Using Future Climate Projections to Support Water Resources Decision Making in California

This paper presents advances in climate projection information that the California Department of Water Resources has made since their 2006 report, "Progress on Incorporating Climate Change into Management of California's Water Resources." These advances include an improved understanding of how well selected climate models represent historical climate conditions and refined methodologies for representing stream flows, outdoor urban and agricultural water demands, and sea-level rise in planning tools, in order to assess their usefulness in decision making for water resource managers.

Twelve climate projections are used to assess the future reliability of California's main water supply projects. This improved understanding of climate projection information is designed to support decision making by quantifying possible impacts to water resources for a range of future climate scenarios. The range of impacts presented in this paper indicates a need to explore adaptation measures to improve the reliability of future water supplies in California.


Publication Date: May 2009

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  • Climate science

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