EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON WATERSHED RUNOFF FLOW - UPPER COOSA RIVER BASIN UPSTREAM FROM PLANT HAMMOND
Description: The ability of water managers to maintain adequate supplies in the coming decades depends on future weather conditions, as climate change has the potential to reduce stream flows from their current values due to potentially less precipitation and higher temperatures, and possibly rendering them unable to meet demand. The upper Coosa River basin, located in northwest Georgia, plays an important role in supplying water for industry and domestic use in northern Georgia, and has been involved in water disputes in recent times. The seven-day ten-year low flow (7Q10 flow) is the lowest average flow for seven consecutive days that has an average recurrence interval of 10 years. The 7Q10 flow is statistically derived from the observed historical flow data, and represents the low flow (drought) condition for a basin. The upper Coosa River basin also supplies cooling water for the 935MW coal-fired Hammond plant, which draws about 65% of the 7Q10 flow of the upper Coosa River to dissipate waste heat. The water is drawn through once and returned to the river directly from the generator (i.e., no cooling tower is used). Record low flows in 2007 led to use of portable cooling towers to meet temperature limits. Disruption of the Plant Hammond operation may trigger closure of area industrial facilities (e.g. paper mill). The population in Georgia is expected to double from 9 million to 18 million residents in the next 25 years, mostly in the metropolitan Atlanta area. Therefore, there will be an even greater demand for potable water and for waste assimilation. Climate change in the form of persistent droughts (causing low flows) and high ambient temperatures create regulatory compliance challenges for Plant Hammond operating with a once-through cooling system. Therefore, the Upper Coosa River basin was selected to study the effect of potential future weather change ...
Date: October 24, 2011
Creator: Chen, K.
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