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Identification and evaluation of ponds under climate change scenarios
Proceedings of the 2023 Mississippi Water Resources Conference
Year: 2023 Authors: Nepal D., Parajuli P.B.
Ponds have the capacity to regulate and store water, helping to reduce the effects of droughts and floods. They can recharge groundwater aquifers and enhance water quality by capturing sediments and nutrients. This study aims to identify the ponds within Big Sunflower River Watershed (BSRW) using Google Earth Engine (GEE) and evaluate the effects of projected climate change on hydrological process in ponds using Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). The model was calibrated and validated against streamflow, groundwater level changes, and sediments with acceptable model accuracies. Downscaled future precipitation and temperature data were generated by using Climate Model data for hydrologic modeling (CMhyd) tool. The future climate scenario was generated for Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 of the global climate model Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Earth System Model 2M (GFDL-ESM2M) for mid-century (2040-2060) and late century (2079-2099). In the mid-century, increase in the annual average maximum and minimum temperatures were observed by 6% and 13% respectively; whereas increase in the annual average precipitation were observed by 26% as compare to the baseline condition. Similarly, 15% and 28% rise in the annual average maximum and minimum temperatures along with a 24% increase in the annual average precipitation in the late century were observed as compared to the baseline. This study was expected to demonstrate that the ponds will be able to capture runoff, reduce erosion, and contribute to aquifers recharge. However, the results will also indicate that the effectiveness of ponds are impacted by changing climatic circumstances. The results of this study will be useful for the development of plans for managing and preserving the pond ecosystem in the face of climate change by enabling an understanding of the interaction between hydrology, land use and climate change.