Land-use and water demand projections (2012 to 2065) under different scenarios of environmental change for North Carolina, South Carolina, and coastal Georgia

Release Date:

Land change and water demand projections were generated as part of the stakeholder-driven assessments of water availability supported by the National Water Census Coastal Carolinas Focus Area Study

 

 

Predicting Urban Water Growth Graphic

Graphical summay of modeling approach.

Summary: Land change and water demand projections were generated as part of the stakeholder-driven assessments of water availability supported by the National Water Census Coastal Carolinas Focus Area Study. The purpose of this data is to allow the assessment of how scenarios of urban growth and climate warming will jointly affect water demand across a rapidly urbanizing Southeastern region (NC, SC, and coastal GA). For local and regional water managers and land use planners this data can provide a better understanding of the implications of their planning and development choices on future water needs. This project was the result of the collaborative/interdisciplinary effort between the NCSU Center for Geospatial Analytics, the USGS SA WSC and SE CASC.

Projected land use for Goldsboro, NC

Example land change simulation for Goldboro, NC.

About this data release: Urban growth and climate change together complicate planning efforts meant to adapt to increasingly scarce water supplies. Several studies have shown the impacts of urban planning and climate change separately, but little attention has been given to their combined impact on long-term urban water demand forecasting. Here we coupled land and climate change projections with empirically-derived coefficient estimates of urban water use (sum of public supply, industrial, and domestic use) to forecast water demand under scenarios of future population densities and climate warming. We simulated two scenarios of urban growth from 2012 to 2065 using the FUTure Urban-Regional Environment Simulation (FUTURES) framework. FUTURES is an open-source probabilistic land change model designed to address the regional-scale environmental and ecological impacts of urbanization. We simulated an urbanization scenario that continues the historic trend of growth referred to as “Status Quo” and a scenario that simulates patterns of clustered higher density development, referred to as “Urban Infill". We initialized land change projections in 2011 and run forward on an annual time step to 2065. We captured the uncertainty associated with future climate conditions by integrating three Global Climate Models (GCMs), representative of dry, wet, and median future conditions. GCMs follow a continuously increasing greenhouse gas emissions scenario (Representative Concentration Pathway; RCP 8.5). This data release includes: a) land change projections for both urbanization scenarios in a spatial resolution consistent with the National Land Cover Database; b) development-related water demand projections for scenarios of environmental change at the census tract spatial unit summarized by 2030 and 2065; and c) the spatial boundaries of census tracts presented as a shapefile.

Data Release linkhttps://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/item/5cdf1c32e4b038687e296c69

Coastal Carolinas Focus Area Study project page:https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/item/550b2a87e4b02e76d7593fb9

Suggested citation: Sanchez, Georgina M., Terando, Adam, Smith, Jordan W., Garcia, Ana Maria, Wagner, Chad R., and Meentemeyer, Ross K., 2020, Land-use and water demand projections (2012 to 2065) under different scenarios of environmental change for North Carolina, South Carolina, and coastal Georgia: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/P95PTP5G