II. Pacific Coast States (USA)

Large and rapid population growth; water abundance decreases north to south; intensive irrigated agriculture; massive water-control infrastructure; heavy reliance on hydropower; endangered species issues; increasing competition for water:

  • More winter rainfall/less snowfall – earlier seasonal peak in runoff; increased fall/winter flooding, reduced summer water supply
  • Possible increase in annual runoff in Sierra Nevada and Cascades
  • Possible summer salinity increase in San Francisco Bay and Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta
  • Changes in lake and stream ecology – warmwater species benefitting; damage to coldwater species (trout and salmon)

  [ Return to Scientific Highlights Page ]