8.6 Planning for an Ever-Changing Future: Denver Water's Approach to Climate Resilience

Wednesday, 10 January 2018: 3:00 PM
Room 15 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Laurna Kaatz, Denver Water, Denver, CO

Traditional water planning uses observed historic climate as the estimate of future conditions. This stationary method fails to properly treat the uncertainties associated with a changing climate, as well as with natural variability prior to our period of record. Water utilities performing assessments of their vulnerability to climate change are faced with a large range of future climate projections. Many agencies are seeking to better understand and reduce this uncertainty. However, narrowing the range of uncertainties before many utilities make long term decisions on water projects and programs is not likely to occur. To account for this, utilities are looking into different methods of planning. Several promising approach are emerging for incorporating climatic uncertainty into water planning. Examples include decision analysis, scenario planning, real options planning, and robust decision making. This presentation will focus on the need for new water planning methods, the efforts of the Water Utility Climate Alliance to identify and develop these new methods, and the climate planning activities Denver Water is leading.
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