Reliable yield of reservoirs and possible effects of climatic change

J. A. Cole, S. Slade, P. D. Jones, J. M. Gregory

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Statistics of seasonal and daily rainfall in nine regions covering the United Kingdom are presented, together with the best currently available predictions of changes in rainfall and evaporation, based on various general circulation model (GCM) assessments of the climate 40 years ahead. On that basis, runoff sequences are generated for the region of northwest England with north Wales (NWE & NW, humid temperate) and for southeast England (SEE, temperate but less humid), both for the current climate and for the year 2030 estimate, the latter incorporating higher evaporation losses. The future annual runoff is reckoned as 8% less than the current average in the SEE region and 4% less than that in the NWE & NW region. Direct supply reservoir yield versus storage graphs are then derived in each case for a range of duration-based probability of emptiness, their yields (i.e. sustained draw-off rates) and storage capacities being expressed as proportions of current annual runoff. The year 2030 graphs fall systematically below those for the current climate, representing 8% to 15% loss of yield from existing storage in the SEE region and 4% to 25% loss of yield in the NWE & NW region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-598
Number of pages20
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1991

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