Dr. Kathleen Miller Climate Change & Water Resources

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Climate Change and Water Resources

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About the Conference: Held 15-16 March 2004
Conference documents to be released in mid-2005

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In recent years there has been growing evidence that the earth's climate will become warmer in 21st century, which raises the essential question: What impacts will global warming have on the environment and human activities? Warming will cause hydrologic changes that will affect freshwater resources. These are among the most significant potential impacts of climate change. As the climate warms, there will be changes in the nature of global precipitation, evaporation, snowpack, streamflow and other factors that will affect freshwater supply and quality. Climate change will present challenges to water utilities, and planning now could prevent freshwater crises in upcoming years.

For water utilities to plan appropriately for the effect of global warming on water resources, they need information on the scientific basis for climate change and the implications for hydrology. To facilitate communication between specialists in climactic change and professionals in water utilities, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Awwa Research Foundation hosted a conference on the subject of climate change and the impact on water resources 15-16 March 2004 at the NCAR in Boulder. A Primer on Climate Change for Water Resource Managers is in process.