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Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments: Four Case Studies of Water Utility Practices

March 2011

This report presents a series of case studies describing the approaches currently (as of 2011) being taken by four water utilities in the United States to assess their vulnerability to climate change. The report is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of assessment approaches or utilities conducting vulnerability assessments. Rather, its purpose is to illustrate a range of issues and current approaches taken by selected utilities that are proactive in climate adaptation to understand and respond to climate risk.

Related Organizations: National Center for Environmental Assessment, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Reclamation Climate Change and Water, Report to Congress, 2011

April 2011

This report is prepared in fulfillment of the requirements within section (§) 9503 of the SECURE Water Act and provides an assessment of climate change impacts on the quantity of water resources located in each major U.S. Bureau of Reclamation river basin. The eight river basins identified include the Colorado, Columbia, Klamath, Missouri, Upper Rio Grande and Pecos, Sacramento - San Joaquin, and the Truckee - Carson. 

Related Organizations: Bureau of Reclamation

Authors or Affiliated Users: Patty Alexander, Levi Brekke, Gary Davis, Subhrendu Gangopadhyay, Katrina Grantz, Charles Hennig, Carly Jerla, Dagmar Llewellyn, Paul Miller, Tom Pruitt, David A. Raff, Tom Scott, Michael Tansey, Toni Turner

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Florida Water Management and Adaptation in the Face of Climate Change

November 2011

A series of white papers have been prepared by the State University System (SUS) of Florida Universities regarding realized and predicted climate change impacts, with this report specifically addressing water resources and adaptation issues across Florida. The primary objectives of this report are: (1) to identify Florida’s water resources and water-related infrastructure that are vulnerable to climate change; (2) show demographics in the state that are vulnerable to climate change impacts with a focus on water resources and sea level rise; and (3) highlight some of the alternative technologies currently being used to solve water resource supply issues in the state that are likely to expand and be challenged under various scenarios of climate change.

Related Organizations: State University System (SUS) of Florida Universities

Authors or Affiliated Users: Leonard Berry, Frederick Bloetscher, Nicole Hernandez Hammer, Marguerite Koch-Rose, Diana Mitsova-Boneva, Jorge Restrepo, Tara Root, Ramesh Teegavarapu

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Too Hot to Handle: Climate Change and Agricultural Water Use

November 16, 2011

This paper discusses the role of irrigated agriculture in the western United States.   Climate change in the west is expected to result in a more arid climate and therefore strain the already extended water uses in the region.   Because of climate change and other factors, the report suggests that all water uses, including long-standing agricultural water rights, need to be re-examined. The author questions the region’s continued use of most of its water for irrigation, and the appropriate role of federal and state policy makers in responding to this environmental challenge.

Related Organizations: University of New Mexico

Author or Affiliated User: Denise Fort

Resource Category: Monitoring and Reporting

 

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Addressing Climate Change in Long-Term Water Resources Planning and Management: User Needs for Improving Tools and Information

January 2011

This report, from the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) - as part of the Climate Change and Water Working Group (CCAWWG) - identifies the needs of local, state, and federal water management agencies for climate change information and tools to support long-term water resources planning.

Related Organizations: Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Levi D. Brekke, Kathleen White, J. Rolf Olsen, Edwin Townsley, David Williams, Charles Hennig, Curt Brown, Rod Wittler

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Direct Potable Reuse: A Path Forward

2011

This report identifies the information and research needed to provide a basis for the feasibility of direct potable reuse (DPR), which is the introduction of purified water into a water supply distribution system or the raw water supply immediately upstream of a water treatment plant. Topics discussed include issues regarding public acceptance, engineering, economics, and regulations. Although the background information on DPR and the needed research identified in this report are applicable across the country and throughout the world, the primary focus is on providing information so that the feasibility of DPR can be evaluated in California.

Related Organizations: WateReuse Research Foundation

Authors or Affiliated Users: George Tchobanoglous, Harold Leverenz, Margaret H. Nellor, James Crook

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Climate Ready Water Utilities: Final Report of the National Drinking Water Advisory Council

January 2011

This Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) report contains recommendations to assist drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems across the nation to increase their resilience to climate change impacts. EPA convened a CRWU Working Group under the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) in 2009, and the CRWU Report was delivered to EPA in January 2011. The general premise is that climate change represents an important challenge for drinking water and wastewater utilities and should be considered in all aspects of utility planning.

Related Organizations: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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SECURE Water Act Section 9503-Reclamation Climate Change and Water 2011

April 2011

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation developed this report in response to the SECURE Water Act of 2009 - outlining climate change impacts on water basins in the Southwestern U.S. The report provides comprehensive assessments of risk across each of Reclamation's major eight basins and summarizes hydrologic changes that would take place in response to projected climate change.

Related Organizations: Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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The Last Drop: Climate Change and the Southwest Water Crisis

February 2011

The Last Drop describes the current and projected future water-related challenges facing the Southwest region of the U.S. In particular, the present and future water demands of the agricultural and water sectors are examined, as well as how those demands will be affected by even minor changes in current climate variables.

Related Organizations: Stockholm Environment Institute

Authors or Affiliated Users: Frank Ackerman, Elizabeth A. Stanton

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Adapting Water Law to Public Necessity: Reframing Climate Change Adaptation as Emergency Response and Preparedness

September 17, 2010

The article argues that viewing climate change impacts on water supply as an ongoing emergency could provide a more productive framework for initiating and implementing adaptation strategies. Classifying climate change’s impacts on water supply as a real crisis allows adaptation planning to become a form of emergency preparedness, and could provide needed flexibility both legally and politically. An analysis of property rights barriers in the context of implementing adaptation strategies to help with the water supply crisis is provided.

Related Organizations: Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, Florida State University College of Law

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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