Climate Change Water Demand for 2050

Table L

The Model also has access to climate change information until the year 2100.

While data can be run for each year, three driest years in the 2050’s were selected to give a representation of climate change. Figure 9 shows the climate data results which indicate that 2053, 2056, and 2059 generate the highest annual ETo and lowest annual precipitation. These three years were used in this report.

Figure 9

Table L provides the results of climate change on irrigation demand for the three years selected using current crops and irrigation systems. Current crops and irrigation systems are used to show the increase due to climate change only, with no other changes taking place.


Figure 10 shows all of the climate change scenario runs for the Okanagan using 12 climate models from 1960 to 2100. This work was compiled by Denise Neilsen at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Summerland Research Station. There is a lot of scatter in this figure, but it is obvious that there is a trend of increasing water demand.

Figure 10

The three climate change models used in this report are RCP26, RCP45 and RCP85. Running only three climate change models on three selected future years in RDN is not sufficient to provide a trend like in Figure 10. What the results do show is that in an extreme climate scenario, it is possible to have an annual water demand that is 30% higher than what was experienced in 2003. Averaging the data between the three climate change models shows that if the data for just the year 2053 is examined, the increase in demand is 10% higher than 2003. More runs of the climate change models will be required to better estimate a climate change trend for RDN.

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Model Results

The Model can use three different irrigation management factors: good, average and poor. Unless otherwise noted, ‘average’ management was used in the tables. Learn more about the Model.