Learning about climate change uncertainty enables flexible water infrastructure planning

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Sarah Marie Fletcher, Megan Lickley, Kenneth Strzepek


Water resources planning requires making decisions about infrastructure
development under substantial uncertainty in future regional climate conditions.
However, uncertainty in climate change projections will evolve over
the 100-year lifetime of a dam as new climate observations become available.
Flexible strategies in which infrastructure is proactively designed to be
changed in the future have the potential to meet water supply needs without
over-building expensive infrastructure. Evaluating tradeoffs between flexible
and traditional robust planning approaches requires extension of current
scenario-based paradigms for water resources planning under climate uncertainty
which take a static view of uncertainty. We develop a new dynamic
planning framework that assesses the potential to learn about regional climate
change over time and evaluates flexible approaches. We demonstrate
it on a reservoir planning problem in Mombasa, Kenya. This approach identifies
opportunities to reliably use flexible, incremental approaches, enabling
climate adaptation investments to reach more vulnerable communities with
fewer resources.




Civil and Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Climate, Computer Sciences, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Hydrology, Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Statistics and Probability, Water Resource Management


Climate change adaptation, decision making under uncertainty, flexible design, water resources planning and managment


Published: 2018-09-29 12:09

Last Updated: 2019-03-12 08:10

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GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) 2.1

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