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Climate variations can play an important, if not always crucial, role in successful conjunctive management of ground water and surface water resources. This will require accurate accounting of the links between variations in climate, recharge, and withdrawal from the resource systems, accurate projection or predictions of the climate variations, and accurate simulation of the responses of the resource systems. To assess linkages and predictability of climate influences on conjunctive management, global climate model (GCM) simulated precipitation rates were used to estimate inflows and outflows from a regional ground water model (RGWM) of the coastal aquifers of the Santa ClaraCalleguas Basin at Ventura, California, for 1950 to 1993. Interannual to interdecadal time scales of the El Nin??o Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) climate variations are imparted to simulated precipitation variations in the Southern California area and are realistically imparted to the simulated ground water level variations through the climate-driven recharge (and discharge) variations. For example, the simulated average ground water level response at a key observation well in the basin to ENSO variations of tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures is 1.2 m/??C, compared to 0.9 m/??C in observations. This close agreement shows that the GCM-RGWM combination can translate global scale climate variations into realistic local ground water responses. Probability distributions of simulated ground water level excursions above a local water level threshold for potential seawater intrusion compare well to the corresponding distributions from observations and historical RGWM simulations, demonstrating the combination's potential usefulness for water management and planning. Thus the GCM-RGWM combination could be used for planning purposes and - when the GCM forecast skills are adequate - for near term predictions.
Additional Publication Details
Ground water/surface water responses to global climate simulations, Santa Clara-Calleguas Basin, Ventura, California
Journal of the American Water Resources Association