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New directions in research, new findings and continuing key

concerns issues on climate change and water resources


Max Campos Regional Committe on Hydraulic Resources-Central America
Water resources and climate change

Interdisciplinary analyses
Lack of information about some parts of hydrological cycle
Hydrological views of climate (design purposes)

Biophysical impacts Environmental &


Hydrological cycle (man) social

Impacts cycle for water studies

Policy makers
..... require an interdisciplinary approach
comprehensive studies of climate and water issues have omitted
the social scientists, producing results that are difficult for
decision makers to use.

.......particularly in the world of policy development, are the views of


hydrologists about climate and its change. Most hydrologic studies of
extreme events such as floods and droughts have assumed stationarity of
climate over time
.......the importance of including climatic variability in water resources
management), for example: moderate fluctuations in climate may
produce major hydrologic changes, and in one case noted that a 25 %
increase in precipitation in a basin increased the mean annual runoff by
50-70%.

.......policy-makers addressing the impacts of climate change on water


resources typically are most aware of views of hydrologists . This can
result in confusion and loss of credibility about the issues, and inaction
at the policy making levels.
Middle 80s. emphasis research:

. the effects on precipitation of CO2 induced global warming.

. how climate changes might alter extreme events (droughts and floods).

. the relationship of climate alterations and water quality.

. development of methods to better ascertain climate, water, and society.


Allee, David J., Leonard B. Dworsky, and Albert E. Utton (1993). Managing 
Transboundary Water Conflicts: The United States and its Boundary Commissions. 
AWRA 28th Annual Conference & Symposium, Reno, NV, AWRA. US­Mexico 
border, Canada. water supply, legal/policy/political issues.

Allen, L.H., P. Jones, and J.W. Jones (1985). Rising Atmospheric CO2 and 
Evapotranspiration. St. Joseph, MI, American Society of Agricultural Engineers: 13­
27. US. CO2 levels, evapotranspiration, agriculture.

Anderson, Jeffry L., S. Shiau, and Danny Harvey (1991). Preliminary Investigation of 
Trend/Patterns in Surface Water Characteristics and Climate Variations. NHRI 
Workshop, Saskatoon, Canada, National Hydrology Research Institute. 
unspecified/NA. hydrology/groundwater/river flows.

Assel, Raymond A. (1988). Impact of Global Warming on Great Lakes Ice Cycles. The 
Potential Effects of Global Climate Change on the United States. J. B. Smith, and 
Dennis A. Tirpak. Washington, DC, U.S. EPA. EPA­230­05­89­051: 5.1­5.30. Eastern 
US, Great Lakes. lake level fluctuation/ice cover.
1 Climate change assessments 21 Sea level rise
2 Water planning and allocation 22 Land usemanagement
3 Modelling data issues 23 Human health
4 Soil moisture 24 Floods
5 Evapotranspiration 25 Hydropower
6 Recreation and tourism 26 Navigation / transportation
7 Animal ecology/wildlife/fisheries 27 Water quality
8 Economics valuation 28 Desertification / droughts
9 Historial climate 29 Plant ecology
10 Lakes 30 Forest
11 Snowfall / snowmelts 31 Climate feedbacks
12 Hydrology/groundwater/riverflows 32 Remote sensing
13 Water supply 33 Water transfer
14 Legal / policy / political issues 34 Water storage / reservoirs
15 CO2 levels 35 Precipitation
16 Agriculture 36 Saline (estuary)
37 Population and social
17 Irrigation
38 Wetlands
18 Weather variations (extremes)
39 Hydrogeological cycle
19 Water use
40 Water conservation
20 Lake level fluctuations / ice cover
41 Urban issues
Research on Climate Change and Water Resources
3.1 3.6
5.3 4.7

3.1

4.5 11.8

3.3 72%

5.1
8.5

4.9

14.0
Climate change assessments Water planning and allocation Modelling data issues

Animal ecology/wildlife/fisheries Snowfall / snowmelts Hydrology/groundwater/riverflows

Water supply Legal / policy / political issues CO2 levels

Agriculture Lake level fluctuations / ice cover Precipitation


1 Climate change assessments 21 Sea level rise
2 Water planning and allocation 22 Land usemanagement
3 Modelling data issues 23 Human health
4 Soil moisture 24 Floods
5 Evapotranspiration 25 Hydropower
6 Recreation and tourism 26 Navigation / transportation
7 Animal ecology/wildlife/fisheries 27 Water quality
8 Economics valuation 28 Desertification / droughts
9 Historial climate 29 Plant ecology
10 Lakes 30 Forest
11 Snowfall / snowmelts 31 Climate feedbacks
12 Hydrology/groundwater/riverflows 32 Remote sensing
13 Water supply 33 Water transfer
14 Legal / policy / political issues 34 Water storage / reservoirs
15 CO2 levels 35 Precipitation
16 Agriculture 36 Saline (estuary)
37 Population and social
17 Irrigation
38 Wetlands
18 Weather variations (extremes)
39 Hydrogeological cycle
19 Water use
40 Water conservation
20 Lake level fluctuations / ice cover
41 Urban issues
POLICY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

W ho are the policy makers in water resources?

A variety of levels:
-local
-states and provinces
-national level
-international level.
POLICY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Needs for Information related to climate change by policy makers:

More frequently asked questions being asked by policy makers:

1- what type of climate change is apt to occur?:


-Will the variability of weather increase?
-Will the mean or modal values of temperature, precipitation or other critical
variables change?
-What conditions will be altered and by how much?
- Will there be more extremes with the normals not changing?
POLICY AND CLIMATE CHANGE
2- Are the changes beyond the stationarity assumptions that hydrologists typically
consider in their current designs?
-Can we prove or reasonably establish that the changes which may occur in
the climate are greater than what has been assumed out of study of the historical
records?

3- Can the presumed future changes be predicted (beginning, continuance and/or end?
-What is the certainty of the situation?
-What are the confidence bands and the probabilities for that the climate
change will occur?
-Credibility of the information from the scientific community:
divergence of opinion between the scientific community leads to
inaction by the policy makers.
POLICY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

4- How serious will the change be?


-Who is affected, the cost, the social disruptions and an environmental impact
- what is affected;
- -what is the time reaction of the effect?

5- What are the potential solutions?


Scientists should not present problems unless they also help us with their
solutions.
It implies information on potential adjustments:
Country Agriculture Contribution Agriculture
BELICE % of area) Countries
of agriculture Area(GNI/cap.)
under US$
to economy irrigation
% de GDP
Guatemala (%) 1.680
(1999) 522,000 km2
Honduras 760
Guatemala 41.6 23 6.6
Belize 2.730
Honduras HONDURAS
32.0 16
30 Millones
3.7
hab.
GUATEMALA Belice 6.1 Nicaragua
19 410
3.4
Nicaragua 62.3 El Salvador
32 3.2 1.920
El Salvador 77.4 Costa 10
Rica 4.4 3.570
Costa Rica 55.7 11
Panama 25 3.080
EL SALVADOR
Panamá NICARAGUA
28.6 7 4.9
Central America 2021.4
Central América 43.4 16.8 7.3

Brasil 29.6 9
Estados Unidos 45.7 <6
Reino Unido 72.5 1
Suiza
COSTA39.9
RICA <6
Sudáfrica 81.6 4
Holanda 58.2 3
México 56.2 5 PANAMA
NOVIEMBRE a FEBRERO

EL NIÑO
El fenómeno de El Niño produce una
reducción importante en la lluvia del
Pacífico Centroamericano la cual
puede ocasionar condiciones de sequía
en algunos sitios específicos. A pesar
de esto, El Niño solamente explica un
porcentage de los eventos secos del
Istmo.

Areas propensas a sequía en


Centroamerica.
Ramírez P. , Amenazas
Hidrometeorológicas en Centroamerica..
Informe consultoría IRG.
Resultados del Ier Foro Climático Junio-2001, Tegucigalpa,
Honduras, NOAA-OGP, CRRH/SICA
2010

<1500
<1500
2000-1500
CHANGES IN YEARLY RAINFALL

2100

Rainfall in mm <800
<800

1500-800

Results from Costa Rica – The Netherlands


Climate change project
Minister for Environment and Energy (MINAE)
National Meteorological Institute (IMN)
CHANGES IN MEAN TEMPERATURE
COSTA RICA

Mean temperature for year 2100


Based on model HADCM2 and
IS-92a scenario.
Actual
Actual mean
mean temperature
temperature
Nat. Met. Institute-CR.
Nat. Met. Institute-CR.
30 >T>27.5

