Water Policy and Planning in a Variable and Changing Climate addresses the current challenges facing western water planners and policy makers in the United States and considers strategies for managing water resources and related risks in the future. Written by highly-regarded experts in the industry, the book offers a wealth of experience, and explains the physical, socioeconomic, and institutional context for western water resource management. The authors discuss the complexities of water policy, describe the framework for water policy and planning, and identify many of the issues surrounding the subject.

A provocative examination of policy issues surrounding western water resources, this book:

  • Considers the implications of natural climate variability and anthropogenic climate change for the region’s water resources, and explains limitations on the predictability of local-scale changes
  • Stresses linkages between climate patterns and weather events, and related hydrologic impacts
  • Describes the environmental consequences of historical water system development and the challenges that climate change poses for protection of aquatic ecosystems
  • Examines coordination of drought management by local, state and national government agencies
  • Includes insights on planning for climate change adaptation from case studies across the western United States
  • Discusses the challenges and opportunities in water/energy/land system management, and its prospects for developing climate change response strategies
  • Presents evidence of changes in water scarcity and flooding potential in the region and identifies a set of adaptation strategies to support the long-term sustainability of irrigated agriculture and urban communities
  • Draws upon Colorado’s experience in defining rights for surface and tributary groundwater use to explain potential conflicts and challenges in establishing fair and effective coordination of water rights for these resources
  • Assesses the role of policy in driving flood losses
  • Explores policy approaches for achieving equitable and environmentally responsible planning outcomes despite multiple sources of uncertainty

Water Policy and Planning in a Variable and Changing Climate describes patterns of water availability, existing policy problems and the potential impacts of climate change in the western United States, and functions as a practical reference for the student or professional invested in water policy and management.

part |1 pages

Section II Water Policy Issues Related to Climate Variability and Change

chapter 8|21 pages

Providing Climate Science to Real-World Policy Decisions

A Scientist’s View from the Trenches

part |1 pages

Section III Case Studies

chapter 11|16 pages

California, a State of Extremes

Management Framework for Present-Day and Future Hydroclimate Extremes

chapter 12|16 pages

California’s Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta

Reflections on Science, Policy, Institutions, and Management in the Anthropocene

chapter 13|21 pages

California’s Climate Change Response Strategy

Integrated Policy and Planning for Water, Energy, and Land

chapter 18|14 pages

Integration of Surface Water and Groundwater Rights

Colorado’s Experience

chapter 19|15 pages

Floods as Unnatural Disasters

The Role of Law *