Opportunities for Action: An Evolving Plan for the Future of the Lake Champlain Basin

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Task Detail

Chapter 4: Reducing Phosphorus Pollution

Action:

Estimate how climate change is altering the delivery of phosphorus to Lake Champlain and how it necessitates changes in implementation strategies.

Task

Assess the effect of climate change on surface water hydrology and sediments and nutrients export at the level of the Pike River Basin.

  • Task ID #: 4.8.5
  • Lead Partners: Québec

Task Comments

  • Date Posted: 09/13/13
  • Update Relevancy: 04/12 - 03/13
  • Comment Posted By: Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation
  • Sub-watershed: Missisquoi
  • Jurisdiction: QC

A great number of land development projects are underway in Quebec as part of agroenvironmental
initiatives targeting water quality. However, the criteria and methods currently used in the agricultural sector to predict peak watershed discharge date back to the 1980s and have not been upgraded since. Anticipated increases in summer rainfall intensities and winter mild spells due to climate change call for the updating of the designcriteria for hydro-agricultural land development to ensure that they serve tomorrow’s water regimes.
O B J E C T I V E S
The goal of this project is to produce a user-friendly tool to support the design of land
development projects at field and small watershed scales in rural settings. This tool will
take into account the recent evolution in rainfall intensity, duration, and frequency (IDF), as
well as winter mild spells, resulting from climate change,
A P P R O A C H
This project aims to develop a computerized hydrological tool to estimate runoff volumes
and discharge. A group of users will help to define the tool’s functionalities. This tool will
build on the TR-55 method from the National Resources Conservation Service (USA),
with components to be characterized and validated based on weather and hydrometric
observations from an ensemble of experimental watersheds located in four agricultural
regions of Quebec. A hydro-pedological classification of the agricultural soils series from
Quebec will be developed in support of this tool. In addition, the rainfall IDF curves for
the agricultural regions will be updated and the relevant indicators characterizing winter
mild spells will be identified based on recent observations and analyses of current climate.
IDF curves and winter mild spells will also be analyzed for the 2050 time horizon through
climate simulations using the Canadian Regional Climate Model (CRCM).
R E S U LT S
This project provide results and tools to help end-users in the planning of hydroagricultural
land development. These include:
• A user-friendly software tool for the estimation of hydrological design criteria, such as
peak discharge and runoff volumes;
• Publication of indices for current mild spells and rainfall intensity-duration-frequency
(IDF) curves for current precipitations oriented towards Quebec agriculture and
projections of these under future climatic conditions in an Agro-climatic Atlas that
will be accessible on the website Agrométéo Québec;
• A hydro-pedological data set containing a description of the textural properties,
erodibility index and hydrologic group of the overall soils series mapped for the
agricultural land in Quebec;
• A scientific report compiling all results; training sessions offered to the project’s
targeted end-users.

The report is available on the wbsite of Ouranos :

http://www.ouranos.ca/en/publications/scientific-publications.php

Report:

http://www.ouranos.ca/media/publication/192_RapportMichaud2013.pdf

  • Date Posted: 03/19/13
  • Update Relevancy: 04/11 - 03/12
  • Comment Posted By: Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs
  • Sub-watershed: Missisquoi
  • Jurisdiction: QC

The objective of the project is to produce a prediction tool adapted to the hydrologic design of hydro-agricultural plots and streams in rural areas which takes into account recent developments in connection with climate change, intensities, durations and frequencies of precipitation and winter warm spells. In 2010-2011, the weather part of the project supported the updated IDF curves present distribution of rainfall and production indices winter thaw from recent historical observations. Under the flap climate scenarios for 2011-2012, the predictions of these observations in 2050 will be produced based on the Canadian Regional Climate Model (CRCM). The hydrological component of the project supports the analysis of hydrological responses of experimental watersheds established by the IRDA in basin of the Pike River in the context of the development of a validated tool for predicting runoff volumes and peak flows. The operational part of the project supports the concept of utility computing, including functional and predictive capabilities are evaluated by a panel of end users.

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