Return to CIG


View All Publications

Go To Publication by Year:

View Publications by Topic:



Air Quality

Aquatic Ecosystems and Fisheries

Background Papers

Climate: Atmospheric Modeling

Climate: Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Modeling

Climate: Diagnostics

Climate: Global Climate

Climate: Ocean Modeling

Climate: PNW Climate

Climate: Regional Climate Modeling

Coastal Ecosystems

Coastal Environments

Conservation Biology

Data Analysis and Sharing


Fact Sheets

Forecasts and Applications

Forest Ecosystems

Human Health

Hydrology and Water Resources


Integrated Assessment

Ocean Acidification


Program Documents

Science Advisory Reports

Societal Dimensions

Special Reports

Theses and Dissertations

View Publications by Author:

Search the Publication Abstracts:

Other CSES Links:

About CSES

CSES Personnel

Data / Links


Welcome to the publications directory for the Climate Impacts Group and the Climate Dynamics Group. Please contact the web administrator for assistance with any of these publications.

View: Abstract

Analysis techniques to incorporate climate change information into Seattle's long range water supply planning

Wiley, M.W. 2004. Analysis techniques to incorporate climate change information into Seattle's long range water supply planning. M.S.C.E. thesis, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle.


The preponderance of evidence in the scientific community supports the theory that global climate is changing. The effect of climate change on natural and man-made systems remains less certain. Municipal water supplies, particularly those that rely on summer snow-melt to augment storage capacity, are at risk of significant changes from the historic streamflow regime to which they have become accustomed.

There are few standardized methods established for assessing the impacts of climate change to municipal water supplies. Frederick and Gleick (1999) propose evaluating climate change impacts on water resources using a three stage modeling approach: General Circulation Models (GCMs) to simulate global climate, basin scale hydrology models, and water resource system simulation models. This research explores an application of the Frederick and Gleick method to the water supply system for the city of Seattle, Washington. Specific attention is given to the techniques necessary for downscaling climate data from the global scale to the basin scale and to the uncertainties associated with each step of the modeling sequence.

The greatest source of uncertainty in the modeling process arises from the wide range of future scenarios produced by GCMs. This uncertainty is addressed by incorporating multiple climate models at every stage of the process and using the range of values produced to generate an ensemble average that quantifies the most likely impact. The ensemble average is bracketed by an uncertainty envelope based on the range and spread of the individual GCM ensemble members.