The model represents hydrology as well as water operations, which together influence water supplied for agricultural, urban, and environmental uses. The model is developed for impacts assessment using scenarios for climate change and other drivers of water system behaviour.
The authors describe the model structure, its representation of historical streamflow, agricultural and urban water demands, and water operations. They describe projected impacts of climate change on hydrology and water supply to the major irrigation districts in the area, using uniform 2°C, 4°C, and 6°C increases applied to climate inputs from the calibration period.
Consistent with other studies, they find that the timing of hydrology shifts earlier in the water year in response to temperature warming (5–21 days). The integrated agricultural model responds with increased water demands 2°C (1.4–2.0%), 4°C (2.8–3.9%), and 6°C (4.2–5.8%).
In this sensitivity analysis, the combination of altered hydrology and increased demands results in decreased reliability of surface water supplied for agricultural purposes, with modelled quantity-based reliability metrics decreasing from a range of 0.84–0.90 under historical conditions to 0.75–0.79 under 6°C warming scenario.
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