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Water 2018, 10(11), 1657;

Assessing the Importance of Potholes in the Canadian Prairie Region under Future Climate Change Scenarios

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V6, Canada
Deportment of Water Environment, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Department of Soils, Water & Agricultural Engineering College of Agricultural & Marine Sciences Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 34, Al-Khod 123, Oman
Earth and Environmental Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal, Bhopal, Bhauri Bypass Road, Bhauri, Bhopal 462066, Madhya Pradesh, India
Department of Civil Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L7, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 October 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 12 November 2018 / Published: 14 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catchment Modelling)
PDF [4146 KB, uploaded 26 November 2018]


The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of Canada contains millions of small isolated wetlands and is unique to North America. The goods and services of these isolated wetlands are highly sensitive to variations in precipitation and temperature. We evaluated the flood proofing of isolated wetlands (pothole wetlands) under various climate change scenarios in the Upper Assiniboine River Basin (UARB) at Kamsack, a headwater catchment of the Lake of the Prairies in the Canadian portion of the PPR. A modified version of the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was utilized to simulate projected streamflow under the potential impacts of climate change, along with changes to the distribution of pothole wetlands. Significant increases in winter streamflow (~200%) and decreases (~11%) in summer flow, driven by changes in future climates, were simulated. Simulated changes in streamflow resulting from pothole removal were between 55% for winter and 15% for summer, suggesting that climate will be the primary driver in the future hydrologic regime of the study region. This research serves as an important guide to the various stakeholder organizations involved in quantifying the aggregate impacts of pothole wetlands in the hydrology of the Canadian Prairie Region. View Full-Text
Keywords: SWAT; wetlands; land use change; climate change; potholes; Canadian Prairies SWAT; wetlands; land use change; climate change; potholes; Canadian Prairies

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Muhammad, A.; Evenson, G.R.; Stadnyk, T.A.; Boluwade, A.; Jha, S.K.; Coulibaly, P. Assessing the Importance of Potholes in the Canadian Prairie Region under Future Climate Change Scenarios. Water 2018, 10, 1657.

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