The effects of climate change on ecologically relevant flow regimes: A comparative study between Upper Murrumbidgee and Goulburn Broken catchments

Fiona Dyer, Masud Hasan, Sondoss El Sawah, Barry Croke, Evan Harrison, Anthony Jakeman

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

    58 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The management of freshwater ecosystems is usually targeted through the regulation of water quantity (limiting diversions and providing environmental flows) and regulation of water quality (setting limits or targets for constituent concentrations). Climate change is likely to affect water quantity and quality in multiple ways and the future management of freshwater ecosystems requires predictions of plausible future conditions. We use a suite of ecologically-relevant hydrological indicators to determine the significance of projected climate-driven hydrological changes in the Upper Murrumbidgee River Catchment in south eastern Australia in relation to river regulation. We also determine the possible water quality changes (in relation to guidelines for aquatic ecosystem protection) associated with the climate change projections to identify the combined effects of hydrological and water quality changes. The results of this study suggest that river regulation has resulted in greater changes to ecologically-relevant streamflow characteristics than climate change scenarios that involve a 1 and 2 C temperature rise in the Upper Murrumbidgee River Catchment. In contrast to the projected hydrological changes, Bayesian Network modelling suggests very small changes to violations of water quality thresholds designed to protect aquatic ecosystems as a result of climate change. By identifying key components of the flow and water quality regimes that may be affected by climate change, we are able to provide managers with information that assists in developing adaptation initiatives.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMODSIM2013, 20th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation
    EditorsPiantadosi, J., Anderssen, R.S. and Boland J.
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherModelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc.
    Pages405pp
    EditionPeer Reviewed
    ISBN (Print)9780987214331
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventInternational Congress on Modelling and Simulation MODSIM 2013 - Adelaide Australia, Australia
    Duration: 1 Jan 2013 → …
    http://www.mssanz.org.au/modsim2013/

    Conference

    ConferenceInternational Congress on Modelling and Simulation MODSIM 2013
    Country/TerritoryAustralia
    Period1/01/13 → …
    OtherDecember 1-6 2013
    Internet address

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