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More Information:

Climate Change and Water Working Group


Reclamation's Climate Change Announcements

WaterSMART Basin Studies

WaterSMART: West-wide Climate Risk Assessments

Research Publications

Cover of Information Required for Short-Term Water Management Decisions Interagency Report Published on Information Required for Short-Term Water Management Decisions
Adapting to future climate change impacts requires capabilities in hydroclimate monitoring, short-term prediction and application of such information to support contemporary water management decisions. These needs were identified in a report, "Short-Term Water Management Decisions: User Needs for Improved Climate, Weather, and Hydrologic Information," published by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (News release and report links)

Cover of Addressing Climate Change in Long-Term Water Resources Planning and Management:  User Needs for Improving Tools and Information Addressing Climate Change in Long-Term Water Resources Planning and Management: User Needs for Improving Tools and Information.
This interagency report identifies the needs of local, State, and Federal water management agencies for climate change information and tools to support long-term planning. (Report links)

Climate Change Literature Synthesis Third Edition

Literature synthesisThird Edition of the Literature Synthesis on Climate Change Implications for Water and Environmental Resources
This report supports long-term water resources planning with region-specific climate change information, summarizing recent literature on the current and projected effects of climate change on hydrology and water resources. This report contains information surveyed through 2012. It was assembled by Reclamation and was subjected to external review by staff from each of the five National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments centers in the western U.S. Through this program, Reclamation works in partnership with entities to develop more cost-effective and efficient ways to desalinate water. (News release and report).

Climate Change and Variability Research

Climate variability involves fluctuations in weather and climatic conditions during the coming months, years, and decades. Climate change involves a shift in the envelope of climatic variations, usually measured over a span of several decades. Incorporating information on long-term change and short-term climate variability into Reclamation's water resource management infrastructure and operations is critical. The improved ability to forecast and use climate change and variability information would greatly enhance the ability of water managers and water users to plan their short-term operations and water delivery. Climate information influences:
  • Resource management strategies to effectively deliver water
  • Hydrologic hazard possibilities to reduce flood risk

Second Annual Progress Meeting on Reclamation Climate and Hydrology Research

Photo of Progress Meeting
This workshop helped exchange information about collaborative CCAWWG research projects addressing climate impacts on hydrology and water resources. This resesarch addresses climate change and variability impacts, flood hydrology, snow observations, and hydrologic prediction. Reclamation hosted this workshop, and more than 100 people attended a workshop (both in person and remotely). Day one focused on impacts from short-term climate variability from floods to droughts. Day two focused on long-term impacts under climate change.

Fall 2013 The Knowledge Stream: Climate Issue

Front and back cover of the Fall 2013 The Knowledge Stream: Climate Issue
Scientists have warned us that a warming atmosphere can lead to longer and more intense droughts. But they have also said that a warmer atmosphere carries more water, potentially producing more intense rainfall. Can we really expect declining snowpack, longer droughts, AND more extreme storms in the West? This Fall 2013 edition of the Knowledge Stream describes Reclamation's dynamic collaboration with climate scientists and water managers from many agencies to help answer these questions and better manage our water projects in the face of changing climate averages and climate extremes.

Providing Climate Analysis Training for Water Planning Professionals

Screenshot from COMET training website

Reclamation helped developed a pilot training program with online course for self-paced training and a set of subsequent residence courses where students will apply what they learned through the online training. Reclamation is working with the Climate Change and Water Working Group and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) COMET Program and Western Water Assessment. This collaborative effort has announced the first product: Preparing Hydro-Climate Inputs for Climate Change in Water Resource Planning, an online course focused on preparing hydro-climate model inputs to water resources planning.


COMET Program Videos

Dr. Subhrendu Gangopadhyay photo from video.
The COMET Program is pleased to announce the publication of two new videos to help water resources practitioners use the Climate and Hydrology Projections website in planning for climate change impacts. The result of a collaboration between several federal and non-federal partners, this website provides access to downscaled climate and hydrology projections for the contiguous United States and parts of Canada and Mexico, derived from contemporary global climate models. In the first video, Dr. Subhrendu Gangopadhyay, hydrologic engineer at the Bureau of Reclamation's Technical Service Center in Denver, introduces the website and provides an overview of the MetEd lesson Preparing Hydro-climate Inputs for Climate Change in Water Resources Planning. This lesson provides necessary background information needed to use the projections site effectively to retrieve climate and hydrology projectionsdata for impacts analysis. In the second video, Dr. Gangopadhyay steps through the process of retrieving projections data using the website. MetEd provides additional information and a link to view these videos: An Introduction to the Downscaled Climate and Hydrology Projections Website.


Future Climate and Hydrology Data for Water Managers

Screenshot of Climate Change Projections website Reclamation and collaborators developed new downscaled climate projections that allow water managers to incorporate the new Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 5 data from the World Climate Research Program into their water management planning. Reclamation, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Santa Clara University, Climate Central, Climate Analytics Group, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers collaboratively develop and maintain data content and website services. You can learn how to use this tool here.