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Managing an Uncertain Future: Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for California's Water

October 2008

This report recommends a series of adaptation strategies for state and local water managers to improve their capacity to handle climatic changes. The 10 climate change adaptation strategies for California's water outlined in this report fall under four major categories: investment strategies, regional strategies, statewide strategies, and improving management and decision-making capacity. The report also includes helpful tools for policy makers like a model water-efficient landscape ordinance.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Climate Change and Water Resources Management - A Federal Perspective: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1331

2009

This interagency report details a methodology to improve water management in a changing climate, with applicability to federal, state and local water resource managers. Three core areas discussed include: 1) tracking climate change impacts (e. g. monitoring networks, trend analysis); 2) anticipating impacts for decision making in long-range planning (e. g. modeling approaches, futures scenario planning, incorporating climate projections in current plans); and 3) responding with adaptation options (e.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Levi D. Brekke, Julie E. Kiang, J. Rolf Olsen, Roger S. Pulwarty, David A. Raff, D. Phil Turnipseed, Robert S. Webb, Kathleen D. White

Resource Category: Planning

 

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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.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Ellen Hanak, Jay Lund

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.

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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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.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Climate Change Impacts on Water Management in the Puget Sound Region, Washington, USA

2009

This report presents historical observations and reliability analyses for planning by water utilities in the Puget Sound basin cities of Everett, Seattle, and Tacoma. By comparing changes in streamflow and snowpack and forecasting hydrological changes, this paper reviews the potential of the region's water supply systems to meet future demands. Each of the three water supply systems were analyzed, and water management models for each city are described. The models are then used to explore - without adaptations - the climate resiliency of the three systems over the next century, and the projected changes in water demand.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Julie A. Vano, Nathalie Voisin, Lan Cuo, Alan F. Hamlet, Marketa McGuire Elsner, Richard N. Palmer, Austin Polebitski, Dennis P. Lettenmaier

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Water Needs and Strategies for a Sustainable Future: Next Steps

June 2008

This report, along with the 2006 report, "Water Needs and Strategies for a Sustainable Future," and the 2010 report, "Water Needs and Strategies for a Sustainable Future: 2010 Progress Report," include consensus recommendations for how the Western states can work with federal, local, and private sector partners to address the challenges of over-appropriated watersheds, population growth, land use changes, water needs for in-stream uses, and of water supply and water management strategies in general.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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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.

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

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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A Sustainable Path: Meeting Nevada's Water and Energy Demands

2008

In this report, Western Resource Advocates (WRA) assess future water demands for municipal water use, agricultural water use, and water use in electricity generation for Nevada. Under several scenarios, the water demands in each sector are projected for 2015 and 2030. The scenarios developed include alternate scenarios that demonstrate the positive impact of water use efficiency, energy efficiency, and renewable sources of energy. 

Authors or Affiliated Users: Stacy Tellinghuisen, David Berry, Bart Miller, Taryn Hutchins-Cabibi, Charles Benjamin, Nicole Theerasatiankul

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Water Supply and Stress Index Model (WaSSI)

2008

WaSSI is a tool that models historical, current, and future watershed stress for a particular zip code by comparing water supply and demand. Planners can select which of two climate models to use (HadCM2SuL - warm & wet; or CGC1 - hot & dry) to assess possible effects on supply and stress created by climate change under these scenarios. WaSSI uses historical USGS or state water bureau data to estimate past demand; future demand and supply scenarios are based on modeled changes in land use, land management, population, and climate change.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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