SECURE Water Act Report to Congress

2016 SECURE Water Act Report CoverSECURE Water Act Section 9503(c) — Reclamation Climate Change and Water 2016

The SECURE Water Report identifies climate change as a growing risk to Western water management and cites warmer temperatures, changes to precipitation, snowpack and the timing and quality of streamflow runoff across major river basins as threats to water sustainability. Water supply, quality and operations; hydropower; groundwater resources; flood control; recreation; and fish, wildlife and other ecological resources in the Western states remain at risk.

The report, which responds to requirements under the SECURE Water Act of 2009, shows several increased risks to western United States water resources during the 21st century. This is the second report produced for Congress. The first report was produced in 2011.

Specific projections include:

  • a temperature increase of 5-7 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century;
  • A precipitation increase over the northwestern and north-central portions of the Western U.S. and a decrease over the southwestern and south-central areas;
  • A decrease for almost all of the April 1st snowpack, a standard benchmark measurement used to project river basin runoff; and
  • a 7 to 27 percent decrease in April to July stream flow in several river basins, including the Colorado, the Rio Grande, and the San Joaquin.

SECURE Water Act Section 9503(c) — Reclamation Climate Change and Water 2016 (PDF - 12 MB)

West-Wide Climate Risk Assessments: Hydroclimate Projections (PDF - 10.78 MB)

News Release: Interior Releases Report Highlighting Impacts of Climate Change to Western Water Resources (March 22, 2016)

Last Updated: 3/22/16