WRRC 2022 Fall Seminar

November 4, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Mānoa Campus, Kuykendall 201 and Zoom Meeting Add to Calendar

Potential Effects of Drought, Climate Change, and Cloud-Water Interception on Groundwater Recharge and Wildfire Risk in Hawaiʻi

by Dr. Alan Mair

USGS Pacific Islands Water Science Center

Long-term downward trends of rainfall and concurrent long-term upward trends in drought duration and magnitude extend across most of the Hawaiian Islands. Some future climate projections indicate that rainfall is projected to further decrease across large areas of the state. Reduced rainfall can reduce groundwater recharge and reduce soil moisture, which can increase wildfire risk. Cloud-water interception can contribute substantially to total precipitation and help to lessen the negative effects of reduced rainfall on groundwater recharge and wildfire risk. Wildfire assessments in the continental United States have used estimates of soil moisture, evapotranspiration, and climatic water deficit as indicators of wildfire risk. In this study, water-budget models developed for the islands of Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Maui, and Hawaiʻi were used to quantify the effects of drought, future climate conditions, and the loss of cloud-water interception on groundwater recharge and wildfire risk. Island-wide summaries of groundwater recharge, soil moisture, evapotranspiration, and climatic water deficit for recent, drought, and future climate conditions quantify (1) hydrologic differences among conditions, (2) moderating effects of cloud-water interception, and (3) potential increases in wildfire risk.

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Event Sponsor
WRRC, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Keri Kodama, 956-3174, kodamak8@hawaii.edu

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