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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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Assessing Reservoir Operations Risk Under Climate Change

April 11, 2009

A collaborative effort of the Bureau of Reclamation, USGS, USACE, and the California Dept. of Water Resources, this paper presents a flexible methodology for conducting climate change risk assessments involving reservoir operations.   The risk-based framework described in this paper provides a new context for climate change assessments. It is a flexible framework that advances methods for assessing scenario-impacts and/or characterizing uncertainties about projection scenarios or associated impacts.

Related Organizations: Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), California Department of Water Resources, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Levi D. Brekke, Edwin P. Maurer, Jamie D. Anderson, Michael D. Dettinger, Edwin S. Townsley, Alan Harrison, Tom Pruitt

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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USGCRP Global Climate Change Impacts in the U.S. - Water Resources

June 2009

This report is one of seven sector-specific chapters from the United States Global Change Research Program's comprehensive 2009 National Climate Assessment, "Global Climate Change Impacts in the U. S. "  The 'Water Resources' chapter synthesizes current and projected impacts to the U. S. water cycle from climate change. Changes to the water cycle identified in the report include: changes in precipitation patterns and intensity, changes in the incidence of drought, widespread melting of snow and ice, increasing atmospheric water vapor, increasing evaporation, increasing water temperatures, reductions in lake and river ice, and changes in soil moisture and runoff.

Related Organizations: U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Cooperative Water Program

The U.S.Geological Survey (USGS) Cooperative Water Program is an ongoing partnership between the USGS and non-federal agencies to fund water-resources projects in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and several other U.S. Trust territories.

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

Resource Category: Funding

 

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The Unusual Nature of Recent Snowpack Declines in the North American Cordillera

June 9, 2011

This report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) analyzes late-20th century snowpack reductions data to support findings that snowpack in the Western regions of North America has been declining since 1950. The data suggests that snowpack declines in the Rocky Mountains over the last 30 years are unusual compared to the past few centuries.

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

Authors or Affiliated Users: Greg Pederson, Stephen Gray, Connie Woodhouse, Lisa Graumlich, Daniel B. Fagre, Julio Betancourt, Jeremy Littell, Brian Luckman, Emma Watson, Dave Meko, Troy Knight

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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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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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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Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) 3.0

This risk assessment tool assists drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utility owners and operators in understanding potential climate change impacts to the water sector; assessing related risks at their utilities; and evaluating adaptation options. CREAT allows users to perform these analyses using scenario-based decision making in multiple time periods using pre-loaded data and downscaled local climate information.  CREAT can support utilities in initiating adaptation planning and provides suggested customizable adaptation strategies that can be implemented at the user’s utility.

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

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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California Department of Water Resources Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Climate Change Document Clearinghouse

June 14, 2010

The Department of Water Resources' IRWM planning guidelines require the inclusion of climate change considerations in IRWM planning analyses. In an effort to assist Integrated Resources Water Management (IRWM) practitioners, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) developed a listing of climate change documents relevant to IRWM planning.

Related Organizations: California Department of Water Resources

Resource Category: Planning

 

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New York City Green Infrastructure Grant Program

2016

New York City’s Green Infrastructure Program is a multi-agency effort led by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The NYC DEP offers a green infrastructure grant program for private property owners in combined sewer areas of New York City. The program provides funding for green infrastructure projects that manage the first inch of rainfall, including blue roofs, rain gardens, green roofs, porous pavement and rainwater harvesting. Private property owners in combined sewer areas are eligible for the grants of up to $5 million.

Related Organizations: New York City Department of Environmental Protection, City of New York, New York

Resource Category: Funding

 

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