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Decision Tools to Evaluate Vulnerabilities and Adaptation Strategies to Climate ChangeWater Resources Sector

Sebastián VicuñaUniversity of California, Berkeley/SEICGE Hands-on Training Workshop on V&A Assessments for the Latin America and the Caribbean RegionAsunción, Paraguay, 14-18 August 2006

  • Vulnerability and adaptation with respect to water resources
  • Hydrologic implications of climate change for water resources
  • Tools/models
  • WEAP model presentation
  • Role for Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA)
effective v a assessments
Effective V&A Assessments
  • Defining V&A assessment
    • Often V&A in the water sector focuses on analysis over assessment
    • Why? Because the focus is on biophysical impacts, e.g., hydrologic response, crop yields, land use, etc.
  • Assessment is an integrating process requiring the interface of physical and social science and public policy
effective v a assessments continued
Effective V&A Assessments (continued)
  • General questions
    • What is the assessment trying to influence?
    • How can the science/policy interface be most effective?
    • How can the participants be most effective in the process?
  • General problems
    • Participants bring differing objectives/ expertise
    • These differences often lead to dissention/ differing opinions – this is where MCA can help in prioritization
effective v a assessments continued5
Effective V&A Assessments (continued)
  • To be valuable, the assessment process requires
    • Relevancy
    • Credibility
    • Legitimacy
    • Consistent participation
  • An interdisciplinary process
    • The assessment process often requires a tool
    • The tool is usually a model or suite of models
    • These models serve as the interface
    • This interface is a bridge for dialogue between scientists and policy makers
water resources from a services perspective
Water Resources from a Services Perspective
  • Not just an evaluation of rainfall-runoff or streamflow
  • But an evaluation of the potential impacts of global warming on the goods and services provided by freshwater systems
water resources a critical v a sector





State of System

Little Control

of processes

Water Resources – A Critical V&A Sector
  • Must consider both managed and natural systems
  • Human activity influences both systems





Product, good or service

Process Control


Example: Agriculture

Example: Wetlands

hydrologic external pressures related to climate change
Hydrologic ‘External Pressures’ related to Climate Change
  • Precipitation amount
    • Global average increase
    • Marked regional differences
  • Temperature increase
    • Change in timing of streamflows
    • Glacier retreat
  • Precipitation frequency and intensity
    • Less frequent, more intense (Trenberth et al., 2003)
  • Evaporation and transpiration
    • Increase total evaporation
    • Regional complexities due to plant/atmosphere interactions
specific pressures annual runoff
Specific Pressures: Annual Runoff

Change in annual runoff (A2 scenario)

Arnell., 2003

specific pressures annual runoff11
Specific Pressures: Annual Runoff

Change in annual runoff (A2 scenario)

Arnell., 2003

specific pressures annual runoff12
Specific Pressures: Annual Runoff

Change in annual runoff (A2 scenario)

analogy with western north america
Analogy with Western North America

analogy with western north america15
Analogy with Western North America

specific pressures retreating glaciers
Specific Pressures: Retreating glaciers

Evolución del glaciar Chacaltaya (Bolivia)

Retroceso del glaciar Broggi

Glaciar en 1979 y 1997

Fluctuación del frente de 4 glaciares en Perú

Comunicación Nacional del Perú a la UNFCCC

Francou et al., 2000

specific pressures retreating glaciers18
Specific Pressures: Retreating glaciers
  • Meltwaters are depended upon during dry season to sustain low flow periods
    • Probable diminished volume and earlier timing of flows
    • Has implications for hydropower production, agricultural demands, and river and riparian quality and ecosystem needs
specific pressures extreme weather
Specific Pressures: Extreme weather
  • Climate variability (El Nino/Nina Southern Oscillation) impact water availability and all economic sectors en several countries in the region (e.g. Peru, Ecuador, Central America) (IPCC 2001).
  • Some climate models indicate more El Nino-like climate with increased greenhouse gases concentrations (Meehl and Washington 1996; Trenberth and Hoar, 1997)
specific pressures extreme weather20
Specific Pressures: Extreme weather

