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Modeling the Boise Reservoir System with Climate Change Leslie Stillwater, Pacific NW Region

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Modeling the Boise Reservoir System with Climate Change Leslie Stillwater, Pacific NW Region. Reclamation’s Boise Project The Boise Project provides water to lands in southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon Boise Basin Project Reservoirs, active capacities: Anderson Ranch, 413 kAF

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Presentation Transcript
slide1
Modeling

the Boise Reservoir System

with Climate Change

Leslie Stillwater, Pacific NW Region

slide2
Reclamation’s Boise Project
  • The Boise Project provides water to lands in southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon
  • Boise Basin Project Reservoirs,
  • active capacities:
  • Anderson Ranch, 413 kAF
  • Arrowrock, 272 kAF
  • LuckyPeak (COE facility), 264 kAF
  • Lake Lowell, 159 kAF
  • Irrigated Lands:
  • 224,000 acres primary supply
  • 173,000 acres supplemental supply
climate change is likely to bring
Climate Change Is Likely to Bring…
  • Warmer Temperatures
  • Less Snowpack
  • More Precipitation (some say)
  • Greater variability in flows
  • Earlier runoff
  • Higher winter flows; lower summer flows
preliminary assessment questions
Preliminary Assessment Questions
  • will Reclamation meet it’s current contractual obligations for water storage and delivery?
  • will Reclamation meet it’s environmental obligations?
  • will current flood risk management practices be adequate?
slide6
The IPCC is a scientific intergovernmental body set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The IPCC provides an objective and neutral source of information about climate change.

The IPCC does not conduct research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters.  

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

selected ipcc model output
Selected IPCC Model Output

Three projection scenarios for the year 2040 were selected from among the suite of IPCC models. Each applies an aggressive emissions scenario, assuming increasing emissions based on population growth and current technological and economic trends.

  • ECHAM
    • developed by the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Germany
    • Echam simulations produce moderate temperature and precipitation trends when compared to other IPCC models.
  • IPSL
    • developed by the IPSL Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France.
    • IPSL simulations produce the greatest warming and increased precipitation trends.
  • GISS
    • developed by NASA / Goddard Institute for Space Studies, USA
    • GISS simulations produce the lowest warming trends and a small decrease in precipitation.
6 scenarios were developed from 3 climate change projections for year 2040
6 Scenarios were developed from 3 Climate Change Projections for Year 2040
  • Echam - Temp Adjustments Only
  • Echam - Temp and Precip Adjustments
  • GISS - Temp Adjustments Only
  • GISS - Temp and Precip Adjustments
  • IPSL - Temp Adjustments Only
  • IPSL - Temp and Precip Adjustments
climate impacts group cig
Climate Impacts Group(CIG)

The projected precipitation and temperature changes were downscaled to the Pacific Northwest by the Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Oceans Climate Impacts Group (CIG) at the University of Washington.

how climate affected naturalized streamflows were developed
How Climate AffectedNaturalized Streamflows were Developed

T and P Adjustments were obtained from the Climate Impacts Group for each Climate Scenario

T and P Adjustments were applied to the National Weather Service River Forecast System model (NWSRFS) to produce daily local naturalized streamflows (WY1949-1996)

nwsrfs model
NWSRFS Model
  • Forecasts streamflow
  • Collection of hydrologic/hydraulic models calibrated to observed snow, soil moisture, river, and reservoir conditions and historical meteorological data
  • Model input (for this study): T and P
  • Model components:
    • Sacramento Soil Moisture Accounting Model
    • SNOW-17
nwsrfs concepts
NWSRFS Concepts

http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~knowles/html/land/mod_descr.html

