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Water Sector Climate Science and Tools

This tab presents climate science and tools for understanding climate change impacts to the water sector and potential adaptation options.

Resources are automatically presented by rating, but can also be sorted by date and title. Apply additional filters to narrow the list by resource type, impact, region, state, or jurisdictional focus.

 

 

88 results are shown below.

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The Climate Explorer

July 27, 2016

Built to accompany the U. S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, the Climate Explorer offers graphs and maps of observed and projected temperature, precipitation, and related climate variables for every county in the contiguous United States. Additionally, the tool now offers hindcasts and projections for Alaskan boroughs. The Climate Explorer is designed to help local planners, residents, communities, businesses and others visualize the changing risks in their own communities in the coming decades by providing downscaled climate data and providing easy access to observed and projected temperature and precipitation data dating back to 1950 and out to 2100.

Related Organizations: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit

November 17, 2014

The U. S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, as called for in President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, is a website developed by a partnership of federal agencies and organizations led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Toolkit will enable decision-makers to take action to improve their climate resilience using data-driven tools, information, and subject-matter expertise. The comprehensive site is designed to serve interested citizens, communities, businesses, resource managers, planners, and policy leaders at all levels of government.

Related Organizations: NOAA Climate Program Office, U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Author or Affiliated User: Nina Hall

Resource Category: Adaptation Websites

 

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New York’s Expanded USGS StreamStats Tool

December 2015

The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed a web-based application that operates in conjunction with the existing StreamStats application for New York State to incorporate projected precipitation changes under various 21st century climate change scenarios. This application will allow transportation planners and engineers to explore how climate change may affect high flows, which can assist with the design of over-water infrastructure (such as culverts and bridges) to accommodate these changes.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) , U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Options for Improving Climate Modeling to Assist Water Utility Planning for Climate Change

December 2009

This report, which was commissioned by the Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA), considers how federal investments in the science of climate change, and in particular climate modeling, can best be directed to help improve the quality of  research so that it may be more useful to water utilities and other possible users in adapting to climate change.   It explains how climate models work, describes how some WUCA members have used climate models and downscaling to assess impacts on their systems and develop adaptation options, and makes seven initial recommendations for how climate modeling and downscaling techniques can be improved so that these tools and techniques can be more useful for the water sector.

Related Organizations: Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA), Iowa State University Climate Science Initiative, Western Water Assessment (WWA) - RISA, Stratus Consulting

Authors or Affiliated Users: Joseph Barsugli, Chris Anderson, Joel B. Smith, Jason M. Vogel

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments: A Review of Water Utility Practices

August 2010

The study describes the activities of eight water utilities who have conducted climate vulnerability assessments: East Bay Municipal Utility District (CA), City of Boulder Utilities Division (CO), Denver Water (CO), Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Portland Water Bureau (OR), Lower Colorado River Authority (CO), and Seattle Public Utilities (WA). This report provides a review of best practices in this emerging effort across the industry for the purpose of informing utilities considering engaging in this issue about the various methods used by their peers.

Related Organizations: Denver Water, Portland Water Bureau, Seattle Public Utilities, Stratus Consulting, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), City of Portland, Oregon

Authors or Affiliated Users: Joel B. Smith, Jason M. Vogel

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Equitable Adaptation Legal and Policy Toolkit - Georgetown Climate Center

July 29, 2020

The impacts of climate change disproportionately affect overburdened and low-income individuals and communities of color that already face significant economic and social challenges. The cumulative impacts of pollution, racism, and political and economic disenfranchisement make it difficult for these communities to withstand and recover from extreme heat, flooding, and other climate impacts. To help communities address the challenges of climate resilience and social inequality, the Georgetown Climate Center (GCC) partnered with leading experts and practitioners to develop the Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit, a comprehensive online resource to help state and local governments work with communities on climate adaptation solutions that put frontline communities first.

Related Organizations: Georgetown Climate Center

Authors or Affiliated Users: Georgetown Climate Center, Tiffany Ganthier, Lisa Hamilton, Annie Bennett, Katherine McCormick, Anne Perrault, Sara Hoverter, Sara Hoverter, Jennifer Li, Joel B. Smith, Joel B. Smith

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Colorado Future Avoided Cost Explorer (FACE:Hazards) Tool

June 2020

Colorado has advanced recovery resources, but the state's risk profile will continue to increase in the coming years. The state did not have a tool to quantify the cost of future risks, until now. The Future Avoided Cost Explorer or "FACE:Hazards" tool includes a suite of resources that will enable local decisionmakers to evaluate the costs of future risks from flooding, drought, and wildfire across seven economic sectors over different climate and population projections between today and 2050.

Related Organizations: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) Projected Scenarios

This website describes the scenarios used for the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT), a tool to help water and wastewater utilities prepare for climate change. The tool includes a map that shows projected climate change across the U. S. The map is separated into grids (roughly 32 x 32 miles). Each grid displays projections for annual total precipitation, annual average temperature, and precipitation intensity for the 100-year storm.

Related Organizations: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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