Tuesday, April 10, 2012


cc: Manrique Rojas <mrojasatXYZxyzs.org>
date: Mon, 1 May 2000 11:01:46 +0200
from: Jamie Skinner <jskinneratXYZxyzs.org>
subject: FW: new US govt. report on water and climate change
to: "Nigel Arnell [N.W.Arnell@soton.ac.uk] (E-mail)" <N.W.ArnellatXYZxyzon.ac.uk>, "Mike Hulme [m.hulme@uea.ac.uk] (E-mail)" <m.hulmeatXYZxyz.ac.uk>

Dear Mike and Nigel,

Many thanks for the hard copies of the reports and the disk. I have taken a
break over Easter but just wanted to acknowledged receipt and to send you
this web reference, should you be interested,

Best wishes

Jamie Skinner
Senior Advisor - environment
World Commission on dams
58 Loop street
PO Box 16002
Vlaeberg, Cape Town
8018 South Africa
tel : ++ 27 21 426 4000
fax : ++ 27 21 426 0036

-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick McCully [SMTP:patrick@irn.org]
Sent: Saturday, April 29, 2000 3:58 AM
To: jskinner@dams.org; <mailto:jskinner@dams.org;> debatXYZxyz.org
Subject: fyi: new US govt. report on water and climate change

X-Sender: ebrinkatXYZxyz3.netvista.net
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000 10:29:20 -0700
To: patrickatXYZxyz.org <mailto:patrick@irn.org>
From: Elizabeth Brink <ebrink@irn.org
<mailto:ebrink@irn.org> >
Subject: CC and Water Resources in US

Hi P-

This all started from a sound clip I heard from one of my
news services with Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute saying that a
recent official US report recommends no new large infrastructure projects
and a focus on conservation due to potential uncertainties related to
climate change.

It turns out the report is currently in draft form,
available for public comment until May 20, 2000.

Title of the official project - The U.S. National
Assessment: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change on
Water Resources
Coordinating Agency - US Department of the Interior

Here's the Web location of the entire draft report -

One of the most interesting sections for our purposes is
Coping and Adaptation, specifically Water Planning and Management
, which includes a recommendation for an "emphasis on planning and demand
management rather than construction of new facilities marks a change in
traditional water-management approaches, which in the past have relied on
the construction of large and expensive infrastructure."

Here's their summary-

The U.S. National Assessment Draft Report of the Water
Sector of the National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate
Variability and Change - summary

As the new century begins, many challenging factors face the
public, water planners and managers, and policymakers. Changes in
population, economic conditions, technology, policies, and the relative
values of society will be important determinants of future water supply and
demand. On top of these complexities, human-induced changes in our basic
climatic conditions must also be taken into account. More than twenty years
of research and more than a thousand peer-reviewed scientific papers have
firmly established that a greenhouse warming will alter the supply and
demand for water, the quality of water, and the health and functioning of
aquatic ecosystems.

As noted throughout this report the detailed nature of
future climate changes and their impacts remain uncertain. These
uncertainties are obstacles to introducing climate impacts into investment
or operational decisions. The first line of defense for protecting the
nation's water resources must therefore be a strong and consistent research
and monitoring program to continue to evaluate climate-related risks. Where
climate changes are minor or where other factors dominate, the impacts on
our water resources may be low. In some regions and for some issues, climate
changes may even reduce the risks imposed by growing populations,
industrialization, and land-use changes.

A growing body of evidence, however, shows that U.S. water
resources are sensitive to both climate and to how these complex water
systems are managed. In many cases and in many locations, there is
compelling scientific evidence that climate changes will pose serious
challenges to our water systems. Of particular concern are climate changes
that cause impacts that are larger than other expected changes, different in
nature than expected changes, or imposed on top of existing long-term
challenges. In these instances, the marginal economical, ecological, and
social costs to society could be substantial.

The United States has an enormous investment in dams,
reservoirs, aqueducts, water treatment facilities, and other concrete
structures. These systems were designed and are operated assuming that
future climatic and hydrologic conditions will have the same characteristics
as past conditions. We now know that this is no longer a valid assumption.
Some managers are beginning to explore how different operating rules and
regimes might reduce future climate risks; this kind of evaluation should be
encouraged. The relative socioeconomic and environmental impacts of both
climatic and non-climatic impacts on the supply and demand for water will
depend in large part on the ability to foresee major changes, to adapt to
such changes, to be flexible in the face of probable surprises, and to be
innovative in the management and allocation of the nation's water resources.
Maintaining options and building in dynamic flexibility are important for
designing and operating water systems that will continue to meet our needs
in the coming decades.


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