A new Bureau of Reclamation report concludes that projected temperature increases as a result of climate change are likely to affect the timing and quantity of stream flows in all western U.S. basins. In turn, that possibility could have a significant effect on water supplies in that region, says the congressionally mandated study, released on April 25.
The report assesses how climate-change risks could affect hydropower, flood control, and fish and wildlife across eight major river basins, including the Colorado, Rio Grande and Missouri. BuRec, through its WaterSMART Basin Studies program, already is working with communities across the western U.S. to develop sustainable water strategies to meet future water needs, officials say.
The study is BuRec’s first in what will be a series of reports authorized by the SECURE Water Act of 2009.