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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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Green Infrastructure for Los Angeles: Addressing Urban Runoff and Water Supply through Low Impact Development

April 17, 2009

This report was designed to help the City of Los Angeles use low impact development (LID) techniques to address water quality, flood control, and climate change issues. LID is a strategy for managing stormwater runoff that uses natural drainage features to capture and filter urban runoff. From an environmental standpoint, LID reduces water pollution, replenishes aquifers, and encourages water reuse. From an adaptation standpoint, LID reduces stress on water supply and can provide shade trees, helping to reduce urban heat islands.

Related Organizations: City of Los Angeles, California

Author or Affiliated User: Haan-Fawn Chau

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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A Sustainable Path: Meeting Future Water and Energy Demands in the Arkansas River Basin - Executive Summary

2009

This Executive Summary outlines strategies for municipalities and the energy sector within the Arkansas River Basin to meet growing water use demands while conserving the Basin’s natural resources. The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River which traverses Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's initial basin starts in Colorado, specifically the Arkansas River Valley, where the headwaters derive from the snowpack in the Collegiate Peaks.

Related Organizations: Western Resource Advocates (WRA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Implications of 21st Century Climate Change for the Hydrology of Washington State

2009

This report is part 1 of Chapter 3 of the Washington Climate Change Impacts Assessment (see separate entry), focusing on water resource impacts for the state. Parts 2 and 3 of this chapter focus on the Puget Sound and the Yakima River Basin respectively. Based on results from 39 global simulations performed for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR4) projections, this report presents downscaled model findings and the implications on the hydrology of the Pacific Northwest.

Related Organizations: Climate Impacts Group (CIG)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Marketa M Elsner, Lan Cuo, Nathalie Voisin, Jeffrey S Deems, Alan F Hamlet, Julie A Vano, Kristian EB Mickelson, Se-Yeun Lee, Dennis P. Lettenmaier

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Climate Change Impacts on Water Management and Irrigated Agriculture in the Yakima River Basin, Washington, USA

2009

Utilizing a multi-model ensemble approach of downscaled climate model projections, hydrologic modeling, and water management models, this report presents results for changes in reservoir levels and snow pack in the Yakima River basin and resulting impacts to irrigated agriculture in the basin. The paper presents the analysis of  hydrological conditions and how climate change is projected to impact water supply for water users with junior water rights and - in the extreme years - users with senior water rights throughout the basin.

Related Organizations: Climate Impacts Group (CIG)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Julie A. Vano, Michael Scott, Nathalie Voisin, Claudio O. Stockle, Alan F. Hamlet, Kristian E. B. Mickelson, Marketa McGuire Elsner, Dennis P. Lettenmaier

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Adapting California's Water Management to Climate Change

November 2008

This report outlines concerns for climate change impacts as they will effect California with possible sea level rise, shifting mountain runoff from Spring to Winter, changes in precipitation and runoff volume, drought, high stream and reservoir temperatures, increased water demands, and increased flood flows and frequencies. Options and costs for adaptations to climate change are outlined for water supply, flood management, hydro-power, and water quality. Institutional capacities and constraints to adaptation in water supply management, flood management, and water quality management are described and addressed with methods to improve adaptation capacities.

Related Organizations: Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Ellen Hanak, Jay Lund

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Climate Change Effects on Stream and River Biological Indicators: A Preliminary Analysis (Final Report)

March 2008

The Clean Water Act mandates that states assess the biological, chemical, and physical condition of their aquatic resources using biological indicators that compare reference and non-reference sites to measure condition. The Office of Water developed guidance documents for establishing biocriteria in rivers and streams, lakes, estuaries, and wetlands, and is developing biocriteria for coral reefs. Climate change is projected to affect aquatic ecosystems through changes in water temperature, hydrological cycles, and degree days.

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

Resource Category: Monitoring and Reporting

 

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Stationarity is Dead: Whither Water Management?

February 1, 2008

Published in the journal 'Science,' this article argues that the current concept of stationarity - the idea that natural systems fluctuate within an unchanging envelope of variability - is made obsolete in water management practices by anthropogenic climate change. The article recommends that the analytic strategies used for planning future investments be updated.

Authors or Affiliated Users: P. C. D. Milly, Julio Betancourt, Malin Falkenmark, Robert M. Hirsch, Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz, Dennis P. Lettenmaier, Ronald J. Stouffer

Resource Category: Planning

 

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

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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