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Area 5: Assess Socioeconomic and Institutional Response

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




5.01 Understanding how socioeconomic factors may affect flood risk reduction and reservoir regulation objectives in a changing climate (e.g., flood protection values, land management).




5.02 Understanding how socioeconomic factors may affect water and power delivery reliability, water allocations, as well as decisions on source of supply under a changing climate (e.g., groundwater
pumping versus surface water diversion).




5.03 Understanding how institutional
realities currently control socioeconomic responses to climate variability and could control socioeconomic responses under a changing climate.