Richard Slaughter and Don Reading
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Water and economic effects of climate change in the Snake Basin
This session reports on the Snake Basin Impact Model, developed to examine climate change impacts on water demand, irrigated
agriculture, and local economies in the Snake Basin in Idaho. Irrigated agriculture and aquaculture together account for 98.6% of
water withdrawals in southern Idaho (13.3 million acre feet, or MAF, in 2005), and approximately 95% of consumptive use (4 MAF in 2005). Total
withdrawals are over three times annual flow above Milner, and some 65% greater than annual flow at Murphy, below the Thousand Springs.
During the summer, almost all surface water for all uses below Milner consists of return flows and outflow from the Eastern Snake Plain
Aquifer. The model is being developed to examine the effects of climate change on irrigation and other supply. Climate and hydrologic input is from
the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model of the Climate Impacts Group.
Richard Slaughter and Don Reading are consulting economists with the Climate Impacts Group. Richard and Don are based in Boise, Idaho.