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Data and Associated Code for Projections of Unimpaired Flows, Storage, and Managed Flows for Climate Change Scenarios in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Watershed, California


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Knowles, N., Cronkite-Ratcliff, C., Pierce, D.W., and Cayan, D.R., 2018, Projections of Unimpaired Flows, Storage, and Managed Flows for Climate Change Scenarios in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Watershed, California: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


This data release includes data containing projections of unimpaired hydrology, reservoir storage, and downstream managed flows in the Sacramento River/San Joaquin River watershed under scenarios of future climate change generated for the CASCaDE2 project (Computational Assessments of Scenarios of Change for the Delta Ecosystem, phase 2). Code used to produce the data is also included. The dataset is produced using a multiple-model approach. First, downscaled global climate model outputs are used to drive an existing Variable Infiltration Capacity/Variable Infiltration Capacity Routing (VIC/RVIC) model of Sacramento/San Joaquin hydrology, resulting in projections of daily, unimpaired flows throughout the watershed. A management model, [...]


Point of Contact :
Noah Knowles
Originator :
Noah Knowles, Collin Cronkite-Ratcliff, David W Pierce, Daniel R Cayan
Metadata Contact :
Noah Knowles
Publisher :
U.S. Geological Survey
Distributor :
U.S. Geological Survey - ScienceBase
USGS Mission Area :
Water Resources
SDC Data Owner :
National Research Program

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Projections of managed flows from the Sacramento River/San Joaquin River watershed, California, into the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary for scenarios of future climate change are needed for evaluations of potential impacts on water supply and estuarine ecosystems. The Computational Assessments of Scenarios of Change for the Delta Ecosystem, phase 2 (CASCaDE2) project is an interdisciplinary modeling research effort aimed at projecting responses of the Delta under scenarios of future change through the 21st century. The changes being investigated in CASCaDE2 include climate change over the rest of the century. Ultimately, CASCaDE2 is aimed at providing an improved understanding and a new capability to model the effects of future climate and infrastructure changes on the Delta ecosystem. A critical step toward that goal, and the work represented in this dataset, is the development and analysis of projections of managed flows in the Sacramento/San Joaquin watershed under the future climate change scenarios. All data and code generated by the USGS that are needed to reproduce the results of this work are included in this data release, along with instructions. In this work, the goal is not to anticipate or evaluate possible future mitigation efforts (i.e., future changes in management infrastructure and strategy) but to better understand the nature and implications of impacts that such efforts will need to be designed to mitigate. The results presented here may therefore be considered a worst-case scenario in the context of projected climate change, although other major changes that are not considered here, such as widespread levee failure in the Delta, are plausible and could have major consequences for water supply and ecology. The focus in this work is on developing plausible projections of daily flows at points throughout the watershed and from the Sacramento and San Joaquin basins into the Delta to the end of this century. The flow projections throughout the watershed are being used to drive a sediment transport model in another component of the CASCaDE2 project, and in still other components of CASCaDE2, the projected estuarine inflows are being used as boundary conditions for a hydrodynamical model of the Bay-Delta estuary (Deltares Flow Flexible Mesh), which will in turn drive estuarine models of suspended sediment, phytoplankton, invasive clams, contaminant transport, and fish survival.

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DOI doi:10.5066/P9BMMUEV

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