Analyzing the Impacts of Climate Change on Groundwater Monitoring Network Design using GIS

AWRA 2010 SPRING SPECIALTY CONFERENCE, Orlando, FL, March 29-31, 2010

Abdelhaleem Khader and Mac McKee

“The global climate is expected to change due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations since 1750. According to the IPCC fourth assessment report, global warming is certain and clear. Expected changes in climate include widespread changes in precipitation amounts and aspects of extreme weather including droughts, heavy precipitation, heat waves and intensity of hurricanes. Palestine is among the regions in which drier climates have been observed and are expected to increase. As a result, the need for more intensive water resources management has become more urgent. To be effective, this management requires an efficient and reliable information system to provide data about the water system being managed.This study investigates the impacts of climate change on the Eocene Aquifer, Palestine by utilizing different tools including global climate modeling, groundwater flow modeling, fate and transport modeling, and statistical learning machines. The first step is to predict the future temperature and precipitation based on the different climate change scenarios. Then, these temperature and precipitation values will be used as inputs to the groundwater flow model along with other inputs including soil type, topography, hydrogeology, and land use. After that, the fate and transport of pollutants will be simulated using groundwater flow models and pollutant loading data. The same steps will be repeated to account for uncertainties in aquifer properties (Hydraulic conductivity, dispersivity and NO3decay factor) using latin hypercube sampling and Monte Carlo simulations. Finally, all these models will provide the necessary information for monitoring network design using state of the art, statistical learning machines.The role of geographical information systems (GIS) in this study is vital due to the spatial nature of the problem. First, GIS is used in processing climate change data and preparing them to be used in groundwater flow modeling along with the other data. Then it is used to analyze the results of the groundwater flow model and to prepare them to be used in the fate and transport model along with pollutant loading data. After that, GIS is used in the spatial representation of monitoring network design.”