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Climate Change in Colorado: A Synthesis to Support Water Resources Management and Adaptation (2008)

2008

This report is a synthesis of climate change science that is important for evaluating impacts on Colorado's water resources. This document provides scientific analyses to support state and regional efforts to develop a water adaptation plan, while presenting scientific analyses on observed trends, modeling, and projections of hydro-climatic variables - including temperature, precipitation, snowmelt, and runoff. This analysis includes a record of Colorado climate that covers trends in temperature, precipitation, snow and stream flow; a section describing climate models, emissions scenarios, and downscaling; followed by climate attributions, projections, and implications for the state.

Related Organizations: Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), Western Water Assessment (WWA) - RISA, University of Colorado at Boulder

Authors or Affiliated Users: Andrea J. Ray, Joseph J. Barsugli, Kristen B. Averyt

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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USGS Groundwater Resources Program

2008

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) GroundWater Resources Program (GWRP) supports applied research into the effects of climate variability on groundwater availability. The purpose of GWRP is to conduct and synthesize groundwater investigations on regional and national scales. 

Related Organizations: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Climate Change Impacts on Water for Agriculture in California: A Case Study in the Sacramento Valley

March 2006

This study presents an application of the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) system for California's Sacramento River Basin. The WEAP modeling system was used to evaluate the impact of four future climate scenarios on agricultural water management in the region, and to investigate whether water management adaptation could reduce potential impacts. This paper demonstrates how internalizing adaptation in a model that includes both the hydrologic and water management conditions associated with climate change can help assess potential tradeoffs in multi-objective water management systems.

Related Organizations: California Climate Change Center (CCCC)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Climate and Land Use Change Effects on Ecological Resources in Three Watersheds: A Synthesis Report

August 2007

The effects of global change drivers differ by place and in scale, necessitating place-specific impacts information to enable stakeholders to respond appropriately. Place and scale also determine appropriate adaptation strategies and expected outcomes. Three watershed case study assessments were conducted to advance the capability of managers to consider climate and land use change in watershed management decisions. The case studies were of the San Pedro River Watershed, the Sacramento River Watershed, and several small watersheds in Maryland (see Related Links).

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

Authors or Affiliated Users: Susan H. Julius, Britta G. Bierwagen, Thomas E. Johnson, Randall Freed, Susan Asam, Sandra Shapiro

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Colorado River Basin Water Management: Evaluating and Adjusting to Hydroclimatic Variability

February 2007

This brief from the National Research Council of the National Academies summarizes an assessment of existing sources of scientific information - including temperature and streamflow records, tree-ring based reconstructions, and climate model projections - and how they relate to Colorado River Basin water supplies and demands, water management, and drought. 

Related Organizations: The National Academies, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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A Risk Assessment of California Key Source Watershed Infrastructure

August 16, 2017

This comprehensive assessment of five key watersheds in northeastern California, details the climate risks and watershed restoration and conservation activities needed to improve the long-term quality and security of the state’s water supply. Following California AB 2480 which defined source watersheds as integral to the state’s water infrastructure and therefore eligible for repair and maintenance funding, this report lays out a framework for restoring and maintaining resilient watersheds.

Related Organizations: Pacific Forest Trust

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model (DHSVM)

February 2013

DHSVM is a distributed hydrologic model that explicitly represents the effects of topography and vegetation on water fluxes through the landscape. DHSVM has been applied both operationally, for streamflow prediction, and in a research capacity, to examine the effects of forest management on peak streamflow, among other things. The website is maintained to disseminate the open-source model, provide examples of model applications, and enable global use of the model to study the impacts of climate change, land use change, forest management practices, flooding, stream temperature and quality.

Related Organizations: University of Washington

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Streamflow Projections for the Western United States

May 16, 2012

The resource provides streamflow and water supply data for 195 sites in the Western United States in the form of an interactive map. These data are based on hydrologic projections at a 12 kilometer resolution covering western states. High-resolution climate/hydrologic variations and changes are depicted through global climate simulations and then downscaled. Projections for each site run from the year 1950 through 2099.

Related Organizations: Bureau of Reclamation

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Options for Improving Climate Modeling to Assist Water Utility Planning for Climate Change

December 2009

This report, which was commissioned by the Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA), considers how federal investments in the science of climate change, and in particular climate modeling, can best be directed to help improve the quality of  research so that it may be more useful to water utilities and other possible users in adapting to climate change.   It explains how climate models work, describes how some WUCA members have used climate models and downscaling to assess impacts on their systems and develop adaptation options, and makes seven initial recommendations for how climate modeling and downscaling techniques can be improved so that these tools and techniques can be more useful for the water sector.

Related Organizations: Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA), Iowa State University Climate Science Initiative, Western Water Assessment (WWA) - RISA, Stratus Consulting

Authors or Affiliated Users: Joseph Barsugli, Chris Anderson, Joel B. Smith, Jason M. Vogel

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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

May 2009

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.

Related Organizations: California Department of Water Resources

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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