Articles | Volume 26, issue 7
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-26-1801-2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-26-1801-2022
Research article
 | 
11 Apr 2022
Research article |  | 11 Apr 2022

Assessing hydrological sensitivity of grassland basins in the Canadian Prairies to climate using a basin classification-based virtual modelling approach

Christopher Spence, Zhihua He, Kevin R. Shook, Balew A. Mekonnen, John W. Pomeroy, Colin J. Whitfield, and Jared D. Wolfe

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Cited articles

Armstrong, R. N., Pomeroy, J. W., and Martz, L. W.: Variability in evaporation across the Canadian Prairie region during drought and non-drought periods, J. Hydrol., 521, 182–195, 2015. 
Ayers, H. D.: Influence of soil profile and vegetation characteristics on net rainfall supply to runoff, in: Proceedings of Hydrology Symposium No. 1: Spillway Design Floods, NRCC, Ottawa, 198–205, 1959. 
Brannen, R., Spence, C., and Ireson, A.: Influence of shallow groundwater-surface water interactions on the hydrological connectivity and water budget of a wetland complex, Hydrol. Process., 29, 3862–3877, 2015. 
Bush, E. and Lemmen, D. S.: Canada's Changing Climate Report, Government of Canada, Ottawa, ON, p. 444, https://changingclimate.ca/CCCR2019/ (last access: 31 March 2022), 2019. 
DeBeer, C. M., Wheater, H. S., Carey, S. K., and Chun, K. P.: Recent climatic, cryospheric, and hydrological changes over the interior of western Canada: a review and synthesis, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1573–1598, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-20-1573-2016, 2016. 
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Short summary
We determined how snow and flow in small creeks change with temperature and precipitation in the Canadian Prairie, a region where water resources are often under stress. We tried something new. Every watershed in the region was placed in one of seven groups based on their landscape traits. We selected one of these groups and used its traits to build a model of snow and streamflow. It worked well, and by the 2040s there may be 20 %–40 % less snow and 30 % less streamflow than the 1980s.