Climate Change Impacts on Water Management in the Puget Sound Region, Washington, USA

This report presents historical observations and reliability analyses for planning by water utilities in the Puget Sound basin cities of Everett, Seattle, and Tacoma. By comparing changes in streamflow and snowpack and forecasting hydrological changes, this paper reviews the potential of the region's water supply systems to meet future demands. Each of the three water supply systems were analyzed, and water management models for each city are described. The models are then used to explore - without adaptations - the climate resiliency of the three systems over the next century, and the projected changes in water demand. 

The results are that there will be a decline and eventual disappearance on average of the springtime snowmelt peak, and, without adaptations, the average seasonal drawdown of reservoir storage is projected to increase in all of the systems throughout the 21st century.

Publication Date: 2009

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Julie A. Vano
  • Nathalie Voisin
  • Lan Cuo
  • Alan F. Hamlet
  • Marketa McGuire Elsner
  • Richard N. Palmer
  • Austin Polebitski
  • Dennis P. Lettenmaier

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Resource Types:

  • Assessment

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