Informing Water Resource Decision Makers for Climate Change Adaptation Policy

September 18, 2008

Tim Schneider of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory and Brad Udall of Western Water Assessment [a NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program] have been invited to participate in a Climate Change Adaptation Policy Workshop, September 24-26 in Irvine, CA. This workshop, hosted by the Western States Water Council (WSWC), the Western Governors' Association (WGA), and the California Department of Water Resources (CDWR), will focus on investigating tools that could be used for adaptation to climate change and variability, and potentially developed into of a standard set for use across states. Tim will participate on the "Examples of Management Tools" panel addressing use of Hydrometeorological Test Beds (HMT). Brad will participate on the "Partnership Opportunities Panel" discussing how RISAs can help.

This workshop is an important step in addressing recommendations made in the WGA/WSWC report on "Water Needs and Strategies for a Sustainable Future," and its recently expanded "Next Steps" report. Findings include the acknowledgment of limited water supply/demand data, the importance of taking an integrated water supply approach, and considering climate change/variability as part of managing water resources. Some next step recommendations include supporting the formation of a National Climate Service, pushing for climate change legislation that provides for mitigation and adaptation strategies, and supporting expanding water storage, improving regional collaboration, and supporting conservation.

This represents an opportunity to inform a broad spectrum of policy makers, water resource professionals and scientists about NOAA's water resource efforts in the western United States, spanning the full spectrum of issues from weather to climate. In particular, this will be an opportunity to explore how both HMT and RISAs can support water resource management in a changing society and climate, and to conduct outreach to regional stakeholders.

Contact: Tim Schneider