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Impacts of rural water diversions on prairie streamflow - Zurich Open Repository and Archive


McGee, Dave; Boon, Sarah; van Meerveld, H J (2012). Impacts of rural water diversions on prairie streamflow. Canadian Water Resources Journal, 37(4):415-424.

Abstract

Prairie streams have low basin-average runoff, and are significantly impacted by human settlement. Recent studies have suggested that climate change has resulted in a 0.2% per year decrease in southern Alberta's late summer streamflow. However, even in river basins identified by the Water Survey of Canada as having ‘natural’ flow, more than 5% of the total runoff may be diverted and stored for rural activities. This is often unaccounted for in hydrological models or statistical analyses of streamflow trends. While the cumulative impact of these small water diversions is now recognized in water management decisions for major basins, it has not yet been incorporated into streamflow analyses. This paper highlights the cumulative effects of small water diversions and illustrates that they are at least as large as reported climate change effects, and must be accounted for in any streamflow analysis of Prairie streams.

Abstract

Prairie streams have low basin-average runoff, and are significantly impacted by human settlement. Recent studies have suggested that climate change has resulted in a 0.2% per year decrease in southern Alberta's late summer streamflow. However, even in river basins identified by the Water Survey of Canada as having ‘natural’ flow, more than 5% of the total runoff may be diverted and stored for rural activities. This is often unaccounted for in hydrological models or statistical analyses of streamflow trends. While the cumulative impact of these small water diversions is now recognized in water management decisions for major basins, it has not yet been incorporated into streamflow analyses. This paper highlights the cumulative effects of small water diversions and illustrates that they are at least as large as reported climate change effects, and must be accounted for in any streamflow analysis of Prairie streams.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:22 May 2015 14:42
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:15
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0701-1784
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.4296/cwrj2012-911

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