Each Hawaiian island has limited streamflow resources to support human needs for water as well as habitat for native species. It is important to be able to predict how these streams will be impacted by shifts in rainfall due to climate change. However, limited data and uncertain effects of climate change hinder regional or island-wide predictions. Our model provides a way to categorize streams at a state-wide level based on physical characteristics, so that we can estimate the response of streams to rainfall. Streamflow modeling can help provide estimates of future water availability that are required for equitable allocation of freshwater for household needs as well as agriculture and industrial use, and allow long-term adaptive management so that the limited freshwater supplies in Hawaiʻi are managed in a sustainable way.
This research feature was produced by the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center.
M. Bassiouni, R.M. Vogel, and S.A. Archfield, 2016 | Panel regressions to estimate low-flow response to rainfall variability in ungaged basins | Water Resources Research | doi:10.1002/2016WR018718
Featured photo by Forest and Kim Starr/ CC BY 3.0.