Seasonality of the water balance of the Sooke Reservoir, BC, Canada




Werner, Arelia Taymen

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Climate change and population growth is putting increased pressure on water supply. However, detailed water-balance information, which would assist with management is lacking for major reservoirs around the world. This information is particularly critical in mid-latitude northern Mediterranean climates where evaporation is a potentially important water-balance component. This study examines the seasonality of the water balance for the Sooke Reservoir in western Canada, a major water supply for the City of Victoria, British Columbia. Evaporation is estimated with three evaporation models, Penman, Priestley-Taylor, and Hamon and the results are compared. Inflows are estimated with the contributing-area approach and the HBV-EC, hydrologic model. Finally, a worst-case drought scenario is created. If conditions of low precipitation and high evaporation like those found in the study period were to persist, water levels would become critically low during the third dry season and by the fifth season if water restrictions were put in place.



Evaporation, Water Balance, Climatology, Hydrology, Water Supply, Seasonality, Climate Change, Climate Variability