Publications and Research
Quo Vadis Lakes Azuei and Enriquillo: A Future Outlook for Two of the Caribbean Basin's Largest Lakes
Lakes Azuei (LA) and Enriquillo (LE) on Hispaniola Island started expanding in 2005 and continued to do so until 2016. After inundating large swaths of arable land, submerging a small community, and threatening to swallow a significant trade route between the Dominican Republic and Haiti; worries persisted at how far this seemingly unstoppable expansion would go. The paper outlines the approach to a look forward to answer this question vis-à-vis climate change scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It uses numerical representations of the two lakes, and it examines how the lakes might evolve, deploying three different forcing mechanisms: that of weather and drift due to climate change, that of extreme events, such as hurricanes, and that of anthropogenic impacts, such as unintended water transfers between adjacent watersheds. Runs are executed Monte Carlo style using 11 different forcing combinations, each with a thousand instances of results generated by varying the numerous parameters that define the numerical models. The results are necessarily not precise and vary significantly as the forecast horizon expands, creating expanding envelopes of outcomes. Although some outcomes suggest a continued rise of the lake levels, most scenarios yield a reduction and recession of the lake waters.
Environmental Engineering Commons, Environmental Monitoring Commons, Hydraulic Engineering Commons, Hydrology Commons, Water Resource Management Commons