Change in extremes by the 2050s, under HadCM3

Arnell., 2003

specific pressures extreme weather21
Specific Pressures: Extreme weather

Change in extremes by the 2050s, under HadCM3

Arnell., 1999

examples of adaptation in water resources
Examples of Adaptation in Water Resources
  • Construction/modification of physical infrastructure
    • Canal linings
    • Closed conduits instead of open channels
    • Integrating separate reservoirs into a single system
    • Reservoirs/hydro-plants/delivery systems
    • Raising dam wall height
    • Increasing canal size
    • Removing sediment from reservoirs for more storage
    • Inter-basin water transfers
examples of adaptation in water resources continued
Examples of Adaptation in Water Resources(continued)
  • Adaptive management of existing water supply systems
    • Change operating rules for reservoirs
    • Use conjunctive surface/groundwater supply
    • Physically integrate reservoir operation system
    • Coordinate supply/demand
    • Indigenous options
examples of adaptation in water resources continued24
Examples of Adaptation in Water Resources (continued)
  • Policy, conservation, efficiency, and technology
    • Domestic
      • Municipal and in-home re-use of water
      • Leak repair
      • Rainwater collection for non-potable uses
      • Low-flow appliances
      • Dual-supply systems (potable and nonpotable)
    • Agriculture
      • Irrigation timing and efficiency
      • Drainage re-use, use of wastewater effluent
      • High value/low water use crops
      • Drip, micro-spray, low-energy, precision application irrigation systems
      • Salt-tolerant crops that can use drain water
examples of adaptation water supply continued
Examples of Adaptation – Water Supply (continued)
  • Policy, conservation, efficiency, and technology (continued)
    • Industry
      • Water re-use and recycling
      • Closed cycle and/or air cooling
      • More efficient hydropower turbines
      • Cooling ponds, wet towers and dry towers
    • Energy (hydropower)
      • Reservoir re-operation
      • Cogeneration (beneficial use of waste heat)
      • Additional reservoirs and hydropower stations
      • Low head run of the river hydropower
      • Market/price-driven transfers to other activities
      • Using water price to shift water use between sectors
tools in water resource v a studies
Tools in Water Resource V&A Studies
  • What tools are available to understand both water resource vulnerabilities and evaluate possible adaptation strategies?
  • How can stakeholders be engaged in these processes?
types of water resources models
Types of Water Resources Models
  • Hydraulic: biophysical process models describing streamflow, flooding
  • Hydrology: rainfall/runoff processes
  • Planning: water resource systems models

Which model?...

What questions are you trying to answer?

hydraulic model
Hydraulic Model
  • Critical questions
    • How fast, deep is river flowing (flooding effects)
    • How do changes to flow and channel morphology impact sediment transport and services provided (fish habitats, recreation, etc).
hydrology model
Hydrology Model
  • Critical questions
    • How does rainfall on a catchment translate into flow in a river?
    • What pathways does water follow as it moves through a catchment?
    • How does movement along these pathways impact the magnitude, timing, duration, and frequency of river flows, as well as water quality?
planning model
Planning Model
  • Critical questions
    • How should water be allocated to various uses in time of shortage?
    • How can these operations be constrained to protect the services provided by the river?
    • How should infrastructure in the system (e.g., dams, diversion works) be operated to achieve maximum benefit (economic, social, ecological)?
    • How will allocation, operations, and operating constraints change if new management strategies are introduced into the system?
tools to use for the assessment referenced water models
Tools to Use for the Assessment: Referenced Water Models

Operational and hydraulic

  • HEC
    • HEC-HMS – event-based rainfall-runoff (provides input to HEC-RAS for doing 1-d flood inundation “mapping”)
    • HEC-RAS – one-dimensional steady and unsteady flow
    • HEC-ResSim – reservoir operation modeling
  • WaterWare
  • RiverWare
  • MIKE11
  • Delft3d
hydraulic water management model
Hydraulic Water Management Model
  • HEC-HMS watershed scale, event based hydrologic simulation, of rainfall-runoff processes
    • Sub-daily rainfall-runoff processes of small catchments
    • Free, download from web
tools to use for the assessment referenced water models continued
Tools to Use for the Assessment: Referenced Water Models (continued)
  • Planning/ hydrology
    • WEAP21
    • Aquarius
    • SWAT
    • IRAS (Interactive River and Aquifer Simulation)
    • MIKE 21 and BASIN
current focus planning and hydrologic implications of climate change
Current Focus – Planning and Hydrologic Implications of Climate Change
  • Selected planning/hydrology models: can be deployed on PC, extensive documentation, ease of use, free (or free to developing nations)…
    • Aquarius
    • SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool)
    • WEAP21 (Water Evaluation and Planning)
physical hydrology and water management models
Physical Hydrology and Water Management Models
  • AQUARIUS advantage: Has economic efficiency criterion requiring the reallocation of stream flows until the net marginal return in all water uses is equal
    • Cannot be climatically driven – flows prescribed by user
    • Economic focus
physical hydrology and water management models continued
Physical Hydrology and Water Management Models (continued)
  • SWAT advantage:

