CU-Boulder: Reservoirs can change regional rainfall patterns

Outlet: Daily Camera

February 18, 2011

Large dams — and the reservoirs they create — can increase rainfall in semiarid regions, according to a team of researchers that includes a scientist from the University of Colorado. The study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, took into account both the size of the reservoir and the changes the reservoir may have caused in the way surrounding lands were used. “When you have a dam, the alteration of the landscape and the presence of the water body provide more water vapor to the atmosphere than would be there in the natural state,” said Roger Pielke Sr. of CU’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences…

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