Operational resilience of reservoirs to climate change, agricultural demand, and tourism: A case study from Sardinia
Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia, Lydia S.
Science of the Total Environment
Accepted manuscript: © 2015, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Reason for embargo
Many (semi-) arid locations globally, and particularly islands, rely heavily on reservoirs for water supply. Some reservoirs are particularly vulnerable to climate and development changes (e.g. population change, tourist growth, hydropower demands). Irregularities and uncertainties in the fluvial regime associated with climate change and the continuous increase in water demand by different sectors will add new challenges to the management and to the resilience of these reservoirs. The resilience of vulnerable reservoirs must be studied in detail to prepare for and mitigate potential impacts of these changes. In this paper, a reservoir balance model is developed and presented for the Pedra e' Othoni reservoir in Sardinia, Italy, to assess resilience to climate and development changes. The model was first calibrated and validated, then forced with extensive ensemble climate data for representative concentration pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5, agricultural data, and with four socio-economic development scenarios. Future projections show a reduction in annual reservoir inflow and an increase in demand, mainly in the agricultural sector. Under no scenario is reservoir resilience significantly affected, the reservoir always achieves refill. However, this occurs at the partial expenses of hydropower production with implications for the production of renewable energy. There is also the possibility of conflict between the agricultural sector and hydropower sector for diminishing water supply. Pedra e' Othoni reservoir shows good resilience to future change mostly because of the disproportionately large basin feeding it. However this is not the case of other Sardinian reservoirs and hence a detailed resilience assessment of all reservoirs is needed, where development plans should carefully account for the trade-offs and potential conflicts among sectors. For Sardinia, the option of physical connection between reservoirs is available, as are alternative water supply measures. Those reservoirs at risk to future change should be identified, and mitigating measures investigated.
European Commission Seventh Framework Project ‘WASSERMed’ (Water Availability and Security in Southern EuRope and the Mediterranean)
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier. NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Science of the Total Environment. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Science of the Total Environment (2015), DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.04.066
Available online 4 June 2015