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

April 27, 2020

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.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title Land-use and water demand projections (2012 to 2065) under different scenarios of environmental change for North Carolina, South Carolina, and coastal Georgia
DOI 10.5066/P95PTP5G
Authors Georgina M. Sanchez, Adam Terando, Jordan W. Smith, Ana Maria Garcia, Chad R. Wagner, Ross K. Meentemeyer
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization South Atlantic Water Science Center

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