Charles A. Young

Senior Scientist


Davis, CA
cyoung@sei-us.org
skype: cyoung_sei
+1 (530) 753-3035 x4#

Charles is a water resources engineer with over 20 years of professional and research experience in water management issues. His research focuses on the application of numerical models for analysis of reservoir operations, rainfall-runoff processes, plant growth, and groundwater flow.

Recent projects have included the development of a computer simulation model to study the effects of climate change on crop water use and yield, a combined rainfall-runoff and reservoir operations model of the western slope of the Sierra Nevada in California for analysis of climate change scenarios, and a detailed cottonwood growth model for use in study of California's Central Valley Project operations to enhance riparian forest regeneration.

His expertise includes model development for river basin planning using the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) system, groundwater modeling, and the ArcGIS geographic information systems software, as well as Visual Basic, Fortran, and Java programming.

He received his Ph.D. in biological and agricultural engineering from the University of California–Davis in 2004.


Recent Publications by Charles A. Young

Image

Tackling complexity: Understanding the food-energy-environment nexus in Ethiopia's Lake Tana Sub-basin

Water Alternatives 2015, 8(1), 710-734

Author(s): Karlberg, L. ; Binnington, T. ; Flores, F. ; Young, C. ; Hoff, H.; Amsalu, T.; Andersson, K.; de Bruin, A.; Gebrehiwot, S.G.; Gedif, B.; zur Heide, .; Johnson, O.; Osbeck, M.
Year: 2015

Research Area(s): Water Resources ; Energy Modeling

Description: This article describes a nexus toolkit, including WEAP and LEAP, to evaluate different development trajectories for Ethiopia. Ethiopia is growing rapidly and is to become a middle-income country by 2025. To achieve this, the country is implementing an industrialization strategy led by agricultural development. It aims to intensify and transform agriculture, boost yields and economic returns. At the same time, energy use is shifting from traditional biomass to large-scale hydroelectric power generation with the intention of improving access to modern energy sources. While the targets are commendable, it is not clear that either all direct impacts or potential conflicts between goals have been considered. This paper evaluates and compares the impacts of alternative development trajectories pertaining to agriculture, energy and environment for a case-study location, the Lake Tana Subbasin.
More information
External Link


Image

Applying the nexus – meeting Ethiopia's development goals by addressing links between water, energy and food

SEI policy brief

Author(s): Karlberg, L. ; Binnington, T. ; Flores, F. ; Young, C. ; Hoff, H.; Amsalu, T.; Andersson, K.; de Bruin, A.; Gebrehiwot, S.G.; Gedif, B.; zur Heide, F.; Johnson, O.; Osbeck M.
Year: 2015

Research Area(s): Water Resources ; Energy Modeling

Description: This policy brief reports on one of the first times that a nexus approach has been applied on the ground. SEI used its nexus toolkit – the WEAP and LEAP tools for water and energy planning – to assess the ambitious development plans of the Ethiopian Government in terms of their impact on food, energy and the environment. SEI worked with local planners, scientists and NGO staff from the agriculture, energy, water and environment sectors to develop three scenarios: business as usual, following the government's national growth plans, and a nexus approach. The work revealed that, by not taking sufficient account of the links between sectors and resources, the government's plans may not be sustainable or achievable without a toll on human well-being and ecosystems.
More information
Download PDF


Image

Adding value with CLEWS – Modelling the energy system and its interdependencies for Mauritius

Applied Energy 113, 1434-1445

Author(s): Welsch, M. ; Young, C. ; Hermann, S.; Howells, M.; Rogner, H.H.; Ramma, I.; Bazilian, M.; Fischer, G.; Alfstad, T.; Gielen, D.; Le Blanc, D.; Rohrl, A.; Steduto, P.; Muller, A.
Year: 2014

Research Area(s): Water Resources

Description: This article demonstrates the value of interlinking assessments of climate, land use, energy and water systems by showing how separate vs. interlinked assessments estimated the value of ethanol generation in a case study. Climate, energy, water and land-use systems are closely integrated, but most related decision- and policy-making occurs in disparate institutional entities, informed by relatively disconnected assessments of the individual resource systems. This paper presents the added value of an integrated analytical assessment approach. In doing so, it explicitly values various interdependencies and interactions between these systems, primarily from an energy sector perspective.
More information
External Link


Image

Effectiveness and Tradeoffs between Portfolios of Adaptation Strategies Addressing Future Climate and Socioeconomic Uncertainties in California's Central Valley

ePoster GC13C-1098, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, 9-13 December 2013

Author(s): Tansey, M.K. ; Young, C. ; Flores, F. ; Van Lienden, B.; Das, T.; Munevar, A.; Huntington, J.L.
Year: 2013

Research Area(s): Water Resources ; Adaptation & Vulnerability

Description: The Central Valley of California is one of the major agricultural areas in the United States. The development of effective adaptation and mitigation strategies for the region requires assessing multiple risks including potential climate changes as well as uncertainties in future socioeconomic conditions. In this study, a scenario-based analytical approach was employed by combining three potential 21st century socioeconomic futures with six representative climate and sea level change projections developed using a transient hybrid delta ensemble method from an archive of 112 bias corrected spatially downscaled CMIP3 global climate model simulations to form 18 future socioeconomic-climate scenarios. Four thematic portfolios consisting of regional and local adaptation strategies including changes in reservoir operations, increased water conservation, storage and conveyance were developed and simulated to evaluate their potential effectiveness in meeting delivery reliability, water quality, environmental, hydropower, GHG, urban and agricultural economic performance criteria. The results indicate that the portfolios exhibit a considerable range of effectiveness depending on the socioeconomic-climate scenario. For most criteria, the portfolios were more sensitive to climate projections than socioeconomic assumptions. However, the results demonstrate that important trade-offs occur between portfolios depending on the performance criteria considered.
More information
External Link


Image

Integrated analysis of climate change, land-use, energy and water strategies

Nature Climate Change 3(7), 621-626

Author(s): Howells, M. ; Young, C. ; Hermann, S.; Welsch, M.; Bazilian, M.; Segerstrom, R.; Alfstad, T.; Gielen, D.; Rogner, H.; Fischer, G.; van Velthuizen, H.; Wiberg, D.; Roehrl, R.A.; Mueller, A.; Steduto, P. ; Ramma, I.
Year: 2013

Research Area(s): Water Resources

Description: This paper presents a framework for integrated assessment of climate, land use, energy and water strategies. Land, energy and water are our most precious resources, but the manner and extent to which they are exploited contributes to climate change. Meanwhile, the systems that provide these resources are themselves highly vulnerable to changes in climate. Efficient resource management is therefore of great importance, both for mitigation and for adaptation purposes. The authors postulate that the lack of integration in resource assessments and policy-making leads to inconsistent strategies and inefficient use of resources. They present CLEWs (climate, land-use, energy and water strategies), a new paradigm for resource assessments that they argue can help to remedy some of these shortcomings.
External Link