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Area 3: Make Decisions About How to Use the Climate Change Information

For description of this technical area and for the context on how this area fits into the outline of technical areas for incorporating climate change information into water resources assessments, please see our Long-term climate change research activities.

. These areas were featured in discussion of desired versus current capabilities in Addressing Climate Change in Long-Term Water Resources Planning and Management:  User Needs for Improving Tools and Information(pdf 8MB). The result from that discussion are a listing of research needs, or "gaps", under eight technical areas. After compiling this list, a process followed where relative research priorities were assigned to each gap (low, medium and high). The second and third columns of the table indicates priority ratings reflecting pooled views from Reclamation and USACE only, and pooled views from all document reviewers, respectively. The fourth column lists the research activities being supported by Reclamation's Research and Development Office associated with these gaps.

Technical Planning Steps and Associated Gaps in Tools and Information

Priority Ranking1

Activities

Reclamation/
USACE

All
Respondents

3.01 Understanding on observed climate variability from daily to multidecadal time scales, which underpins interpretation of future variability in climate projections and its relation to planning assumptions.

High

High

Directed:  Post-doctoral Resarch Support (Project 3. Precipitation Variability in the Colorado River Basin (2008-2010))

3.02 Understanding how to interpret future variability in climate projections and relevance to operating constraints on
shorter- to longer-term time scales (from
daily to multidecadal).

High

High

Directed:  Post-doctoral Resarch Support (Project 3. Precipitation Variability in the Colorado River Basin (2008-2010))

3.03 Basis for culling or weighting climate projections (if at all) when deciding which projections to use in planning.

Medium

Medium

2006-2007

6253 Assessing the Risks of Shifting Climate on Water and Power Operations in Reclamation Regions

(see publications list)

3.04 Guidance on how to appropriately relate planning assumptions to either Period-Change or Time-Developing aspects of climate projections when deciding how to use projections in planning.

Low

Medium

 

3.05 Guidance on how to jointly utilize the longer-term climate variability from observed records, paleoclimate, and projected climate information when portraying drought and surplus possibilities in planning.

Medium

High

2011
7855     Back to the Future:  Innovative Tree Ring Analysis to Reconstruct Paleoclimate and Streamflows for Improved Urban Water Planning Under Climate Change

2008
6395 Development and Comparison of Long-Term Planning Hydrologies using Alternate Climate Information Sets

(see publications list)

3.06 Method and basis for estimating extreme meteorological event possibilities, deterministically or probabilistically, in a changing climate.

High

High

Directed:  Post-doctoral Resarch Support (Project 1. Assessing the potential for changes in warm season extreme precipitation events across the Colorado Front Range in future climates)

Publications and peer review reports:

(Gap 3.03) Brekke, L.D., M.D. Dettinger, E.P. Maurer, M. Anderson (2008), ”Significance of model credibility in estimating climate projection distributions for regional hydroclimatological risk assessments,” Climatic Change, 89(3-4), 371-394. Abstract.

(Gap 3.05) Reclamation (2009) “Long-Term Planning Hydrology based on Various Blends of Instrumental Records, Paleoclimate, and Projected Climate Information,” technical report prepared by Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of Interior, 139pp. (pdf 3MB)