Bureau of Reclamation Releases SECURE Water Act Report

The Bureau of Reclamation has released a report entitled, “SECURE Water Act Section 9503(c) — Reclamation Climate Change and Water 2016.”  The SECURE Water Act Report characterizes climate change impacts and details adaptation strategies to better protect major river basins in the West that are fundamental to the health, economy, security and ecology of 17 Western states.  This is the second report produced for Congress as required by the SECURE Water Act of 2009.  The first report was produced in 2011.  This report assesses climate change risks to water supply quality and operations; hydropower; groundwater resources; flood control; recreation; and fish, wildlife, and other ecological resources from warmer temperatures, changes to precipitation, snowpack, and the timing and quality of streamflow runoff.  Specific projections include:

  • A temperature increase of 5-7 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century;
  • A precipitation increase over the northwestern and north-central portions of the Western U.S. and a decrease over the southwestern and south-central areas;
  • A decrease for almost all of the April 1st snowpack, a standard benchmark measurement used to project river basin runoff; and
  • A 7 to 27 percent decrease in April to July stream flow in several river basins, including the Colorado, the Rio Grande, and the San Joaquin.

For more information and to view the report, visit the website at: http://www.usbr.gov/climate/secure/.