Can predict effect of management decisions on water, sediment, nutrient and pesticide yields on ungauged river basins. Considers complex water quality constituents.

    • Rainfall-runoff, river routing on a daily timestep
    • Focuses on supply side of water balance
physical hydrology and water management models continued37
Physical Hydrology and Water Management Models (continued)
  • WEAP21 advantage: Seamlessly integrates watershed hydrologic processes with water resources management
    • Can be climatically driven
    • Based on holistic approach of integrated water resources management (IWRM) – supply and demand
overview weap21
Overview WEAP21
  • Hydrology and planning
  • Planning (water distribution) examples and exercises
  • Adding hydrology to the model
  • User interface
  • Scale
  • Data requirements and resources
  • Calibration and validation
  • Results
  • Scenarios
  • Licensing and registration
weap and planning
WEAP and Planning
  • Provides a common framework for transparently organizing water resource data at any scale desired – local watershed, regional or transboundary river basin
  • Scenarios can be easily developed to explore possible water futures
  • Implications of various policies can be evaluated
uses of weap
Uses of WEAP
  • Policy Research
    • Alternative Allocations
    • Climate Change
    • Land Use Change
    • Infrastructure Planning
  • Capacity Building
  • Negotiation
  • Stakeholder Engagement
weap capabilities
Can do

High level planning at local and regional scales

Demand management

Water allocation

Infrastructure evaluation

WEAP Capabilities

Cannot do

  • Sub-daily operations
  • Optimization of supply and demand (e.g. cost minimizations or social welfare maximization)
different priorities




10 unmet

Different Priorities
  • For example, the demands of large farmers (70 units) might be Priority 1 in one scenario whereas the demands of smallholders (40 units) may be Priority 1 in another
different preferences
Different Preferences
  • For example, a center pivot operator may prefer to take water from a tributary because of lower pumping costs





weap is scenario driven
WEAP is Scenario-driven
  • The scenario editor readily accommodates analysis of:
    • Climate change scenarios and assumptions
    • Future demand assumptions
    • Future watershed development assumptions
futures and scenarios why
Futures and Scenarios: Why?
  • Scenarios: a systematic way of thinking about the future
  • To gain a better understanding of the possible implications of decisions (or non-decisions across scales and time
  • To support decision-making
driving forces
Driving Forces


  • Computer and information technology
  • Biotechnology
  • Miniaturization


  • Increasing global stress
  • Local degradation
  • Some remediation in richer countries


  • Global institutions
  • Democratic government
  • Role for civil society in decision-making


  • More people
  • Urbanization
  • Older


  • Growing integration of global economy


  • Increasing inequality
  • Persistent poverty


  • Spread of values of consumerism and individualism
  • Nationalist and religious reaction
who are the actors
Who are the Actors?
  • Government
  • Private sector
  • Civil society
  • Public
  • Rich farmers
  • Poor farmers
  • Urban users
  • Environmentalists
  • Or?
consider sources of uncertainty
Consider Sources of Uncertainty


Understanding is limited


The unexpected and the novel can alter directions


Human choice matters

forecast and backcast


Where is society going?




Forecast and Backcast

Where do we want to go?

