Vulnerability of Water Resources to Global Climate Change in the Agricultural Midwest Ecological, Economic and Regulatory Aspects

EPA Grant Number: R824804
Title: Vulnerability of Water Resources to Global Climate Change in the Agricultural Midwest Ecological, Economic and Regulatory Aspects
Investigators: Eheart, J. Wayland , Herricks, Edwin E.
Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: October 1, 1995 through September 1, 1998 (Extended to September 30, 1998)
Project Amount: $380,000
RFA: Regional Hydrologic Vulnerability to Global Climate Change (1995) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Water , Climate Change , Global Climate Change


Water resources systems in the agricultural midwest are vulnerable to global climate change. The purpose of this project is to measure their sensitivity to climate change by an integrated determination of ecological, economic, and regulatory effects and the assessment of interlinkages among those effects to determine overall system vulnerability. The project will focus on the potential increase in water consumption from agricultural irrigation in the Midwestern US, and its impact on aquatic ecosystems when coupled with decreased precipitation and/or increased precipitation variability.

Water withdrawals are predicted using crop yield modeling to find the irrigation rates that will maximize farm incomes under various climate change scenarios. Ecosystem effects are measured using the change in habitat availability and the effect of habitat alteration on fish communities in Midwestern streams.

The project will consider implications of these effects on existing regulations (e.g., those involving statistically defined low flows) and new regulations (e.g., those governing water withdrawals). The research takes advantage of existing models and the past research of the principal investigators.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 14 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 3 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

water, watershed, global climate, vulnerability, socio-economic, hydrology, climate models, midwest, Region 5,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Geographic Area, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Hydrology, Water & Watershed, exploratory research environmental biology, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Chemical Mixtures - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecosystem Protection, climate change, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecological Effects - Human Health, Ecological Risk Assessment, EPA Region, Watersheds, Ecological Indicators, water resources, risk assessment, precipitation, environmental monitoring, alternative urbanization scenarios, farming, fish habitat, policy making, streamflow sensitivity, watershed, agricultural watershed, farm income, regulatory effects, drinking water supplies, economic models, hydrologic models, precipitation patterns, socioeconomic indicators, availability of water resources, climate models, urban growth, toxic environmental contaminants, habitat diversity, land and water resources, Midwestern agriculture, Region 5, toxics, climate variability, climatic models, crop production, land use

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • 1997
  • Final Report