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Water-Energy Sector Vulnerability to Climate Warming in the Sierra Nevada: Water Year Classification in Non-Stationary Climates
(2012)
  • Sarah E. Null, Utah State University
  • J. H. Viers
Abstract

This paper explores the sensitivity of water indexing methods to climate change scenarios to better understand how water management decisions and allocations will be affected by climate change. Many water management decisions, such as environmental flow requirements and water supply allocations, are based on numerical “water year type” designations. Water year type designations vary by region and index, but most are defined by some measure of runoff in the current water year compared to average historical runoff, with numerical thresholds categorizing year types. Climate change is anticipated to alter the timing and volume of runoff, and change the relative frequency of water year types as presently defined. California’s Sacramento Valley and San Joaquin Valley Indices are used as a case study to examine climatic changes...

Keywords
  • water,
  • energy,
  • climate warming
Disciplines
Publication Date
2012
Publisher
A White Paper from the California Energy Commission’s California Climate Change Center
Citation Information
Null, S.E. and J.H. Viers. 2012. Water-Energy Sector Vulnerability to Climate Warming in the Sierra Nevada: Water Year Classification in Non-Stationary Climates. Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program White Paper. Prepared for the California Energy Commission.