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Implications of Climate Change for Urban Water Utilities

December 2007

This paper explains in high-level terms climate change processes and effects to urban water utilities, and considers the issues involved in developing suitable water sector responses. Two adaptation strategies to reduce or avoid impacts of climate change are discussed -  vulnerability analysis and integrated response planning. Mitigation strategies that utilities could adopt to reduce their operation's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions are mentioned. .

Authors or Affiliated Users: John E. Cromwell, Joel B. Smith, Robert S. Raucher

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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City of Tucson, Arizona 2008 Update to Water Plan: 2000-2050

2008

Tucson, Arizona's Water Plan: 2000-2050 was issued by the City of Tucson's Water Department (Tucson Water) in 2004. In this 2008 update, the substantive issues and challenges to ensuring a secure water future remain largely the same (they are detailed in the 2004 Water Plan). However, the planning time frames within which to address these challenges have changed and are discussed in this update. This update also accounts for revised population projections that have since been developed, an increase in the city's Central Arizona Project allocation, and changed planning assumptions and priorities that evolved in the last three years.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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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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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. 

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Urban Drought Guidebook 2008 Updated Edition

2008

Updated in 2008, the focus of the guide is to provide water managers a step-by-step process to anticipate and respond to potentially severe drought and other water shortages. Examples of well-conceived and executed plans in California and other parts of the country are provided to illustrate recommendations whenever possible. It also demonstrates that successful programs are commonly the result of a cooperative effort between water suppliers and their customers. This guidebook presents examples of efforts by water suppliers throughout the United States, along with a wide array of approaches to address variable water supply and demand scenarios throughout the state.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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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.

Resource Category: Monitoring and Reporting

 

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City of New York Climate Change Assessment and Action Plan (NYC Department of Environmental Protection)

May 2008

This report summarizes analysis and actions that address New York City's drinking water delivery, storm water management, and waste water treatment systems. It presents the steps that the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has taken over the last four years (2004-2008) to address climate change, including efforts to assess the impacts of climate change on NYC's water systems, and identifies opportunities for meaningful changes to water management. The report includes the findings and recommendations to date of DEP's Climate Change Program and Task Force and the immediate actions that the DEP has committed to undertaking to manage climate impacts.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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