GCAM-USA v5.3_water_dispatch: integrated modeling of subnational US energy, water, and land systems within a global framework

Matthew Binsted, Gokul Iyer, Pralit Patel, Neal T. Graham, Yang Ou, Zarrar Khan, Nazar Kholod, Kanishka Narayan, Mohamad Hejazi, Son Kim, Katherine Calvin, and Marshall Wise

Department of Energy, Office of Science, Earth & Environmental Systems Modeling Program Acknowledged Support: Yes, MultiSector Dynamics Program

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-15-2533-2022


This paper describes GCAM-USA v5.3_water_dispatch, an open-source model that represents key interactions across economic, energy, water, and land systems in a consistent global framework with subnational detail in the United States. GCAM-USA divides the world into 31 geopolitical regions outside the United States (US) and represents the US economy and energy systems in 51 state-level regions (50 states plus the District of Columbia). The model also includes 235 water basins and 384 land use regions, and 23 of each fall at least partially within the United States. GCAM-USA offers a level of process and temporal resolution rare for models of its class and scope, including detailed subnational representation of US water demands and supplies and sub-annual operations (day and night for each month) in the US electric power sector. GCAM-USA can be used to explore how changes in socioeconomic drivers, technological progress, or policy impact demands for (and production of) energy, water, and crops at a subnational level in the United States while maintaining consistency with broader national and international conditions. This paper describes GCAM-USA’s structure, inputs, and outputs, with emphasis on new model features. Four illustrative scenarios encompassing varying socioeconomic and energy system futures are used to explore subnational changes in energy, water, and land use outcomes. We conclude with information about how public users can access the model.

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