Demand for freshwater on the Island of Maui is expected to increase by 45 percent between 2015 and 2035. Groundwater availability on Maui is affected by changes in climate and agricultural irrigation. To evaluate the availability of fresh groundwater under projected future climate conditions and changing agricultural irrigation practices, estimates of groundwater recharge are needed. A water-budget model with a daily computation interval was used to estimate the spatial distribution of recharge on Maui for one present-day and two future-climate scenarios. All three scenarios used 2017 land cover. The two future-climate scenarios, including one wetter than the present-day scenario and one drier than the present-day scenario, were developed using available high-resolution downscaled climate projections. The drier future scenario was developed using projections for a Representative Concentration Pathway warming scenario during 2071–99 with total radiative forcing of 8.5 Watts per square meter by the year 2100 (RCP8.5 2071–99 scenario), whereas the wetter future scenario was developed using projections for a “Special Report on Emissions Scenarios” A1B emission scenario during 2080–99 (A1B 2080–99 scenario). For the RCP8.5 2071–99 scenario, projected mean annual recharge decrease for Maui is about 172 million gallons per day, or about 14 percent less than present-day recharge, which is estimated to be 1,232 million gallons per day. Recharge for the RCP8.5 2071–99 scenario is projected to decrease in 22 of Maui’s 25 aquifer systems, which are defined by the Hawaiʻi Commission on Water Resource Management. For the A1B 2080–99 future scenario, projected mean annual recharge increase for Maui is about 144 million gallons per day, or about 12 percent more than present-day recharge. Recharge for the A1B 2080–99 scenario is projected to increase in 17 of Maui’s 25 aquifer systems. Between the two future scenarios, a total of 11 aquifer systems show similar direction in drying (Kahului, Kama‘ole, Lualaʻilua, Makawao, Olowalu, Pāʻia, Ukumehame, Waikapū) or wetting (Honopou, Kawaipapa, and Waikamoi) changes for recharge. Selectively modifying the climate inputs for the A1B 2080–99 scenario indicates that the projected changes in rainfall account for most of the projected changes in recharge for Maui’s 25 aquifer systems. However, projected changes in reference evapotranspiration and forest-canopy evaporation also can account for a substantial part of the projected changes in recharge where changes in reference evapotranspiration are relatively large and where changes in forest-canopy evaporation extend across large forested areas. Projected changes in daily rainfall frequency have a relatively small but non-negligible impact on recharge estimates.
|Title||Estimated groundwater recharge from a water-budget model incorporating selected climate projections, Island of Maui, Hawai‘i|
|Authors||Alan Mair, Adam G. Johnson, Kolja Rotzoll, Delwyn S. Oki|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Pacific Islands Water Science Center|