Dr. Kathleen Miller Climate Change & Water Resources

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Workshop on Climate Change and Water Utilities
National Center for Atmospheric Research
1850 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder, CO
Mesa Lab Damon Room

  Monday, March 15
  7:30 am Bus departs hotel
  7:45 - 8:15 Register and breakfast
  8:15 - 8:30 Introduction - 15 minutes describing goals of workshop
  Climate Change Science
  8:30 - 9:15 The Fundamental Science of Climate Change
Tom Wigley

Natural versus anthropogenic change. Causes of 20th century climate change. Possible futures for global-mean temperature and sea level. Potential effectiveness of policies to reduce emissions.
  9:15 - 10:00 Broad Scale implications for the hydrologic cycle
Kevin Trenberth
Will the hydrologic cycle intensify, and if so what does this mean for global and regional precipitation? Why is it difficult to predict changes in regional precipitation?
  10:00 - 10:15 Break
  Climate Change and Water
  10:15 - 10:45 Climate change and changes in water availability
Mike Dettinger

USGS and Scripps Institution of Oceanography
What climate models can and can’t tell us about possible changes in water availability. Where do we have some confidence & why? Snowmelt dominated vs. rainfall-dominated systems. What changes have already been observed?
  10:45 - 11:15 Paleoclimatic Records of Past Hydroclimatic Variability and Implications for the Future -
Connie Woodhouse

NOAA National Climatic Data Center
What does paleoclimate tell us about natural variability in water supplies? How should water utilities view that evidence?
  11:15 - 12:30 International Perspectives on Water Utility Planning for Climate Change
    Arthur Meuleman, KIWA, Netherlands
Roger Jones, CSIRO, Australia
Peter Spillett, Thames Water, U.K.
  12:30 - 1:30 Lunch - NCAR Cafeteria (on your own)
  Water Utility Vulnerabilities
    How do we assess vulnerabilities and what can we learn from experiences with climatic extremes and from existing strategies for coping with climate variability and uncertainty?
  Three Roundtable Discussions:
  1:30 - 2:15 Supply security: Learning from drought experience - surprises, and opportunities.
    Gary Tilkian, MWD
Joan Kersnar, Seattle
Paul Fesko, Calgary
Rocky Wiley, Denver
  2:15 - 3:00 Water quality: Floods & droughts; post wildfire impacts - What can we learn from experience and how do we identify the hotspots? What are the implications of potential reduced frequency, but higher intensity precipitation for urban areas?
    Lorraine Janus, NYC
Mark Knudson, Portland
Ricky Langley, Greenville
  3:00 - 3:15 Break
  3:15 - 4:00 Climate and infrastructure: – potential impacts of unusual high or low flows on infrastructure - intake placement & salinity; physical damage during floods; effects of large changes in groundwater levels.
    David Major, Columbia University
Alvin Bautista, LADWP
Bertha Goldenberg, Miami-Dade
  Adaptation Strategies
  4:00 - 4:30 Flexible strategies for dealing with uncertainty
Bonnie Colby
of Arizona
Water Banks and Water Markets, and other options.
  4:30 - 5:00 Planning in the context of competing goals
Robert Wilkinson
  of California, Santa Barbara
California water and climate uncertainty
  5:00 - 5:30 Water Planning Strategies in a Warming Climate
Alan Hamlet
University of Washington
Ways for utilities to approach planning for the uncertain effects of global warming. Can use of climate change information lead to better investment decisions?
  5:30 - 7:00 Adjourn - Reception
  Tuesday, March 16  
  What should water utilities know about these subjects and how can they best be presented in the planned educational publication?
  7:30 - 8:30 Continental breakfast
  8:30 - 8:45 Charge for the Day
  8:45 –10:30 Break-out discussion groups

1. Climate Change: what do water utility managers MOST need to understand about climate change, and how can we best address that in the Awwa Research Foundation publication?

2. How do water utilities cope with uncertainty now and what planning and adaptation strategies would be most useful for utility managers to consider in the context of potential climate change?

3. How should the Awwa Research Foundation publication be structured? E.g. in a question format, with example ‘boxes’, etc. Is the draft document (to be sent to participants prior to the meeting) structured appropriately?

  10:30 - 10:45 Break
  10:45 - 11:30 Discussion group reports
  11:30 - 12:30 Summary roundtable and wrap-up
  12:30 - 1:30 sandwiches/ light lunch available