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Climate change impacts on streamflow and water quality

Published On: 10/2/2013

EPA report predicts climate change impacts within 20 large U.S. watersheds

The EPA released a report last month on predicted climate change impacts to streamflow, nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus), and sediment loading. Predictions are based upon watershed modeling that was conducted for 20 large U.S. watersheds and a range of plausible mid-21st century climate change and urban development scenarios. Modeling was conducting using the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and Hydrologic Simulation Program - FORTRAN (HSPF) models. Modeling results provide an improved understanding of the complex and context-dependent relationships between climate change, land-use change, and water resources in different regions of the nation. The report details the methodological challenges associated with integrating existing tools (e.g., climate models, downscaling approaches, and watershed models) and data sets to address these scientific questions.

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