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ACWI Climate Change Workgroup Call Held This Week

On February 26th, the US Geological Survey’s Advisory Committee on Water Information (ACWI) Water Resources Adaptation to Climate Change Workgroup held a conference call.  Brandon Kernen of New Hampshire’s Drinking Water Program and ASDWA staff are participating in this group.  During the call, participants heard presentations from representatives of NASA and the Bureau of Reclamation about their activities, as well as updates on Federal climate program actions.  Following are some highlights from the call.

  • Ben Cook of NASA shared information from a recently published paper on drought risk in the Western US.  The paper is based on a study that used tree ring research to compare precipitation changes over the last 1000 years or more and make predictions about drought conditions through the end of this century.  Frighteningly, NASA predicts that a mega drought (this would be a multi-decade drought event, that is much longer and more intense than we have experienced in the last 200 years) has a more than 80 percent chance of occurring toward the end of this century.  For more information, go to:  http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/1/e1400082  and/or HERE.
  • Subhrendu Gangopadhyay of the Bureau of Reclamation shared information about a new report entitled, “Climate Change Impacts on Irrigation Demand and Reservoir Evaporation in the West.”  This report shares the results of the Bureau’s analyses of potential changes in crop irrigation demand in eight major river basins in the West and projections of evaporation for 12 reservoirs within those river basins when considering observed and projected impacts of climate change.   For more information, go to: HERE and/or HERE.
  • The workgroup also heard an update about (and is reviewing) a draft report that shares highlights from 2014 and implementation actions for 2015 of the President’s National Climate Action Plan. In addition, the White House Council on Environmental Quality will be developing a brand new document in 2016 to “refresh” the National Action Plan.

For more information about the ACWI WRACC, visit the USGS web site HERE.