Using the change point model (CPM) framework to identify windows for water resource management action in the lower Colorado River basin of Texas, USAShow full item record
Using the change point model (CPM) framework to identify windows for water resource management action in the lower Colorado River basin of Texas, USA
Lavy BL; Weaver RC; Hagelman III RR
In water-stressed river basins with growing urban populations, conflicts over water resources have emerged between urban and agricultural interests, as managerial interventions occur with little warning and tend to favor urban over agricultural water uses. This research documents changes in water use along an urban-to-agricultural gradient to examine whether it is possible to leverage temporal fluctuations in key quantitative data indicators to detect periods in which we could expect substantive managerial interventions in water resource management. We employ the change point model (CPM) framework to locate shifts in water use, climate-related indicators, lake and river characteristics, and agricultural trends across urban and agricultural counties in the lower Colorado River basin of Texas. Three distinctive groupings of change points appear. Increasing water use by urban counties and a shift in local climate conditions characterize the first period. Declines in agricultural counties’ water use and crop production define the second. Drops in lake levels, lower river discharge, and an extended drought mark the third. We interpret the results relative to documented managerial intervention events and show that managerial interventions occur during and after significant change points. We conclude that the CPM framework may be used to monitor the optimal timing of managerial interventions and their effects to avoid negative outcomes.