Dynamic modelling of water demand, water availability and adaptation strategies for power plants to global change
According to the latest IPCC reports, the frequency of hot and dry periods will increase in many regions of the world in the future. For power plant operators, the increasing possibility of water shortages is an important challenge that they have to face. Shortages of electricity due to water shortages could have an influence on industries as well as on private households. Climate change impact analyses must analyse the climate effects on power plants and possible adaptation strategies for the power generation sector. Power plants have lifetimes of several decades. Their water demand changes with climate parameters in the short- and medium-term. In the long-term, the water demand will change as old units are phased out and new generating units appear in their place. In this paper, we describe the integration of functions for the calculation of the water demand of power plants into a water resources management model. Also included are both short-term reactive and long-term planned adaptation. This integration allows us to simulate the interconnection between the water demand of power plants and water resources management, i.e. water availability. Economic evaluation functions for water shortages are also integrated into the water resources management model. This coupled model enables us to analyse scenarios of socio-economic and climate change, as well as the effects of water management actions.