|Home CCSP Workshop, November 2005 Abstracts Session 4: Water Management: Application of Climate Science (WA), Sub-Theme 2: Climate-Related Decision Support for Water Allocation Use|
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Now available in PDF format: Abstract Book [7.4 Mb] (posted 10 November 2005)
Abstracts for Speakers: Session 4
Water Management: Application of Climate Science (WA)
Sub-Theme 2: Climate-Related Decision Support for Water Allocation Use
A RISA Success Story-The Southeast Climate Consortium
James J. O'Brien, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, Jim.email@example.com
The Southeast Climate Consortium (SECC) is composed of scientists from the University of Miami, the University of Florida, Florida State University, the University of Georgia, Auburn University, and the University of Alabama, Huntsville. We provide decision support tools for agriculture, water, and fisheries. Visit agclimate.org or coastalclimate.org to test our products. We work closely with extension in the 3 states. We provide climate forecasts of superior quality for our designated sectors.
Users Making Decisions for Water Allocation
Eric Kuhn, Colorado River Water Conservation District, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bureau of Reclamation, United States Department of the Interior, is currently undertaking the development of shortage criteria for the operation of Lake Mead. These criteria will be used by the Secretary of the Interior to determine when future water supply shortages will be declared and how shortages will be allocated among users of Colorado River water on the mainstem of the Colorado River below Lake Mead. Associated with the development of shortage criteria, Reclamation will also consider options to better coordinate or conjunctively manage Lake Mead and Lake Powell.
The principal modeling tool for analyzing the various shortage criteria options and reservoir conjunctive use options is the Colorado River model operated and maintained by Reclamation. The Reclamation model uses a hydrologic period of record of 1906 to 1995, which may be extended to 2000 or 2002 in the near future.
A fundamental assumption of most water management agencies within the Colorado River Basin is that the future will look like the past. The probability of hydrologic events such as droughts and basic hydrologic data such as river basin mean flows will continue on into the future. Is this a reasonable assumption? Can the process be improved in one of three basic ways?
Walking the Talk: RISA Drought Insights for CCSP
Gregg Garfin, CLIMAS - Climate Assessment for the Southwest, email@example.com
Greg Carbone, CISA - Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments
Dan Cayan, CAP - California Applications Program
Keith Ingram, SECC - Southeast Climate Consortium
Philip Mote, PNW-CIG – Pacific Northwest Climate Impacts Group
Eileen Shea, Pacific RISA
Brad Udall, WWA - Western Water Assessment
Recent severe and sustained drought in the United States has awakened decision-makers, including legislators and resource managers, to the impacts of climate variability and change on society and the environment. Drought impacts on water supplies, agriculture, and timber resources vividly illustrate society's vulnerability to climate changes. At the same time, climate sciences are making great strides in producing knowledge that could aid decision-makers in dealing with drought and its many impacts. This presentation, from NOAA's Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program, gives key findings and illustrations of effective drought-related decision support and stakeholder engagement relevant to the nation's Climate Change Science Program.
As drought evolved and impacts intensified to include large fires, dramatic water supply decreases, and rangeland desiccation, the RISAs noted increased decision maker requests for long-range (seasonal-to-decadal) forecasts, as well as requests for improved information on climate variability, including paleoclimate records of drought and streamflow. Stakeholders requested guidance on climate information and products that could inform their decisions, interpretations of climate forecasts and assessments of their reliability, and background on the caveats to consider when applying drought-related data for decision making. Indeed, many stakeholders now view drought impacts as analogous to possible impacts of climate change or multidecadal climate variations. To evaluate outcomes, RISAs recommend metrics such as the number and frequency of quality stakeholder interactions, increased demand for climate information or briefings, enhanced complexity of questions, development of further collaborative research, and improved preparedness.