daily naturalized flows at lucky peak using temperature predictions for 2040 nwsrfs model results
Daily Naturalized Flows at Lucky Peak using Temperature Predictions for 2040(NWSRFS model results)
slide16
Daily Naturalized Flows at Lucky Peak using Temperature and Precipitation Predictions for 2040 (NWSRFS model results)
how climate affected streamflows were applied in the planning and operations models
How Climate Affected Streamflows were applied in thePlanning and Operations Models
  • Naturalized streamflows from each NWSRFS Climate Scenario were compared to the unadjusted NWSRFS Scenario (calibrated to historic streamflows) to produce daily local naturalized streamflow adjustments
  • The daily streamflow adjustments were applied to the Monthly Planning Model (Snake River Revised MODSIM Model)
  • The daily streamflow adjustments were also applied to the Daily Boise Operations Model (MODSIM)
model purposes and assumptions
Model Purposes and Assumptions
  • The monthly planning model addresses storage, Reclamation contract obligations, water rights, irrigation deliveries and minimum streamflows
    • Modeled irrigation deliveries are based on present level delivery requirements
    • Environmental obligations are based on current practices
  • The daily operations model addresses flood risk management and refill
results page1
Results (page1)
  • The ability to refill Project reservoirs may not be significantly impacted by Climate Change, but refill is dependent on the successful response to changing flood risks
  • Project deliveries are likely to not be significantly affected by Climate Change (natural flow diversions decline, Project storage deliveries increase)
  • Environmental obligations for storage and streamflows are likely to not be significantly affected by Climate Change
results page2
Results (page2)
  • However, winter and spring flooding and flood control operations are more likely with Climate Change and will be the major issue in the Treasure Valley
  • Flood risk management and reservoir refill go

hand-in-hand

observations on flood risk management and reservoir refill page1
Observations on Flood Risk Management and Reservoir Refill (page1)

Current COE regulations, guidelines and space requirements are outdated, having been developed using data from 1895 through 1980.

Starting about 1980, the guidelines under-predict inflows prior to April 1 and over-predict inflows after April 1

With Climate Change, the under- and over- predictions are even larger

observations on flood risk management and reservoir refill page2
Observations on Flood Risk Management and Reservoir Refill (page2)

Accurate forecasts will become more difficult develop to due to the influences of precipitation on the basin and increased flow variability

boise project flood operations
Boise Project Flood Operations

Starting on January 1, a volume forecast from ‘now’ until the end of July is developed

Part of that forecast will arrive April – July producing the April 1 space requirements (rule curves)

The remainder of that forecast will arrive ‘now’ – March determining the rate of release to get down to the April 1 space requirements

Measure of success is discharge < 7,000 cfs at Glenwood Bridge

slide35
No Adjustment

1970/1971

Apr 1 Space (AF)

required = 950,150

achieved = 885,780

slide36
Echam T

1970/1971

Apr 1 Space (AF)

required = 664,530

achieved = 663,780

slide37
Giss T

1970/1971

Apr 1 Space (AF)

required = 822,790

achieved = 820,390

slide38
Ipsl T

1970/1971

Apr 1 Space (AF)

required = 588,970

achieved = 582,100

slide39
Echam TP

1970/1971

Apr 1 Space (AF)

required = 784,410

achieved = 613,210

slide40
Giss TP

1970/1971

Apr 1 Space (AF)

required = 834,650

achieved = 831,930

slide41
Ipsl TP

1970/1971

Apr 1 Space (AF)

required = 852,310

achieved = 244,280

slide42
No Adjustment

1970/1971

Apr 1 Space (AF)

required = 950,150

achieved = 885,780

impacts to reservoir refill
Impacts to Reservoir Refill

Refill capabilities go hand-in-hand with flood control operations

When modeled, perfect forecasts (!) and revised operating rules produce excellent refill capability in all Climate Change Scenarios studied

so will reservoirs fill
So, will Reservoirs fill?

Streamflow forecasts will need to be early – that seems unlikely

Greater streamflow variability produces greater uncertainties in streamflow forecasts

Operators will be hesitant to draw down early and start an early fill

so will there be flooding in boise
So, will there be flooding in Boise?

Most likely*

*given our current assumptions

comments on the daily operations studies
Comments on the Daily Operations Studies

Assumptions drive the study results

A2 IPCC scenarios (aggressive emissions)

T and P results are scalable to PN Region and to the Boise Basin

Starting storage conditions of Nov 2001 (historic median)

Perfect forecasts

We addressed uncertainties by employing results from a range of IPCC models

daily operations study results
Daily Operations Study Results

Reliable forecasts will be even more critical

Early forecasts (prior to Jan 1) will be required

Drawdown needs to start before Jan 1

Space requirements need to start earlier than Apr 1

Maintaining 55% space in Lucky Peak and Arrowrock may not be possible

Glenwood Bridge discharge Jan – Apr will be higher

Glenwood Bridge discharge > 7,000 cfs can be anticipated if the wettest scenario is realized

web sites
Web sites
  • Hydromet teacup diagrams:
    • http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    • http://www.ipcc.ch/
  • NWS models
    • http://www.nws.noaa.gov/
  • Climate Impacts Group, U of Washington
    • www.cses.washington.edu/cig/
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