- Created: Monday, 13 April 2015 21:19
When Conditions Collide
Climate change and land development bind flood and drought to Elbow River basin
By: C. Lacombe
Raise your hand if you wish you had a crystal ball. The brilliant decisions you should make; the prosperous directions you would take and the healthy lifestyle you could adopt all clearly laid out for maximum success.
Okay, we don’t have crystal balls and the future will surely throw us curve balls. But, we do have growing aptitude in computer modeling based on existing data and knowledge that are close.
“If the model is built with good data of high quality that truly represents what is happening in the watershed in terms of hydrology, land use and climate change, then we have a tool to run scenarios and see what might happen in the future,” says Dr. Danielle Marceau Schulich Chair in Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) and Environmental Modeling at University of Calgary. Over the past six years, Dr. Marceau led a study of five climate change scenarios in the Elbow River watershed hydrology and a changing land use study. Then, she led a combined study looking at hydrological changes under climate change and land use change to see how these components might affect Elbow River hydrology.