83rd Annual

Wednesday, 12 February 2003: 5:15 PM
Responding to stakeholders' needs for climate change information for water resources planning
Amy K. Snover, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; and A. F. Hamlet, P. Mote, and D. P. Lettenmaier
Despite the uncertainties that persist in the science of climate change and assessment of potential climate impacts, many Pacific Northwest policy makers now recognize climate change as a potentially significant threat to water resources in the region. This represents a significant step forward from 1997, when climate change was not recognized as a serious issue affecting the region. As a result, decision-makers and water resource managers have requested more detailed information and data concerning climate impacts, stating that if relevant data on climate impacts on the regional hydrologic cycle were accessible, they would use it in their planning. Because planning functions at many water management agencies tend to be linked to specific periods of the historic streamflow record and internally developed water management models, however, hydrologic model output is generally inadequate to satisfy stakeholders' needs. The University of Washington's Climate Impacts Group has developed a new method (described in Hamlet et al., "Climate Change Streamflow Scenarios for Water Planning Studies in the Pacific Northwest," also submitted to this section) to perturb historical streamflow records to reflect changes due to projected regional climate change. This method enables the provision of perturbed streamflow records for specific location(s), consistent with the specific historic record(s) of interest. To make such scenarios freely available to Pacific Northwest water management entities and other interested stakeholders, we have developed and launched a web-based hydrograph adjustment tool. This presentation will describe the web-based tool for distribution and description of scenarios, as well as feedback received from the stakeholder community regarding the accessibility, usefulness, and applicability of this tool.

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