Scenarios of discharge for the Hope River Watershed in response to variable tropical cyclone characteristics: summary for policy makers

Scenarios of discharge for the Hope River Watershed in response to variable tropical cyclone characteristics: summary for policy makers

In the context of a changing climate, observed increases in the intensity and in some cases frequency of extreme events are linked with increased risk of flooding, drought, erosion, turbidity, debris in reservoirs and nutrient and pollutant loading. The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) estimates that in the ten years 2001-2010 the island experienced damages estimated at over USD1.27 billion (J$ 111 billion) due to severe weather events including hurricanes and tropical cyclones. Two major events which resulted in large-scale damages and losses are Hurricane Gilbert (1988) and Hurricane Ivan (2004).

 

Given the importance of the water sector to Jamaica's development plan, and the vulnerability of water resources to extreme weather events such as storms and hurricanes, the case study was chosen to examine scenarios of discharge from the Hope River Watershed in relation to a range of tracks and speeds for a hurricane with similar rainfall and wind profile as Hurricane Ivan. The report concludes that the SMASH tool is an innovative approach to assessing the possible influence of different tracks and speeds of a hurricane on rainfall intensity at a location and ultimately discharge from a watershed. 

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