The ADAPT project is an online tool for mapping the spatial extents of flooding scenarios based on climate predictions from Global Circulation Models (GCMs). ADAPT is capable of displaying flooding scenarios in a given watershed with future climate conditions (exemplified here by the Grijalva-Usumacinta Watershed in Tabasco, Mexico) are modelled and made spatially-explicit leveraging the functionality of Google Earth. This allows for displaying of a context rich scenario which can be used by climate change adaptation planners and decision makers in jurisdictions that are flooding prone and whose future climate is likely to exacerbate floods and having a negative impacts on livelihoods.
This project is designed to aid climate change adaptation planners and decision makers in the state of Tabasco, Mexico, but the concept and prototype can be extrapolated to different jurisdictions and locations with similar flood problems. Flood extents were modeled based on the coupling of computer simulation models including the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and the Hydrological Engineering Centers Geographic River Analysis Systems (HecRas). A variety of digital maps including surface elevation, soil characteristics, river networks and land use were also utilized in the development of future flood events.
The simplicity of this site allows for novice users to learn about the concerns of climate change in the Grijalva-Usumacinta Watershed and use the simulation tool to visualize the predicted effects of climate change in this watershed. We know that the Grijalva-Usumacinta Watershed has a long history of being flooded, what is concerning is that with climate change the frequency and intensity of extreme events are going to increase. This means that storms that only happen every 100 years are going to occur more often, lasti longer and becoming more intense.
The ADAPT simulation allows the user to select a future time period (2030 or 2050), and a flow value modelled under the A2 emissions scenario. Each flow value is associated with a day within the year selected. Only the top 10 flood events for the year 2030 and 2050 can be selected and displayed on this site. Users can also learn about past flooding events in Tabasco by clicking the Flood History button. The Help page can be utilized for assistance with common user questions as well as definitions and terminology used on this site.