Sacramento and San Joaquin River Basins Impact Assessment Important Resource in President's Climate Action Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new report released today by the Department of the Interior's Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor finds that projected changes in temperature and precipitation, combined with a growing population, will have significant impacts on water supplies, water quality, fish and wildlife habitats, ecosystems, hydropower, recreation and flood control, in California's Central Valley this century.
The climate projections utilized the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 3, CMIP3, climate projections with demographic and land use estimates based on the California Department of Water Resources Water Plan 2009.
This study supports the broader Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins Study, part of the Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program. The basin study, which is expected to be completed in 2015, will provide additional analysis including the evaluation of adaptation strategies to mitigate impacts of climate change and meet future water demands. It will also update the climate projections using the recently-released Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5, CMIP5, climate projections and land use - demographic projections based on the recent California State Water Plan 2013 update, which were not available when the analysis was completed for this impact assessment.
"This study confirms that the current status quo for water supply in California is not sustainable," Deputy Secretary Connor said. "Reclamation and its partners in California are already developing solutions to meet the projected imbalances between future supply and demand within the Central Valley."
"The Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins Study will provide a roadmap forward for Reclamation and the State of California to ensure a sustainable water supply well into the future," Acting Reclamation Commissioner Lowell Pimley said.
The WaterSMART Program focuses on improving water conservation, sustainability and helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. It identifies strategies to ensure that this and future generations will have sufficient supplies of clean water for drinking, economic activities, recreation and ecosystem health. The program also identifies adaptive measures to address climate change and its impact on future water supply and demand.