Climate change impacts on california’s water resources

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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


While California's water resources and infrastructure are already facing critical challenges in terms of providing Californians with adequate water supply, numerous studies have demonstrated the unfavorable impacts of climate change on the state's water supply system. As such, observed temperature increases, changing precipitation patterns, variations in runoff timing and magnitude resulting from changes in snow accumulation and melt characteristics, and recent droughts in California may be partly attributable to changing hydro-climatic conditions. Hence, from a water supply standpoint, the study of climate change and consequent hydrologic variability bear important implications for water resources planning and management in California. This chapter aims to illustrate how climate change and its associated impacts have affected or are expected to affect California's water resources. Additionally, implications for water infrastructure and a summary of strategies for adaptation to climate change are presented.

Publication Title

Drought in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions: A Multi-Disciplinary and Cross-Country Perspective