DYNAMIC SIMULATION FOR INTEGRATED WATER AND ENERGY RESOURCE PLANNING
Jeffers, Robert Fredric
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There are few resources as critical to human productivity as clean, accessible water and abundant, inexpensive energy. As the human race continues to evolve and struggle with its role on Planet Earth, cautious and effective planning for the efficient use of water and energy resources will be crucial to achieve sustainable growth. This thesis develops and applies a modeling framework for better integration of water and energy planning processes. This framework - the Water and Energy Simulation Toolset (WEST) - is shown to provide insight at multiple levels of detail while being widely understandable and usable. As such, WEST is a critical component in stakeholder-inclusive integrated planning for water and energy resource development. To demonstrate how this may be accomplished, WEST is applied to the Snake River Basin, a high desert plain with intensively irrigated agriculture and significant hydropower dams in the Western United States. The model is called the Cutthroat River Model. Interdependent energy and water planning problems are presented that, to date, have been analyzed independently. The Cutthroat River Model simulates proposed policy solutions to these problems, and judges the outcomes based on five management criteria for water and energy planning. Based on this analysis, the current proposed policies for recovering aquifer levels on the Snake River Basin are shown to perform poorly in two of the five performance measures, and alternative policies are discussed that improve this performance. Climate change scenarios change basin behavior and alter the performance measures, shown by biasing the Cutthroat River Model with several general circulation model climate scenarios. A portfolio of policies is tested under a representative climate change scenario in order to make several suggestions for water and energy planners. Namely, an adaptive method for flood control greatly reduces flooding with no negative impact to the five criteria.