Stakeholder-Informed Hydroclimate Scenario Modeling in the Lower Santa Cruz River Basin for Water Resource Management

Neha Gupta, Lindsay Bearup, Katharine Jacobs, Eve Halper, Chris Castro, Hsin I. Chang, Julia Fonseca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Lower Santa Cruz River Basin Study (LSCRB Study) is a collaborative effort of regional and statewide water management stakeholders working with the US Bureau of Reclamation under the auspices of the 2009 SECURE Water Act. The impacts of climate change, land use, and population growth on projected water supply in the LSCRB were evaluated to (1) identify projected water supply and demand imbalances and (2) develop adaptation strategies to proactively respond over the next 40 years. A multi-step hydroclimate modeling and risk assessment process was conducted to assess a range of futures in terms of temperature, precipitation, runoff, soil moisture, and evapotranspiration, with a particular focus on implications for ecosystem health. Key hydroclimate modeling process decisions were informed by ongoing multi-stakeholder engagement. To incorporate the region’s highly variable precipitation pattern, the study used a numerical “weather generator” to develop ensembles of precipitation and temperature time series for input to surface hydrology modeling efforts. Hydroclimate modeling outcomes consistently included increasing temperatures, and generated information related to precipitation responses (season length and timing, precipitation amount) considered useful for evaluating potential ecosystem impacts. A range of risks was identified using the hydroclimate modeling outputs that allowed for development of potential adaptation strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1884
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2023


  • climate change
  • hydroclimate modeling
  • riparian health
  • Santa Cruz River
  • stakeholder-informed modeling
  • Tucson
  • water resource management
  • weather generator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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