Abstract for: A System Dynamics Approach to Examine Climate Change Impacts: The Case of the State of Guanajuato, México

Global climate change is affecting the rain-runoff process around the world since pre-climate change “normal rain patterns” are giving way to short periods of strong precipitation, followed by long periods without rain. In addition, temperature and evaporation are expected to increase about 20% over the next 20 years. The State of Guanajuato in Central Mexico utilizes 87% of all available water for agricultural production and is extremely concerned about the impacts of climate change on water supply and demand for its various uses in the short and medium term. To explore the future impacts of climate change in Guanajuato a two-component approach was developed: (1) an atmospheric interface that generates synthetic precipitation, temperature and evaporation time series; and simulates the characteristics of these three meteorological variables and (2) a system dynamics model that beginning with the rain-runoff process generates time related behavior for natural and man-made process for each of 13 watershed that make up the States geography. Base Line and Climate Change scenarios have been generated from the present through 2030 to examine the impacts that this phenomenon is having on each watershed; recommendations have been drawn to assist these areas in adapting to new climate conditions.