How do we get there?

the weap21 graphical user interface
The WEAP21 Graphical User Interface


Interface Only





data requirements
Data Requirements
  • WEAP allows the user to determine the level of complexity desired
    • according to the questions that need to be addressed
    • the availability of data
data requirements supply
Data Requirements: Supply
  • User-prescribed supply (riverflow given as fixed time series)
    • Time series data of riverflows (headflows) cfs
    • River network (connectivity)
  • Alternative supply via physical hydrology (let the watershed generate riverflow)
    • Watershed attributes
      • Area, land cover . . .
    • Climate
      • Precipitation, temperature, windspeed, and relative humidity
the weap 2 bucket hydrology module
The WEAP 2-Bucket Hydrology Module

Surface Runoff =




data requirements demand
Data Requirements: Demand
  • Water demand data: multi-sectoral
    • Municipal and industrial demand
      • Aggregated by sector (manufacturing, tourism, etc.)
      • Disaggregated by population (e.g., use/capita, use/socioeconomic group)
    • Agricultural demands
      • Aggregated by area (# hectares, annual water-use/hectare)
      • Disaggregated by crop water requirements
    • Ecosystem demands (in-stream flow requirements)
data requirements continued
Data Requirements(continued)
























Single Family







Electric Power




South City

West City


example data resources
Example Data Resources
  • Indigenous knowledge!
  • Climate

  • Hydrology (Global Runoff Data Center)

  • GIS

  • General Resources

calibration and validation
Calibration and Validation
  • Model evaluation criteria
    • Flows along mainstem and tributaries
    • Reservoir storage and release
    • Water diversions from other basins
    • Agricultural water demand and delivery
    • Municipal and industrial water demands and deliveries
    • Groundwater storage trends and levels
looking at results

Select results to be

viewed, including

which scenario here.

Change units

and sub

categories of

results, and

change the

style of the

graph here.

Select values

for the y


Looking at Results
what next
What next?
  • How can output from WEAP, or any water resource model for that matter, be organized and analyzed to prioritize and select appropriate adaptation strategies?...

Stakeholder-driven multi-criteria analysis can help…

multi criteria analysis mca
Multi-criteria Analysis (MCA)
  • Any structured approach used to determine overall preferences among alternative options, where the alternatives can accomplish several objectives
  • Is particularly useful to situations where a single criterion would fall short, and allows decision-makers to address a range of relevant factors
mca scope
MCA: Scope
  • All sectors, regions, livelihoods, ecosystems, etc.
  • Has been used extensively in water resources planning, coastal zone management, agricultural development, and stakeholder processes
mca key outputs
MCA: Key Outputs
  • A single preferred option, or…
  • A short list of preferred options, or…
  • A characterization of acceptable and unacceptable possiblities
mca key inputs
MCA: Key Inputs
  • Evaluation criteria
  • Relevant metrics for those criteria
mca weap motivation
MCA–WEAP: Motivation
  • Develop an interactive computer tool to facilitate multi-criteria assessment of water resource options in a stakeholder context
  • Designed specifically to be used in conjunction with outputs from the WEAP model and stakeholder processes to develop, weight and apply evaluation criteria to adaptation options
mca weap history
MCA–WEAP: History
  • MCA-WEAP is a new Excel macros-based model, built off of NAPAssess, a tool developed by SEI for use by Sudan and Yemen in their NAPA processes
  • Now reshaped to focus exclusively on adaptation options around water – used so far in Netherlands Climate Assistance Program (NCAP) studies
    • ensure adequate stakeholder representation
    • Identify CC adaptation strategies
    • establish country-driven criteria to evaluate and prioritize
    • Make consensus-based recommendations for adaptation initiatives
  • Open source, and still a BETA version!
mca weap capabilities
MCA–WEAP: Capabilities
  • Streamlines the multi-criteria analysis process by:
    • Housing all relevant project information on a single platform
    • Supporting a transparent, user-friendly process for developing, weighting, and applying evaluation criteria
    • Producing a ranked set of alternatives
mca weap steps
  • Assess key vulnerability
  • Identify key stakeholders
  • Identify potential adaptation strategies
  • Develop stakeholder-driven evaluation criteria to determine trade-offs
  • Assign weights to criteria
  • Prioritize adaptation options for best meeting the needs of those most vulnerable
licensing weap
Licensing WEAP
  • Go to and register for a new license (free for government, university, and non-profit organizations in developing countries)
  • Register WEAP under Help menu and select “Register WEAP”