To explore how uncertain climate events might affect investment decisions that need to be made in the near future, this paper examines (1) the relative magnitude of the uncertainties arising from climate change on engineering design in water resources planning and (2) a restricted set of water resource planning techniques that deal with the repeated choice of investment decisions over time. The classical capacity-expansion model of operations research is exploited to show the relative impacts upon engineering design choices for variations in future demand attributable to changes in the climate or other factors and the possible shortfall of supply due to climate change. The type of engineering decisions considered in the paper are sequential, enabling adjustments to revealed uncertainty in subsequent decisions. The range of possible impacts analyzed in the paper lead to similar engineering design decisions. This result means that engineers must be on their guard with respect to under-design or over-design of systems with and without the threat of climate change, but that the sequential nature of the decision-making does not call for drastic action in the early time periods.
Climatic Change – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 15, 2004
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