Evaluating the Relevance, Credibility, and Applicability of CMIP5 Climate Projections for Water Resources and Environmental Planning
Water resources planning and management often focus on reducing the impacts of hydrologic variability and extremes such as droughts and floods. To meet these objectives, water resources planning studies routinely consider hydrologic variability and extremes on timescales ranging from days to decades. Because weather and climate are two primary drivers of hydrologic variability on a continuous time-scale, these studies also consider—implicitly or explicitly— variability and extremes in precipitation, temperature, and other climate variables that impact hydrologic conditions and water supplies and demands.
Need and Benefit
Water resources planning has traditionally relied on historical observations as the basis for characterizing the likely range of future climate and hydrologic conditions. Similarly, historical observations, in combination with assumptions regarding future population and economic growth, served as the basis for projecting future water supplies and demands. A vast amount of research over the past two decades, however, has demonstrated that climate change is altering, and will continue to alter, climate and hydrology across the globe. This research suggests that historical observations are not sufficient to characterize the potential range of climate and hydrologic conditions over future decades. In response, numerous federal and state agencies have adopted guidelines, directives, and mandates that require consideration of climate change in long-term water resources and environmental planning.
Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.
Bureau of Reclamation Review
The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.
Evaluating the Relevance, Credibility, and Applicability of CMIP5 Climate Projections for Water Resources and Environmental Planning (final, PDF, 17.2MB)
By Ian Ferguson
Publication completed on September 30, 2016