US Geological Survey

U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 00-334
Online version 1.0
Web only


Climate Change Impacts on Southeastern U.S. Basins

By Aris Georgakakos1 and Huaming Yao1

1Georgia Water Resources Institute; School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology; Atlanta, GA 30332-0355 USA


The work described herein aims to assess the impacts of potential climate change on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) and Alabama-Coosa-Talapoosa (ACT) river basins in the Southeastern US. The assessment addresses the potential impacts on watershed hydrology (soil moisture and streamflow) and on major water uses including water supply, drought management, hydropower, environmental and ecological protection, recreation, and navigation. This investigation develops new methods, establishes and uses an integrated modeling framework, and reaches several important conclusions that bear upon river basin planning and management. Although the specific impacts vary significantly with the choice of the GCM scenario, some general conclusions are that (1) soil moisture and streamflow variability is expected to increase, and (2) flexible and adaptive water sharing agreements, management strategies, and institutional processes are best suited to cope with the uncertainty associated with future climate scenarios.


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