The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Decision Scaling

Story Map Provides Tour of Climate-Related Hydrologic Risk Assessment for the California State Water Project

This article was written by Wyatt Arnold, Engineer, Water Resources at the California Department of Water Resources Climate Change Program.
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To illuminate potential risks connected with the deeply uncertain future, planners with limited resources must often choose between two approaches. Option 1 provides a limited number of intensely bright yet narrowly focused spotlights (analogous to top-down analysis through downscaling of global climate models). Option 2 provides an unlimited number of glowing sticks, which may only softly brighten their surroundings, but cumulatively provide a more comprehensive perspective of the situation (analogous to bottom-up analysis through approaches such as
decision scaling). The second approach seems more worthwhile when tackling the wide range of climate changes projected for California within the next 30 years — from an overall increase of 1 to 4 degrees Celsius and from 20 percent less to 30 percent more overall precipitation.

In collaboration with researchers at the
Hydrosystems Research Group at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, we adopted the second approach for assessing long-term and persistent hydrologic impacts of climate change on the California State Water Project (SWP). The SWP is a water storage and delivery system that extends more than two-thirds the length of California, serves 27 million people, and irrigates more than three quarters of a million acres of farmland.

We summarize results of our bottom-up, decision scaling study
in an online story map to facilitate access to the crucial information produced and the methods and thinking that went into its production.
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New Episode of #ClimateReady Podcast | New Approaches to Managing Risk: Climate Adaptation in Zambia

You can now listen to the latest episode of the ClimateReady Podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, or AGWA's Knowledge Platform. The latest episode focuses on the application of a new bottom-up adaptation approach known as Collaborative Risk Informed Decision Analysis, or CRIDA, to increase resilience to drought for a water treatment facility in Zambia. The main interview comes from Marc Tkach of Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Marc discusses the need for adaptation as a means of ensuring MCC's goals of enabling growth to reduce poverty. You'll learn more about the new CRIDA approach as well as the Decision Scaling and Adaptation Pathways methodologies for robust and flexible water management planning.

Make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review to tell us how we're doing! Happy listening! Read More...
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MCC Makes New Video on Decision Scaling, Adaptation Pathways, and CRIDA

Millennium Challenge Corporation has launched a new video outlining the basic principles behind Decision Scaling, Adaptation Pathways, and CRIDA. This fun and short video uses a case study example to explain the tenants of these methodologies and how they can be used by water managers to face uncertainty. Take a look below!

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AGWA Guide and Risk Assessment Websites Now Online

AGWA has released a new resource for water managers interested in learning how to mainstream climate adaptation into their work. The AGWA Guide is now available at http://agwaguide.org. This resource is intended to serve as more of a self-exploration guide to the broader literature while simultaneously providing more detailed descriptions of current thinking and implementation on sustainable water resources management approaches.

For those interested in emerging risk assessment methodologies, please check out AGWA’s other new site on decision scaling and eco-engineering decision scaling (EEDS). On this site (http://agwaguide.org/EEDS) you’ll also find videos, interviews, and information on a new Nature Climate Change paper on EEDS, including a link to the publication. Read More...
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