5th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Kevin Morris
Session Name Panel: Actionable Science for Water Resources Management Planning and Decision Making
Author(s) Kevin Morris,  Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority (Presenting Author)
  Climate Variability and Water Supply Sustainability Modeling on the Peace River
  Projected sea level rise will greatly impact river-based coastal water supplies that are subject to tidal influence like the Peace River in SW Florida. Climate variability is also a concern; projected temperature rise will increase reservoir evaporation rates and affect customer demand patterns. Scientists also expect significant seasonal changes to precipitation patterns in the decades to come. Water planners face the challenge of assessing projected impacts and then developing decision tools which evaluate risk profile given the implementation of various adaptation management alternatives. Infrastructure investment decisions made today have to serve society for the next 20 to 100 years. So decision tools are needed to frame system reliability over time to insure decisions made today are well justified, timely and likely to achieve the desired long term risk reduction objectives intended. The Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority provides drinking water to 500,000 people within a four county area in Southwest Florida. The utility‚Äôs source of drinking water is the Peace River and although the river intake is located 38 miles upstream from the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the river intake is built at sea level and currently sees daily tidal variations from -1 foot to +1.5 feet above mean sea level. The utility developed a decision tool which incorporates the effects of sea level rise on system reliability. The decision tool model has embedded within it a baseline water quality profile for river flow as well as profiles for five successively worse sea level rise projections. This model, named the Peace River Operations Platform Assessment Tool (PROPAT) is one of the first of its kind developed for an existing surface water system that includes features for sea level rise, climate variability and alternate sources of supply in a single platform.