Reliability Assessment of the Water Supply Systems under Uncertain Future Extreme Climate Conditions

Document Type



Increase in global mean temperature and changes in rainfall amount, pattern, and distribution over the world are all indicative of climate change events. These changes alter the hydroclimatic condition of regions as well as the availability of water resources. In this study, the data generated by 14 general circulation models (GCMs) developed under the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) A1B, A2, and B2 are downscaled and utilized to evaluate climate change impact on the hydroclimatic system of the Karaj River basin located in central Iran. The precipitation and temperature of the study region are downscaled using the change factor approach (CFA). The study analyzes future climate data, extreme changes of future climatic conditions of precipitation, and temperature. The Hydrologiska Byråns Vattenbalansavdelning (HBV) model developed by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) is used to simulate streamflow under extreme climate change conditions. Two different sources of uncertainty are investigated in this study. First, the model parameters uncertainty is analyzed with the Monte Carlo procedure, and then different datasets of GCMs projection are investigated under the climate of the twentieth-century climate simulation (20C3M). Results show the GCMs projections range can almost capture the historical records during the 1980s through 2000 for the Karaj basin. By applying the HBV model, considerable range of streamflow changes in the future can be projected that will affect the operation scheme of Karaj Reservoir. In this study, the system dynamics (SD) modeling approach is used to simulate the system behavior through time in an integrated fashion and evaluate its overall reliability in supplying water. The results of this study show that the runoff will decrease in the future under the climate change impact. This will result in more than 50% decrease in reliability of the Karaj Reservoir system under the extreme conditions. As a result, this research predicts that the Karaj Reservoir system will face more than 50% decrease in its reliability under the extreme conditions. Consequently, meeting the increasing water demands would be difficult and application of demand management strategies will be unavoidable.

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APA Citation

Karamouz, M., Goharian, E., & Nazif, S. (2013). Reliability Assessment of the Water Supply Systems under Uncertain Future Extreme Climate Conditions. Earth Interactions, 17(20), 1–27.


© American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the Association of American Geographers, 2013