Modeling the impacts of climate change, landuse change, and human population dynamics on water availability and demands in the Southeastern U.S.
The objective of this study is to develop a method to fully budget annual water supply (Precipitation - Evapotranspiration (ET) + Groundwater supply + Return Flow) and water use from thermoelectric, irrigation, domestic, industry, livestock, minirig, and commercial uses at the regional scale. We used a generalized annual ET model that estimates water loss as a function of potential ET, annual precipitation, land cover type, and topography. The Water Supply Stress lndex (WSSI), the ratio of water demand and supply was developed to evaluate water stress conditions. The Water Supply Stress lndex Ratio (WSSIR) was developed to quantify the impact of future changes in climate, land use, and population individually or in combination on WSSI. Modeling results from two Global Circulation Models (GCMs) (Hadley and CGCI ), one land use change model, and one population change model were integrated to project future water supply and use over the next 25 years. We found that climate will have the largest impact on water stress, followed by population, and finally land use change across the southeastern U.S. during this period.