Human Impact on Climate Extremes for Water Resources Infrastructure Design, Operations, and Risk Management
Although the topic of human impacts on climate is well studied, the implications of large infrastructure, particularly water resources infrastructures (dams, levees, reservoirs, urban drainage, irrigation systems, flood control channels, etc.), on climate is absent in today’s literature. Basic research indicates that the large-scale changes brought about by these water infrastructures have the potential to impact climate. The question is how much can the very existence and operation of such infrastructure impact climate extremes given that it is the extreme conditions that drive the design and operation protocols in the engineering community.
While the impact of climate change on large-scale infrastructure has been studied at local/regional scales for some time, the converse (impact of infrastructure on local/regional climate extremes by virtue of its existence, operation, or other climate changing factors) has not been explored as much. Engineers have historically designed and operated water infrastructure using a one-way approach (assuming the past as representative of the future) without acknowledging the clear climatic feedbacks that basic science has now uncovered (e.g., urban heat island, urban modification of climate, the aerosol effect, etc.)At a time when climate resilience of infrastructure is much talked about, such a collection of papers will be of great interest to the community comprising scientists, engineers, water managers, policy planners, and various stakeholders. Read more…
Faisal Hossain, University of Washington
Alfred Kalyanapu, Tennessee Technological University
Steve Burian, University of Utah