Project

Improving Projections of Hydrology in the Pacific Northwest

Project Summary

Affiliation(s): Northwest CSC

Principal Investigator(s):
  • Philip Mote (Oregon State University)
  • Dennis Lettenmaier (University of Washington)
  • John Abatzoglou (University of Idaho)

Resource managers, policymakers, and scientists require tools to inform water resource management and planning. Information on hydrologic factors – such as streamflow, snowpack, and soil moisture – is important for understanding and predicting wildfire risk, flood activity, and agricultural and rangeland productivity, among others.
 
Existing tools for modeling hydrologic conditions rely on information on temperature and precipitation. This project sought to evaluate different methods for downscaling global climate models – that is, taking information produced at a global scale and making it useable at a regional scale, in order to produce more accurate projections of temperature and precipitation for the Pacific Northwest. The downscaled climate data was then used as input in a hydrologic model, ultimately serving to fine-tune predictions of future hydrologic conditions in the region.
 
The results of this project are a key step toward developing a comprehensive set of scenarios of possible future climate and environmental conditions in the Pacific Northwest. Resource management decisions related to the protection of endangered species, the water supply, and reservoir operation can all benefit from more refined estimates of future hydrologic conditions.

Columbia River gorge - Credit: Alan Cressler

Affiliation(s): Northwest CSC

Principal Investigator(s):
  • Philip Mote (Oregon State University)
  • Dennis Lettenmaier (University of Washington)
  • John Abatzoglou (University of Idaho)

Start Date: August 2011

End Date: July 2013

Project Status: Completed

Tags: Climate Change, Downscaling, Hydrology, Northwest, Northwest, CSC, Northwest CSC, 2011, Education, Modeling and Tools, Water and Ice, Rivers, Streams and Lakes, Climate and Ecosystem Modeling, Decision-Making Support and Tools

Fiscal Year: FY 2011 Projects

Publications & Other

  • A long-term hydrologically based data set of land surface fluxes and states for the conterminous U.S.: Update and extensions

      • A spatially distributed model for assessment of the effects of changing land use and climate on urban stream quality

          • Global evaluation of MTCLIM and related algorithms for forcing of ecological and hydrological models

              Data

              • Data and Model for the Final Report of Toward Next Generation Downscaling for Hydrologic Prediction in the Pacific Northwest

                Download all map files

                • pnw_vic_maca.shp [x-gis/x-shapefile] (Download)
                • pnw_vic_maca.dbf [text/plain; charset=windows-1252] (Download)
                • pnw_vic_maca.shx [x-gis/x-shapefile] (Download)
                • pnw_vic_maca.prj [text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1] (Download)
                • pnw_vic_maca.shp.xml [application/fgdc+xml] (Download)