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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 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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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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Denver Water Climate Change Website

Denver Water is the water utility serving the City and County of Denver, Colorado and a member of Water Utility Climate Alliance. Website presents climate-related priorities that relate to current water supply projects and integrated resource plan in response to uncertain future conditions.

Related Organizations: Denver Water, City of Denver, Colorado

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Aquarius: A Modeling System for River Basin Water Allocation

Aquarius is a software application developed by the Rocky Mountain Research Station of the U. S Forest Service and Colorado State University. The modeling system depicts the temporal and spatial allocation of water flows among competing traditional and nontraditional water uses in a river basin. The program can be used to determine economically efficient water destination strategies by systematically examining, using a nonlinear optimization technique, the feasibility of reallocating unused or marginally valuable water storage and releases in favor of alternative uses.

Related Organizations: Colorado State University, USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station

Authors or Affiliated Users: Gustavo E. Diaz, Thomas C. Brown, Oli Sveinsson

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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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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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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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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