Hydrology and Water Resources: Current Research

Climate Change Streamflow Scenarios for Water Planning Studies



Over the past five years or so, perceptions of climate change in the water management community have changed markedly. During this time, the discussion has moved from whether climate change is “real” to how best to include information about climate change and climate uncertainty in long-range planning and risk management.

This project is designed to produce freely available streamflow scenarios for a large number of river locations throughout the Pacific Northwest (PNW) for use in “critical period” planning exercises, the most common long-range planning framework in current practice. Partnerships with two PNW planning agencies, the Northwest Power Planning Council and the Idaho Department of Water Resources, are in progress.

Research Questions

The on-line tool providing access to these climate change streamflow scenarios can be found here. Updates to the scenarios will be ongoing.

Selected References

For publications on climate impacts on PNW water resources, please see CIG Publications.

Snover, A. K., A. F. Hamlet, and D. P. Lettenmaier. 2003. Climate change scenarios for water planning studies: Pilot applications in the Pacific Northwest. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 84(11):1513-1518.

Hamlet, A. F., A. K. Snover, D. P. Lettenmaier. 2003. Climate change streamflow scenarios for critical period water planning studies: A technical methodology. ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management (in review).