Hydraulic engineers across the nation are being asked to account for global climate change within the hydrologic and hydraulic (H&H) design practice. Current H&H design procedures typically rely on use of historical data that are assumed to represent a stationary process. A changing climate, however, introduces non-stationary risks such as sea level and temperature rise, and changes in timing and distribution of precipitation, snowpack, and snowmelt. Failure to account for such non-stationary risks may compromise the operational characteristics of existing and future transportation infrastructure.
The overall objective of this research is to develop a design guide of national scope which will provide hydraulic engineers the tools necessary to amend the current H&H practice to account for climate change. The research will also assist hydraulic engineers in justifying when climate change may not be warranted for a given project.
The project panel has selected a contractor which will start work in the upcoming couple months. This project has a 24-month duration and therefore should be complete by 2019. Feel free to email me with any questions regarding the research.