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A Framework for Regulatory Transition: Accommodating Projected Climatic Shifts at the Operational Level - California

October 2012

This briefing paper provides an overview of California's current hydrology and water management practices, the shifts in the state’s hydrology due to climate change, and the changes in the water resources regulatory framework that are needed to adapt. The current regulatory framework described is based on the premise that the hydrological baseline, with accepted levels of year to year and seasonal variability in water flows, is a constant. California's hydrology is being altered by climate change, and the effects are predicted to become even more pronounced over the next several decades, altering this baseline.

Author or Affiliated User: Robert Shibatani

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Bureau of Reclamation - Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study

December 2012

The U. S. Bureau of Reclamation's Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study (2010 - 2012) was focused on defining current and future imbalances between water supply and demand in the Colorado River Basin and surrounding areas, with plans to develop and analyze adaptation and mitigation strategies in an effort to resolve these imbalances.  The Study recognizes that climate change and future climate variability will introduce uncertainty into water supply analysis. Its researchers developed their scenarios to account for this uncertainty.

Related Organizations: Bureau of Reclamation

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Ready or Not: An Evaluation of State Climate and Water Preparedness Planning

April 2012

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has evaluated how each state in the U.S. is preparing for water related climate impacts, and shares the results in this comprehensive report.  The findings differentiate the best prepared and most engaged states on climate change preparedness issues from those that are largely unprepared and "lagging behind."

Related Organizations: Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Ben Chou, Jenna Schroeder

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Adapting to Climate Change: The Potential Role of State Common-Law Public Trust Doctrines

September 17, 2011

This article from the Vermont Law Review demonstrates that water law can provide a legal mechanism for climate change adaptation. Specifically, the article agues that within water law, state public trust doctrines can provide legal support for climate change adaptation regimes.

Related Organizations: Vermont Law Review, Florida State University College of Law

Author or Affiliated User: Robert Kundis Craig

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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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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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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