Saturday, November 22, 2014

Western Water Assessment


Project Overview

Using multidisciplinary teams of experts in climate, water, law, and economics, the Western Water Assessment provides information about natural climate variability and human-caused climate change. This information, usually in the form of climate forecasts and regional vulnerability assessments, is designed to assist water-resource decision makers.

Selected Outputs
  • In 2007, the Governor of Colorado, Bill Ritter, created a climate change action plan for the state. It identified three important roles for state government: "1) enact “bridge strategies” that immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions while we pursue technologies to generate cleaner energy; (2) provide leadership to ensure that long-term solutions, such as renewable energy and clean coal technologies, are fully developed and broadly implemented; and (3) prepare the state to adapt to those climate changes that cannot be avoided. Researchers at WWA were tasked with the project of addressing the third pillar of the plan. The result was the Colorado Climate Preparedness Project report (pdf), which was released in Fall 2011. The report looks at the effects of climate change and adaptation strategies for six sectors and also examined adaptation strategies in other states. The report is also accompanied by a database of information about groups and individuals actively engaged in climate adaptation work in Colorado and relevant to state adaptation effort. It currently contains a directory of 179 products, 61 projects,  129 organizations, and 112 people working on these issues. Users are also able to update the database with new information as it becomes available.

Decision Support Tools
  • Treeflow: A collection of climate and streamflow reconstructions from tree ring data for nine large river basins in the western U.S. geared towards water managers within these basins. In addition to reconstructions, the site also contains background on dendrochronology, applications and case studies for how the data on the site can be used, workshops, and a tree ring analysis tool box. This product is produced as a cross-RISA project with researchers at CLIMAS.

  • Intermountain West Climate Summary: A summary of the latest climate conditions put out from month from January to May with two other installments in July and October. Targeted at water managers, planners, and policy makers, the summary contains updates on specific WWA projects, a featured article on specific research or climate phenomena, and a discussion of forecast products from the U.S Drought Portal and the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Other Resources
  • Publication Database: A collections of a books, peer-reviewed articles, technical reports, fact sheets, white papers, theses and more by SECC researchers and students searchable by date.

Principal Investigator

Kristen Averyt

Program Manager

Eric Gordon


Tim Bardsley
Jeff Deems
Lisa Dilling
Joanna Endter-Wada
Robert Giles
Stephen Gray
Douglas Kenney
Roberta Klein
Noah Molotch
Balaji Rajagopalan
Andrea Ray
Janine Rice
William Travis
Carol Wessman
Klaus Wolter

Affiliated Institutions

Earth Systems Research Laboratory
University of Colorado

Project Website