The analytical framework developed for the public health co-benefits project. NCAR’s role was the air quality modeling component depicted in the light red bounding box.
This project, conducted with the Climate Change Research Group, is examining the impacts of climate change on water resources in Al Ain, the second largest city of Abu Dhabi Emirate in the United Arab Emirates. Using the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) modeling system, an analytical framework was developed to examine the interactions between water supply and demand and agricultural production in the context of climate change, population growth/socioeconomic development, and various agricultural water development strategies.
Using historical data from 2005-2015, the model was configured, calibrated and validated and then used to look ahead into the 21st century to explore different assumptions regarding resource use and climate change. A policy scenario intended to promote the resilience of the water system in the Al Ain region in the face of climate change was investigated. Results were reported with regard to water consumption in various sectors, groundwater levels, and impacts on agricultural production. While the integrated water-agriculture models and policy analysis methods demonstrated in this project are powerful tools for quantifying the interactions of the water supply and demand in the Al Ain region, the ability to explore the full range of options within the context of this initial study is limited. It would be very useful to continue to develop these capabilities with a broad array of stakeholders, where the tools could be used to explore more targeted questions and regional differences. It will also be important in devising relevant policy scenarios to address the issue of renewable groundwater supply. The region’s brackish and fresh groundwater systems are quite independent and a strategy for addressing them in the face of climate change should be found.