This presentation will draw specific lessons for CCSP from RISA drought investigations, including the following illustrations: (a) establishing a solid foundation of two-way knowledge exchange between climate scientists and state agencies to insert climate science in state drought planning, including development of science-based triggers for mitigation policy and emergency response actions; (b) collaborating with cooperative extension to deliver climate science to rural stakeholders for community drought planning, agricultural decision making, and resource management planning through
coordinated outreach, workshops, and decision-support tools; (c) fostering iterative, sustained partnerships with fire managers to develop climate
Robust Adaptation Decisions amid Climate Change Uncertainties
Suraje Dessai, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and University of East Anglia, UK, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Hulme, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and University of East Anglia, UK
This presentation deals with the sensitivity of water supply decisions to various uncertainties associated with climate change (e.g., emissions of greenhouse gases, climate sensitivity, global climate models, regional climate models). The setting is in the East of England, in the UK, the driest region in the country where climate change could exacerbate drought-like conditions. UK water companies have to plan for the next 25 years and decide what actions they will take in order to maintain security of supply. They currently take into account climate change by using climate change
Our role in the decision-support process has not been as purely a "user" or a "producer" of climate information. Our role could be better described as an observer or facilitator in the interface between "user" and "producer." We have been "producers" of climate information because we have used publicly available climate data to quantify uncertainties in climate change scenarios. This has been done using a combination of a simple climate model and various global and regional climate models. We also interacted with numerous "users" to elicit what adaptation options they were considering.
The presentation will introduce a number of topics such as the type of information decision makers want; use of scientific information (in particular models and their results) to support decision-making; participatory approaches; communicating uncertainty; and methods and metrics to evaluate
outcomes. In order to support their decision-making, water companies in the UK would prefer to use probabilistic climate projections rather than
scenarios. We have noted that models are important for incorporating climate change into water resources planning. The industry has attempted to
follow a simple approach, but because of the complexity introduced by climate change it is particularly important to manage and communicate
Adapting New York City's Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment Systems to Climate Change
Emily Lloyd, Commissioner, NYC Department of Environmental Protection
David C. Major, Columbia University, Center for Climate Systems Research, email@example.com
Cynthia Rosenzweig, NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies
Kate Demong, NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Christina Stanton, Columbia University, Center for Climate Systems Research, firstname.lastname@example.org
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP), the agency responsible for managing New York City's water supply and wastewater treatment systems, created an agency-wide Climate Change Task Force in 2003. The mission of the Task Force is to ensure that NYCDEP's strategic and capital planning efficiently take into account the potential effects of climate change—sea level rise, higher temperature, increases in extreme events, and changing precipitation patterns—on NYC's water systems. In addition to its adaptation activities, the Task Force is developing a GHG management program, using GHG inventory software to support mitigation efforts.
The NYCDEP Task Force, in partnership with Columbia University's Center for Climate Systems Research (CCSR), is evaluating climate change forecasts, impacts, indicators, and adaptation and mitigation strategies to support agency decision making. A comprehensive framework for analyzing climate change has been created, including a 7-step Adaptation Assessment procedure. Potential climate change adaptations are divided into management, infrastructure, and policy categories, and are assessed by their relevance in terms of climate change time-frame (immediate, interim, and long-term), the capital cycle, and costs and other impacts. A wide range of potential adaptations has been examined, including integrated operations with other systems, storm surge barriers for wastewater treatment plants, and new design criteria for infrastructure that reflect non-stationary hydrologic processes. Climate change indicators have been identified to help guide the timing of adaptations.
Task Force activities also include the development of downscaled climate change scenarios, the coordination of scientific projects to yield maximum benefit from research and development, and internal and external outreach through climate change workshops. For the NYC region, downscaled climate change scenarios are being simulated using the MM5 regional climate model. Mechanisms for updating these scenarios over time are being developed, using evolving climate information on trends and extremes provided by university scientists. As an example of science coordination, Columbia University is coordinating a multi-institution project that integrates scenarios of climate change and sea level rise, hurricane and nor'easter storm-surge modeling and a digital elevation program to estimate flooding risks to coastal infrastructure. NYCDEP is also a member of the European Union CLIME project, helping to develop integrated regional climate and water quality models to study climate change issues in its watersheds. To support its ongoing programs, the Task Force meets monthly; it also engages NYCDEP personnel through climate change science and planning workshops.