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USGS Integrated Watershed Scale Response to Global Change in Selected Basins Across the United States

May 16, 2012

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has utilized water availability models to project local-level climate change impacts in 14 water basins. To determine the sensitivity and potential effect of long-term climate change on the freshwater resources of the U. S. , the USGS Global Change study, “An integrated watershed scale response to global change in selected basins across the United States” was started in 2008 and published its results in 2012. The long-term goal of this study is to provide the foundation for hydrologically based climate change studies across the nation.

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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

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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

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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

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Direct Potable Reuse: A Path Forward

2011

This report identifies the information and research needed to provide a basis for the feasibility of direct potable reuse (DPR), which is the introduction of purified water into a water supply distribution system or the raw water supply immediately upstream of a water treatment plant. Topics discussed include issues regarding public acceptance, engineering, economics, and regulations. Although the background information on DPR and the needed research identified in this report are applicable across the country and throughout the world, the primary focus is on providing information so that the feasibility of DPR can be evaluated in California.

Authors or Affiliated Users: George Tchobanoglous, Harold Leverenz, Margaret H. Nellor, James Crook

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Improving Drought Preparedness in the West

January 2011

The Western Governors' Association and Western States Water Council convened a series of workshops to engage constituents in evaluating progress in drought preparedness. The workshops brought together end-users of drought information from a variety of sectors, including agriculture, energy, navigation, water supply, cultural resources, and the environment.   Attendees included representatives of states, federal agencies, tribes, local governments, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.

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Charting New Waters: A Call to Action to Address U.S. Freshwater Challenges

September 2010

Based upon freshwater forums in the proceeding year, The Johnson Foundation Freshwater Summit was held June 9, 2010, at which leaders from business, non-governmental organizations, agriculture, academia, government, foundations and communities convened to develop a set of consensus recommendations to address U.S. freshwater challenges.

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Climate Adaptation and Watershed Transboundary Governance Institutions

June 2010

Because the physical circumstances determining water quality and quantity occur on a watershed level, a watershed-wide approach has become all the more imperative when the myriad effects of climate change on water quantity and quality are added to the equation. This policy brief investigates Watershed Transboundary Governing Institutions (TGIs) in order to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the different institutional approaches, governance designs and policies instruments they employ and to recommend which of these approaches, designs and practices should be incorporated in future efforts to manage watersheds.

Author or Affiliated User: Marc Landy

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Water, Climate Change, and Forests: Watershed Stewardship for a Changing Climate

June 2010

From the U. S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, this report describes the critical role of forests in protecting watersheds from the impacts of climate change. The report details the pressures on forests, including growing human populations and problems posed by climate change, from warmer temperatures to invasive species. Climate adaptation strategies are discussed for forest and watershed management, many in the context of hydrological impacts, engagement and collaboration, and ecosystem restoration.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Michael J. Furniss, Brian P. Staab, Sherry Hazelhurst, Caty F. Clifton, Ken B. Roby, Bonnie L. Ilhardt, Elizabeth B. Larry, Albert H. Todd, Leslie M. Reid, Sarah J. Hines, Karen A. Bennett, Charlie H. Luce, Pamela J. Edwards

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Arizona Water Meter - A Comparison of Water Conservation Programs in 15 Arizona Communities

October 2010

In response to climate change and other factors that increase competition and reduce availability of water in Arizona, Western Resource Advocates' Arizona Water Meter report highlights the water conservation programs of 15 diverse Arizona communities and evaluates their programs by seven important water conservation criteria: 1) minimizing per capita water use; 2) water rate structures that encourage wise water use; 3) community-based water conservation programs; 4) conservation ordinances; 5) funding for conservation programs; 6) stemming system water loss; and 7) effluent reuse.

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