Streams are natural features in urban landscapes that can provide ecosystem services for urban residents. However, urban streams are under increasing pressure caused by multiple anthropogenic impacts, including increases in human population and associated impervious surface area, and accelerated climate change. The ability to anticipate these changes and better understand their effects on streams is important for developing and implementing strategies to mitigate potentially negative effects. In this study, stream flow was monitored during April-November (2011 and 2012), and the data were used to apply the StormWater Management Model (SWMM) for five urban watersheds in central Iowa, USA, representing a gradient of percent impervious surface (IS, ranging from 5.3 to 37.1 %). A set of three scenarios was designed to quantify hydrological responses to independent and combined effects of climate change (18% increase in precipitation), and land cover change (absolute increases between 5.2 and 17.1 %, based on separate projections of impervious surfaces for the five watersheds) for the year 2040 compared to a current condition simulation. An additional set of three scenarios examined stream response to different distributions of land cover change within a single watershed.
Wu, J.Y.; Thompson, J.R.; Kolka, R.K.; Franz, K.J.; Stewart, T.W. 2013. Using the storm water management model to predict urban headwater stream hydrological response to climate and land cover change. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 17(12): 4743-4758.