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Hydrologic effects of urbanization and climate change on the Flint River Basin, Georgia

January 1, 2011

The potential effects of long-term urbanization and climate change on the freshwater resources of the Flint River basin were examined by using the Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS). PRMS is a deterministic, distributed-parameter watershed model developed to evaluate the effects of various combinations of precipitation, temperature, and land cover on streamflow and multiple intermediate hydrologic states. Precipitation and temperature output from five general circulation models (GCMs) using one current and three future climate-change scenarios were statistically downscaled for input into PRMS. Projections of urbanization through 2050 derived for the Flint River basin by the Forecasting Scenarios of Future Land-Cover (FORE-SCE) land-cover change model were also used as input to PRMS. Comparison of the central tendency of streamflow simulated based on the three climate-change scenarios showed a slight decrease in overall streamflow relative to simulations under current conditions, mostly caused by decreases in the surface- runoff and groundwater components. The addition of information about forecasted urbanization of land surfaces to the hydrologic simulation mitigated the decreases in streamflow, mainly by increasing surface runoff.

Publication Year 2011
Title Hydrologic effects of urbanization and climate change on the Flint River Basin, Georgia
DOI 10.1175/2010EI369.1
Authors Roland J. Viger, Lauren E. Hay, Steven L. Markstrom, John Jones, Gary R. Buell
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Earth Interactions
Index ID 70170464
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Research Program - Central Branch