Climate Change and Variability Program Approach
Incorporating information on long-term climate change and short-term climate variability into Reclamation's water resource management infrastructure and operations is critical. Climate change involves a shift in the envelope of climatic variations, usually measured over a span of several decades. Climate variability involves fluctuations in weather and climatic conditions during the coming days to years. Improving our 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 Change and Variability (CCV) research is one of several priority areas in Reclamation's Science and Technology Program. Since 2011, the Science and Technology Program has provided 1.5 to 2 million dollars annually and leveraged resources from other agencies to support various projects designed to improve knowledge, methods, and tools in the area of CCV. Investing in CCV efforts includes:
- Collaborative research roadmapping with Federal and non-Federal water science and management agencies to identify science gaps and priorities.
- Annual calls for CCV proposals from Reclamation principal investigators through
the Science and Technology Program Call for Proposals (i.e., competed research).
- Annual engagement with external research collaborators to support research that addresses high-priority science gaps that are underrepresented in the proposals submitted through the Science and Technology Program Call for Proposals (i.e., directed research).
- Periodic meetings with science providers and users to take stock in research
accomplishments and update menu of gaps and priorities.
Two CCAWWG-sponsored needs assessments currently frame Reclamation's CCV science investment priorities:
- Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 2011. Addressing Climate Change in Long-Term Water Resources
Planning and Management: User Needs for Improving Tools and Information. Authored contributions from other
Federal, non-Federal, and non-government entities. (Report links)
- Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 2013. Short-Term Water Management Decisions: User Needs for Improved Climate, Weather, and Hydrologic Information. Authored contributions from other Federal, non-Federal, and non-government entities. (News release and report links)