Analysis of climate change impacts upon water resources has focused primarily on water quantity issues. The impacts upon water quality and water quality management have had little attention. This paper presents a framework for assessing climate change impacts upon stream water quality and the management costs associated with adaptation to the new hydroclimatic conditions resulting in changes in stream flow and stream temperature. Water quality indicators as well as chemical and biological processes important to water quality are a function of stream temperature. This paper reports not only on how water quality indices will be impacted by alternative climate change scenarios, but on the economic cost of maintaining water quality standards. The costs of maintaining water quality standards result from increased treatment of waste loads due to decreased waste assimilation capacity of warmer streams. A case study based on regionally developed climate change scenarios shows that water quality levels are greatly impacted in the low flow periods (by as much as 14 times), while average annual conditions are not impacted significantly.

Author names: 
Carmichael, Jeffrey J.
Strzepek, Kenneth M.
Minarik, Boris
Year: 
1996
Reference: 

Carmichael, Jeffrey J.; Strzepek, Kenneth M.; Minarik, Boris, 1996: Impacts of Climate Change and Seasonal Variability on Economic Treatment Costs: A Case Study of the Nitra River Basin, Slovakia. In: Water Resources Development, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 209- 227, 1996.

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