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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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Climate Ready Estuaries 2012 Progress Report

January 2013

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Climate Ready Estuaries (CRE) program supports climate change adaptation activities in the National Estuary Programs (NEPs) and the coastal management community. In 2008–2011, CRE sponsored 31 projects with 19 different NEPs. In 2012, CRE supported another 6  projects, including work with 4 new NEPs.

Resource Category: Monitoring and Reporting

 

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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.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Permitting Green Infrastructure: A guide to improving municipal stormwater permits and protecting water quality

January 2013

Permitting Green Infrastructure provides information about sustainable and adaptive trends in stormwater permitting with examples of stormwater permits that encourage or require low impact development or green infrastructure. While useful to the professional community, the guide is intended to be a resource for community and watershed advocates. 

Author or Affiliated User: Jeffrey Odefey

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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BASINS (Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Non-point Sources)

2013

BASINS is a multi-purpose environmental analysis system that integrates a geographical information system (GIS), national watershed data, and state-of-the-art environmental assessment and modeling tools into one tool. Developed for use by EPA, state, tribal, and local agencies, BASINS provides an integrated watershed assessment and modeling framework, and supports the analysis of point and non-point source management alternatives. The Climate Assessment Tool within BASINS assesses potential impacts of a changing climate on stream flows and pollutant loads.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Innovative Approaches for Adapting to Water Variability in the West

May 2012

This brief reviews three approaches that communities are pursuing to adapt to climate change:

  • New Mexico's Active Water Resource Management program, which put rules into place that allow for temporary water use changes in real time in case of drought.
  • The Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA), which was founded by water managers concerned by a gap in climate assessment and adaptation science needed to support their decisions.
  • Colorado's Joint Front Range Climate Change Vulnerability Study, which brings together the state and water utilities to assess climate change's impact on local water availability.

Author or Affiliated User: Sarah Cottrell Propst

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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."

Authors or Affiliated Users: Ben Chou, Jenna Schroeder

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Thirsty for Answers: Preparing for the Water-related Impacts of Climate Change in American Cities

August 2011

In this report the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has compiled local and regional research findings about the water-related impacts of climate change in 12 U. S. cities. NRDC examined more than 75 scientific studies, as well as data and reports generated by government agencies and nonprofit organizations. The report makes clear that some of the most profound effects of climate change are water-related, such as sea-level rise, increased rain and storms, flooding, and drought, and that these kinds of events are likely to increase in the coming years as a result of climate change.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Mark Dorfman, Michelle Mehta, Ben Chou, Steve Fleischli, Kirsten Sinclair Rosselot

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Development of an Adaptation Toolbox to Protect Southeast Florida Water Supplies from Climate Change

October 14, 2011

This project was performed to create a toolbox of options that southeast Florida utilities could pursue to meet water management needs, as well as the toolbox may have wider application to other coastal communities. This paper creates the connection between sustainable water supplies and Everglades restoration, outlines potential effects of sea level rise scenarios for coastal southeast Florida, and provides the toolbox of adaptation options for water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities.   Also included are milestones to trigger infrastructure investments, as climate changes may occur more rapidly or more slowly than currently projected.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Frederick Bloetscher, Barry Heimlich, Daniel E. Meeroff

Resource Category: Planning

 

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National Action Plan - Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate

October 2011

In October 2010, the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force published a Progress Report to the President describing Federal agency actions needed to better prepare the Nation to respond to the impacts of a changing climate. The Progress Report directed the Task Force’s Water Resources and Climate Change Adaptation Workgroup to lead the development of a national action plan to identify steps that Federal agencies can take to improve management of freshwater resources in a changing climate.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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