Cumulative effects of climate and land cover change on river flows in mountain catchments

As glaciers retreat, the reduction in area available for melting ultimately causes declines in summer streamflow. In addition, evaporation from newly formed lakes and evapotranspiration from vegetation establishment on deglaciated areas would act to further reduce summer streamflow. However, these latter processes have received little attention to date. The objective of the project is to advance our ability to incorporate these processes into hydrologic models that can used to make projections of future water availability under changing climate and land cover conditions. The project will focus on catchments feeding reservoirs operated by BC Hydro, particularly at Bridge River, where rapid deglaciation has occurred over the last two decades. The project will be based on a synthesis of existing literature, field observation and application of hydrological models. The research would support BC Hydro’s need to make long-term projections of water availability as part of its long-term planning. It would support the intern by providing the opportunity to expand his knowledge and skills to include hydrological modelling and analysis.

Ben Mauri Pelto
Faculty Supervisor: 
Robert Daniel Moore
British Columbia
Partner University: