Quantifying Future Groundwater Depletion, Climate Change and Irrigation Demand

Monday, December 4, 2017: 4:10 p.m.
101 C (Music City Center)
Sasmita Sahoo, Ph.D. , Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Tess Russo, Ph.D. , Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Joshua Elliott, Ph.D. , University of Chicago and ANL Computation Institute, Chicago, IL
Tara Troy, Ph.D. , Civil & Environmental Engineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
Chetan Deva , School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
Ian Foster, Ph.D. , Department of Computer Science and ANL Computation Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

A warming world, population rise, and increased demands for irrigation all compound to create pressures on groundwater resources. Multi-model integration is needed to evaluate these interactions, combining available observations with crop, climate and hydrological models. Major agricultural regions of the USA (e.g., High Plains aquifer) and North India (e.g., Punjab) rely heavily on groundwater, therefore better quantification and predictions of the impact of climate change on groundwater resources are urgently needed. Here we provide an assessment of historical and future climate change impacts on groundwater storage using two novel modeling approaches, machine learning and Bayesian model. We demonstrate the integration of climatic, crop and hydrological determinants of groundwater storage change in the High Plains and Alluvial aquifer of Punjab, India. The model is calibrated using historical (1980-2012) climate, streamflow, ocean temperature observations, and simulated crop water demand. Model runs using climate model projections and irrigation demand are used to simulate changes in future groundwater storage. The climate data is used directly in the model, also in a land surface hydrology model to predict streamflow, and in a biophysical crop model to predict irrigation demand. Climate data from two GCMs each with scenarios RCP 4.5 and 8.5 are used to generate future scenario inputs. The models are run in a high performance parallel computing environment to obtain estimates of future groundwater level change for hundreds of wells across each aquifer. Based on this combined climate-agriculture-groundwater model, changes in future groundwater storage are projected up to 2049. These results will be useful for identifying the locations of future groundwater stress, which will have implications for sustainable agricultural production, and will help inform management decisions in a rapidly changing and resource-constrained world. Overall, the major findings will be useful for immediate use to researchers and will improve decision-making in stakeholder communities.
Sasmita Sahoo, Ph.D., Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Dr. Sasmita Sahoo is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Geosciences at the Pennsylvania State University. She is looking at the connection between U.S. groundwater and the changes in climate and hydrological factors, utilizing large-scale high-resolution climate observations and simulated irrigation demand. Prior to this, she was in Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, where she completed her Masters and PhD in land and water resources engineering and developed numerical simulation-optimization models for multi-layered aquifer systems in India. Sasmita’s research is mainly focused on analyzing the impact of environmental- and human-induced stresses on groundwater systems using numerical, statistical and machine learning models to better understand these interactions and to simulate changes and future availability in groundwater resources.


Tess Russo, Ph.D., Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Tess Russo is a hydrologist who researches hydrologic system responses to environmental change with the objective of informing restoration and management decisions. She is currently the RL Slingerland Early Career Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Penn State. Her work includes quantifying components of the groundwater budget, modeling vadose zone infiltration rates, and assessing impacts of agricultural intensification on water resources. Tess is primarily a physical hydrologist who uses numerical and statistical models to characterize and project hydrologic system flows; however she also works on several geochemical projects measuring and modeling the fate and transport of nutrients and trace metals. Tess has research projects in east Africa, India, Papua New Guinea, Colombia, and the United States.


Joshua Elliott, Ph.D., University of Chicago and ANL Computation Institute, Chicago, IL
Dr. Joshua Elliott is currently working as a Research Scientist and Fellow in the University of Chicago and ANL Computation Institute, also an Adjunct Research Scientist in the Columbia University Center for Climate Systems Research. He works on a variety of topics at the interface of global change, environmental, and social sciences through a variety of applied modeling and computational projects and leads team at the center for Robust Decision-making in Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP) and in the Agricultural Modeling Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP). Currently, he is working on several projects designed to improve global change Vulnerability, Impact, and Adaptation (VIA) assessment tools (primarily in agriculture and forestry) using large-scale high-resolution models enabled by high-performance computing. Dr. Elliott received his PhD in high-energy theoretical particle physics from McGill University in 2008 and has been with the Computation Institute since 2009.


Tara Troy, Ph.D., Civil & Environmental Engineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
Dr. Troy’s research lies at the intersection of climate, water, and food, with a particular interest in understanding the role of climate variability on water supply and demand across a variety of scales. To do this, she uses a computational hydrologic model, remote sensing, in situ measurements, and reanalysis products with work focusing on developing numerical models that include human activities, such as irrigation, and high resolution flood modeling. Prior to joining Lehigh’s faculty, Dr. Troy was an associate research scientist for the Columbia Water Center at Columbia University. She is an author on more than 15 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has presented her work at both domestic and international conferences. She is a guest editor for a special issue of Hydrology and Earth System Sciences and is serving on the American Geophysical Union’s Hydrology Section Outstanding Student Paper Award committee.


Chetan Deva, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
Chetan is a postgraduate researcher in the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, UK. Chetan is scoping the use of gridded biophysical crop models in India. The goal of this project is to improve understanding of the potential combined impact of climate change and resource constraints on agriculture in bread basket regions of the country.


Ian Foster, Ph.D., Department of Computer Science and ANL Computation Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Ian Foster is Director of the Computation Institute, a joint institute of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. He is also an Argonne Senior Scientist and Distinguished Fellow and the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Computer Science. Methods and software developed under his leadership underpin many large national and international cyberinfrastructures. Foster's awards include the Global Information Infrastructure (GII) Next Generation award, the British Computer Society's Lovelace Medal, R&D Magazine's Innovator of the Year, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the British Computer Society. Foster was a co-founder of Univa UD, Inc., a company established to deliver grid and cloud computing solutions. He received a BSc (Hons I) degree from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and a PhD from Imperial College, United Kingdom, both in computer science.


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