T>30 C
27.5>T>25

25>T>22.5

22.5>T>20

Results from Costa Rica – The Netherlands


Climate change project
Minister for Environment and Energy (MINAE)
National Meteorological Institute (IMN)
Rainfall (mm)-average 1971-90 CHANGES IN RAINFALL
(INETER 2000)
NICARAGUA

Rainfall (mm) – year 2100


HADCM2 model and IS92-a
Scenario (MARENA 2000)

Important reductions in precipitation are expected


along the Pacific region of Nicaragua under IS-92-a:
2010………… -8.4%
2030……..… -14.5%
2050……….. -21.0%
2070……….. -27.3%
2100……….. -36.6%
INETER: Instituto Nicaraguense de Estudios Territoriales
MARENA: Ministerio del Ambiente y Recursos Naturales
OBJETIVO:
Comprender la respuesta hidrológica
de las principales cuencas
hidrográficas a diferentes escenarios
de cambio climático.
Criterio de selección: alto potencial
de de generación hidroeléctrico,
importantes fuentes de abastecimiento
de agua para comunidades urbanas y
rurales
METODOLOGIA:
(Programa de los Estados Unidos para el Cambio Climático (US-CSP) y
Expertos en hidrología y meteorología Centroamericanos (PCCC))

Utilización del modelo CLIRUM 3 (precipitación-escorrentía) para simular


las variaciones en la escorrentía generada por precipitaciones derivadas de
varios escenarios climáticos.

Fases:
Manejo de información hidro-meteorológica básica.
Calibración y validación del modelo CLIRUM 3 (balance hídrico).
Estimación general de la vulnerabilidad de las cuencas seleccionadas ante
cambios de precipitación y temperatura (estimación de la sensibilidad).

Información básica:
Ecurrimiento superficial, temperatura, precipitación y evapotranspiración
potencial.
Porcentajes de cambio entre la escorrentía observada y la simulada por cuenca y entre
la escorrentía del mes más seco y más húmedo del registro.
PANAMA Cuenca del Río Chagres
Caudal observado +2 C +2 C +2 C +2 C
(mm/día) +20% P +10% P -20% P -10% P
Promedio 4.06 5.41 4.78 3.00 3.57
Anual +28% +14% -26% -13%
Marzo (mes 0.67 0.77 0.72 0.55 0.60
más seco) +15% +7% -18% -10%
Nov. (mes más 8.3 11.0 9.79 6.10 7.32
húmedo) +33% +18% -27% -12%

Cuenca del Río Chiriquí


Caudal Obs. +2 C +1 C +2 C +1 C
(mm/día) +15% P +10% P -15% P -10 % P
Promedio 9.57 10.3 9.89 7.13 7.77
Anual +5% +2% -24% -18%
Marzo (mes 2.27 2.16 2.15 1.84 1.93
más seco) -5% -5% -19% -15%
Oct.(mes más 22.2 23.9 22.9 16.7 18.1
húmedo) +7% +3% -25% -19%

Cuenca del Río La Villa


Caudal Obs. +2 C +1 C +2 C +1 C
(mm/día) +15% P +10% P -15% P -10%
Promedio 2.71 2.86 2.81 1.68 1.99
Anual +1% +1% -35% -24%
Marzo (mes 0.44 0.30 0.32 0.27 0.30
más seco) -32% -27% -39% -32%
Oct.(mes más 7.38 7.94 7.71 4.38 5.32
húmedo) +8% +4% -41% -28%
• 120 cuencas principales-23 cuencas transfronterizas – 10.7% mundo
• 40 % del territorio regional ~ 191.500 km2 > cualquier país región
• Capitales en cuencas transfronterizas:
• Managua-Cuenca río San Juan-Nicaragua
• Tegucigalpa-Cuenca río Choluteca-Honduras
• San Salvador – Cuenca río Lempa-El Salvador
Magnitud of the impact of
hurricane Mitch
•3.5 million were
affected.

•53% were children


under 5.
• The most affected
sector of population was
the poorest.
•Total amount of damages
• US$ 6,018 M.
Effects on regional GNP: -2.5%
Crecimiento anual del PIB %
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Central America before Mitch
After the lost decade of the 80’s,
Central American countries were
making important progress in:

➣ Consolidation of democracy.

➣ Strengthening the integration process.

➣ Organizing their economies.

➣ Intensification of the intra regional commerce.

➣ More efficient insertion in the international economy.