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

Policy implications of climate forecasts for water resources management in the Pacific Northwest

Callahan, B.M., E.L. Miles, and D.L. Fluharty. 1999. Policy implications of climate forecasts for water resources management in the Pacific Northwest. Policy Sciences 32:269-293.


The Columbia River Basin management system suffers from conflicts over water use and allocation, and vulnerability to climate variability that disrupt hydropower, fisheries, irrigation, water supply, and other vital activities. Climate forecasts have the potential to improve water resource management in this system supporting management decisions that decrease its vulnerability to droughts, floods, and other crises related to climate variability.

This study shows that despite the potential utility, managers do not use climate forecasts except for background information. The barriers to managers' use of climate forecasts include low forecast skill, lack o interpretation and demonstrated applications, low geographic resolution, inadequate links to climate variability related impacts, and institutional aversion to incorporating new tools into decision making. To realize the potential of climate forecasts for water resources management, we recommend strategies that include technical improvements to the forecast products, and joint efforts between forecast producers and the management community to develop and demonstrate climate forecast applications through reciprocal and iterative education.