Modeling the impact of climate change on the hydro-power potential of the Kabalebo river basin in Suriname

Modeling the impact of climate change on the hydro-power potential of the Kabalebo river basin in Suriname

Category

Technology

Available online

3 Feb 2014

Found in Edition

2014, Volume 5, 439-455

Format

Full-length paper
Hydrologic combined climate modeling has been used to assess the impact of climate change on the hydropower potential of the Kabalebo river basin in Suriname. The hydrology of the study basin was simulated through the VHM rainfall-runoff model Generalized Lumped Conceptual and Parsimonious Model Structure Identification and Calibration. The necessary input time series are precipitation and potential evapotranspiration averaged over the river catchment. Prior to calibration it requires discharge time series pre-processing to enable the identification of relations between the rainfall fractions that, per event, contribute to separated sub-flows and other hydrological variables, to calibrate the VHM model for proper simulation of the hydrological response of the river basin. The potential impact of climate change on the hydrology of the river basin was investigated based on climate change scenarios, for rainfall and evapotranspiration, developed through General Circulation Model GCM simulations. To downscale the coarse scale GCM outputs to a resolution suitable for hydrologic modeling purposes on river basin scale, both dynamic and statistical downscaling steps were applied. The dynamic downscaling step involves the use of the Regional Climate Model RCM PRECIS Providing Regional Climates for Impacts Studies. To account for the incompleteness missing data in the existing time series of the hydro-meteorological data, PRECIS baseline data was used. Because the available evaporation data was of poor quality, the data used was derived based on the long term water balance approach, thus, actual evapotranspiration. The calibrated VHM model was then used for the impact assessment. The results reveal significant changes in runoff, i.e. decreased low flow extremes and, especially, increased high flow extremes towards 2050 and 2100, thus, significantly altering the hydropower potential of the Kabalebo river basin.

Subject

Hydro-power

Keywords

Climate change, Hydrology, Hydropower, Kabalebo river basin, Modeling, Suriname

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Riad J. Nurmohamed (3)

Department Infrastructure, Faculty of Technology, Anton de Kom University of Suriname

Peter Donk (2)

Faculty of Technology, Anton de Kom University of Suriname.

Patrick Willems (1)

Faculty of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Catholic University Leuven, Belgium
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