Date of Award
Master of Science
The change in the hydrological cycle due to climate change entails more frequent and intense rainfall. As a result, urban water systems will be disproportionately affected by the climate change, especially in such urban areas as Las Vegas, which concentrates its population, infrastructure, and economic activity. Understanding the proper management of urban stormwater in the changing climate is becoming a critical concern to the water resources managers. Proper design and management of stormwater facilities are needed to attenuate the severe effects of extreme rainfall events. In an effort to develop better management techniques and understanding the probable future scenario, this study used the high-resolution climate model data conjunction with advanced statistical methods and computer simulation. Las Vegas Valley which has unique climatic condition and is surrounded by the mountains in every direction was chosen for the study. The North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program is developing multiple high-resolution projected-climate data from different combinations of regional climate models and global climate models. First, the future design depths was calculated using generalized extreme value method with the aid of L-moment regionalization technique. The projected climate change was incorporated into the model at the 100 year return period with 6h duration depths. Calculation showed that, the projection from different sets of climate model combinations varied substantially. Gridded reanalysis data were used to assess the performance of the climate models. This study used an existing Hydrologic Engineering Center’s Hydrological Modeling System (HEC-HMS) model and Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were implemented in the hydrological simulation. Hydrological simulation using HEC-HMS showed exceedances of existing stormwater facilities that were designed under the assumption of stationarity design depth. Low Impact Developments such as permeable pavement and green roof were found to be effective in the attenuation of climate change induced excess surface runoff. The primary purpose of this study is understanding of proper designing, planning and management of the urban stormwater system in the predicted climate scenarios.
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