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Geosciences 2016, 6(3), 34; doi:10.3390/geosciences6030034

Climate Change and Watershed Hydrology—Heavier Precipitation Influence on Stormwater Runoff

1
JHT, Incorporated, NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Hollings Marine Laboratory, 331 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412, USA
2
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Marine Resources Research Institute and ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve, 217 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mary J. Thornbush and Nir Y. Krakauer
Received: 1 April 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 9 July 2016 / Published: 18 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Geosciences)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1295 KB, uploaded 18 July 2016]   |  

Abstract

Stormwater runoff in the USA is a main driver of non-point source pollution and other major problems for urbanizing areas, and runoff effects will be exacerbated by the increased frequency and intensity of heavier storm events that are projected as climate changes. The purpose of this paper is to consider how increased rainfall from storms could influence direct stormwater runoff in urbanizing watersheds. As part of a recent research project in coastal Beaufort County, South Carolina, USA, we applied the Stormwater Runoff Modeling System (SWARM) to model various combinations of development levels and climate change scenarios. SWARM single-event output showed dramatic increases in runoff volume and rate, in some cases almost doubling under moderate climate change scenario and tripling under severe climate change scenario. In all cases, modeled impacts from climate change exceeded those of development. By quantifying stormwater runoff based on climate change scenarios within the context of development, the findings add to the recognition that they must be considered together when projecting changes in watershed hydrology and that climate change effects potentially exceed those of development. View Full-Text
Keywords: stormwater runoff; modeling; climate change; watershed hydrology stormwater runoff; modeling; climate change; watershed hydrology
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Blair, A.; Sanger, D. Climate Change and Watershed Hydrology—Heavier Precipitation Influence on Stormwater Runoff. Geosciences 2016, 6, 34.

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