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Socioeconomic impacts of climate change on U.S. water supplies

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Abstract

A greenhouse warming would have major effects on water supplies and demands. A framework for examining the socioeconomic impacts associated with changes in the long-term availability of water is developed and applied to the hydrologic implications of the Canadian and British Hadley2 general circulation models (GCMs) for the 18 water resource regions in the conterminous United States. The climate projections of these two GCMs have very different implications for future water supplies and costs. The Canadian model suggests most of the nation would be much drier in the year 2030. Under the least-cost management scenario the drier climate could add nearly $105 billion to the estimated costs of balancing supplies and demands relative to the costs without climate change. Measures to protect instream flows and irrigation could result in significantly higher costs. In contrast, projections based on the Hadley model suggest water supplies would increase throughout much of the nation, reducing the costs of balancing water supplies with demands relative to the no-climate-change case.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Conference Paper
Publication Subtype:
Conference Paper
Title:
Socioeconomic impacts of climate change on U.S. water supplies
Volume
35
Issue:
6
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Water Resources Assoc
Publisher location:
Herndon, VA, United States
Larger Work Title:
Journal of the American Water Resources Association
First page:
1563
Last page:
1583
Number of Pages:
21