Water Resources in a Changing Climate: Hydrologic Scenario Development for Long-range Planning

April 30, 2003
8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Center for Urban Horticulture
University of Washington, Seattle


Climate change is expected to have significant effects on water resources in the western United States and Canada. While specific changes will vary with location and basin type, for much of the west, warming temperatures are expected to:

• alter seasonal precipitation patterns,
• reduce winter snowpack,
• reduce the volume of spring runoff,
• shift the timing of peak spring runoff to earlier in the season, and
• reduce summer streamflows

These impacts may, in turn, affect a wide range of water resource management objectives, including municipal and industrial water supply, hydropower generation, irrigation supply, water quality, and instream flows for endangered species.

Water resource managers are now beginning to consider how climate change may impact their operations and how to best manage for those projected impacts. To support these efforts, the University of Washington's Climate Impacts Group and several western U.S. and British Columbia climate research centers hosted a one day workshop on April 30, 2003, in Seattle, Washington on interpreting and integrating climate change scenarios into long-range water resources planning.

The meeting provided participants with an overview of:

  • Observed and projected hydrologic consequences of climate change in the west,
  • New methods for incorporating climate change information in water resources planning and decision making, including a web-based tool for developing streamflow scenarios that reflect projected climate change over the next century, and
  • Case studies demonstrating the integration of climate change information into long-range water resources planning.

Discussion sessions on technical needs and key issues in climate change scenario development and planning were also scheduled.

For more details on the meeting, please review the additional links in this site or contact Lara Whitely Binder at the Climate Impacts Group.

 
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For more information, please contact:

Lara Whitely Binder
Outreach Specialist
Climate Impacts Group
University of Washington
206-616-5349