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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-134
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-134
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 15 Apr 2019

Research article | 15 Apr 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Assessing Water Security in the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Region Under Projected Climate Change

Gabriela C. Gesualdo1, Paulo Tarso S. Oliveira1, Dulce B. B. Rodrigues1, and Hoshin V. Gupta2 Gabriela C. Gesualdo et al.
  • 1Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul, CxP 549, Campo Grande, MS, 79070-900, Brazil
  • 2Department of Hydrology & Atmospheric Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

Abstract. Climate change affects the global water cycle and has the potential to alter water availability for food-energy-water production, and for ecosystems services, on regional and local scales. An understanding these effects is crucial to assessing future water availability, and for the development of sustainable management plans. Here, we investigate the influence of anticipated climate change on water security in the Jaguari Basin, which is the main source of freshwater for 9 million people in the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Region (SPMR). First, we calibrate and evaluate a hydrological model using daily observed data, obtaining satisfactory Coefficient of Determination and Kling-Gupta efficiency values for both periods. To represent possible climate change scenarios up to 2095, we consider two International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) and use an ensemble of future projections generated by 17 General Circulation Models (GCMs). These data were used to drive the hydrological model to generate projected scenarios of streamflow. Then we used indicators of water scarcity and vulnerability to carry out a quantitative analysis of provision probability. Our results indicate that streamflow can be expected to exhibit increased interannual variability, significant increases in flow rate between January and March, and an extension of the dry season (currently June to September) until November. The latter includes more than 35 % reduction in streamflow during September through November (with > 50 % reduction in October). Our findings indicate an increased risk of floods and droughts accompanied by an expansion of the basin critical period, and our analysis of the Water Security Indices identifies October and November as the most vulnerable months. Overall, our analysis exposes the fragility of water security in the Sao Paulo metropolitan region, and provides valuable technical and scientific information that can be used to guide regional plans and strategies to cope with potential future water scarcity.

Gabriela C. Gesualdo et al.
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Short summary
We investigate the influence of anticipated climate change on water security in the Jaguari Basin, which is the main source of freshwater for 9 million people in the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Region. Our findings indicate an expansion of the basin critical period, and identifies October and November as the most vulnerable months. There is an urgent need to implementing efficient mitigation and adaptation policies that recognize the annual pattern of variation between insecure and secure periods.
We investigate the influence of anticipated climate change on water security in the Jaguari...
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