Author: Monte Staats

Final Project for the professional Masters Degree in Land and Water Systems at the University of British Columbia

Contact: monte.staats@gmail.com

For full report click here: link to report is coming


A water demand and supply analysis under changing climatic conditions was performed for the Chapman water system on the Sunshine Coast, BC to determine how climate impacts water consumption and water supply. Historic temperature, precipitation, and discharge data were collected to determine historic trends. The impacts from Pacific Decadal Oscillations (PDO) and El Niño Southern Oscillations (ENSO) on climate and discharge were analyzed to determine how PDO/ENSO enhances the impacts of climate change. Water consumption data from the Chapman water system were collected to identify relationships between temperature and precipitation. All of the data were analyzed and used to conduct a sensitivity analysis by developing water consumption scenarios for business as usual demand, moderate demand management (12% reduction) and intensive demand management (20% reduction) under a 1,2, and 3 °C increase in average summer temperatures with and without drought conditions.

Key Findings:

  • Since 1962, average annual temperatures have significantly increased and total annual precipitation has significantly decreased.
  • Historic climate and discharge trends indicate the total water supply is decreasing from more precipitation falling as rain rather than snow and earlier snowmelt.
  • The impacts of climate change on water supply can be enhanced from climate variability during PDO and ENSO events and were most notable when warm PDO was in phase with El Niño.
  • Water consumption was shown to be significantly correlated to temperature and precipitation where an increase of 1 °C in average summer temperature is estimated to increase consumption by 34 LCD and for every decrease in mm of total precipitation during the summer, water consumption is estimated to increase by 1.75 LCD, which during drought conditions could increase consumption by 57 LCD if demand is business as usual.
  • The current capacity of the water treatment plant is most sensitive to climate change compared to other components of the water system infrastructure and impacts could be experienced within 5 years if water demand is business as usual.
  • The equivalent to the current water supply may be exceeded during the summer season in the next 10 years if climate trends continue and water demand is business as usual.