Thursday, January 13, 2011

How will Climate Change affect our region’s Water Quality?


Fresh clean drinking water is critical to our existence.  Current and thorough information about how the warmer atmosphere and increased rainfall and intensity and frequency of our area’s rainfall will affect our waters. Water Quality issues, I suspect, are going to be one of the most immediate and critical consequences of how Climate Change reveals itself in our region. 

The Rochester, NY area includes several of the Finger Lakes, Lake Ontario (last in water flow before the St. Lawrence River) of the Great Lakes, the Genesee River, and many other ponds and streams.  It’s quite a number of water bodies where higher temperatures, increase or decreased rainfall, and extreme weather events like floods will have a profound impact. 

We need a way to stay constantly informed on how our water is going to be affected by Climate Change so that the public and our officials can monitor it correctly.

An Overview of Possible Changes in Regional Climate and Hydrology "In general, nearly all studies focused on the Northeastern US have estimated that on average annual streamflow should change little (Hayhoe et al. 2007, Neff et al. 2000, Frei 2002).Additionally, these studies project increased late winter and spring flows and a shift in the timing of spring snowmelt. This means that even if there is more annual streamflow, it may be distributed unevenly over the year, with lower flows in the late summer and autumn, and higher flows in the late winter and spring. This temporal shift in flow magnitudes has already been observed in stream records, as noted above. " New York State Water Resources Institute - Home

No comments: