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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Year Degree Awarded

2018

Month Degree Awarded

September

First Advisor

Casey Brown

Second Advisor

David Ahlfeld

Third Advisor

Bernard Morzuch

Fourth Advisor

Yi-Chen Yang

Subject Categories

Civil Engineering | Environmental Engineering

Abstract

Extensive human intervention in the terrestrial hydrosphere means that virtually every river basin globally reflects the interaction between human and natural hydrologic processes. Thus, sustainable watershed management needs to not only account for the diverse ways humans benefit from the environment but also incorporate the impact of human actions on the natural system. Informed policy making to address our water challenges requires a comprehensive understanding of these feedbacks and how they might be affected by future changes in climate. This work develops coupled human-natural models for improved surface water and groundwater management in water-scarce regions under future changes in climate. An agent-based water use model is coupled with a physically-based groundwater model in an agricultural setting to compare groundwater management policies under varying climatic conditions. Shifting spatial scales to a watershed level, we couple a process-based distributed hydrologic model with an agent-based model to simulate the impacts of water management decisions on the food-water-energy-environment nexus in transboundary river basins. A stochastic weather generator is developed to produce a wide ensemble of future climate, changes in which can vary spatially and temporally, while incorporating low-frequency variability. The primary goal of this work is to advance modeling approaches that effectively represent heterogeneity within a water system, capture the linkage between society and hydrology, and account for future changes in climate.

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