Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources in Taiwan

  • Author(s): An-Yuan Tsai and Wen-Cheng Huang
  • DOI: 10.3319/TAO.2011.04.15.01(Hy)
  • Keywords: Climate change, GCM, Renewable water resources, Fuzzy comprehensive assessment
  • Citation: Tsai, A. Y. and W. C. Huang, 2011: Impact of climate change on water resources in Taiwan. Terr. Atmos. Ocean. Sci., 22, 507-519, doi: 10.3319/TAO.2011.04.15.01(Hy)

This paper establishes a comprehensive assessment model to measure the regional impact of climate change on Taiwan's water resources. Working from future rainfall data simulated by Japan's high-resolution GCM model JMA/MRI TL959L60 in a SRES-A1B scenario, we first apply climate change to an assessment model of renewable water resources to estimate the volume of renewable water resources on a regional basis. We then conduct a water resources system simulation based on estimates of future water needs, regional reservoir effective capacity and renewable water resource volume. This paper uses three water resource assessment indicators: the annual water utilization ratio indicator, the water shortage indicator and the extreme event occurrence indicator. Through fuzzy comprehensive assessment, we divide the evaluation set into five levels: very good (L1), good (L2), fair (L3), poor (L4) and very poor (L5). Results indicate that, given the effects of future climate change (2080 - 2099) and the increase in water demand, future water resources conditions in northern and eastern Taiwan will not be significantly different from historical levels (1979 - 1998) and will maintain a “good” level (L2), while the conditions in southern Taiwan will visibly deteriorate from its historical “fair” level (L3) to “poor” (L4); and the future conditions for central Taiwan will be “poor” (L4). The initiation of adaptation options for water management in southern and central Taiwan would be needed by increasing reservoir capacity and reducing overall water use.

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