management procedures. The assessment criteria of impacts include reliability of water supply for municipal, industrial, and agricultural users with current demand level (year 2007) and future projection (year 2050); lake levels; environmental and ecological flow requirements; and hydropower generation. Results indicate that, under the climate change scenarios and with the current management procedures, the system will experience severe adverse water resources impacts such as extended reservoir drawdowns (Figure 2), water supply deficits (Figure 3), and frequent violations of instream flow requirements. Adaptive management procedures and modified operation rules are proposed and tested to mitigate the impacts of climate changes. The results indicate that such measures can significantly reduce adverse climate and demand change impacts (Figure 4 and Figure 5), but they need to be institutionalized as part of state and federal agency policies.