Matthew Chernos, Ryan MacDonald, James Craig

Streamflow records are required for a wide range of industrial, environmental, and urban design applications. However, the sparse distribution of hydrometric stations in western Canada, and their limited spatial and temporal representativeness, necessitate hydrologic regionalization methods to generate streamflow for a point of interest. Here, an efficient semi-distributed hydrological modelling workflow that has modest data requirements and uses publicly available data sources, freely available, open-source data processing tools, and the Raven hydrological modelling framework is presented. First, the workflow is presented by outlining the major steps required for a range of modelling applications. Second, the workflow is applied to simulate streamflow for the Elk River watershed in British Columbia. Finally, the calibrated model is used to quantify glacier contributions to streamflow and investigate the hydrologic response to future climate and land use scenarios. The workflow is scalable, flexible, relies on few statistical assumptions, and is scientifically rigorous. In addition, the resultant model allows the ability to trace the primary sources of streamflow in the region, and for the evaluation of future watershed hydrology due to environmental and climatic change.

Published: 2017-12-11