Climatic Change

, Volume 109, Supplement 1, pp 133–149 | Cite as

Adapting California’s water system to warm vs. dry climates

  • Christina R. Connell-BuckEmail author
  • Josué Medellín-Azuara
  • Jay R. Lund
  • Kaveh Madani


This paper explores the independent and combined effects of changes in temperature and runoff volume on California’s water supply and potential water management adaptations. Least-cost water supply system adaptation is explored for two climate scenarios: 1) warmer-drier conditions, and 2) warmer conditions without change in total runoff, using the CALVIN economic-engineering optimization model of California’s intertied water supply system for 2050 water demands. The warm-dry hydrology was developed from downscaled effects of the GFDL CM2.1 (A2 emissions scenario) global climate model for a 30-year period centered at 2085. The warm-only scenario was developed from the warm-dry hydrology, preserving its seasonal runoff shift while maintaining mean annual flows from the historical hydrology. This separates the runoff volume and temperature effects of climate change on water availability and management adaptations. A warmer climate alone reduces water deliveries and increases costs, but much less than a warmer-drier climate, if the water supply system is well managed. Climate changes result in major changes in reservoir operations, cyclic storage of groundwater, and hydropower operations.


Global Climate Model Snow Water Equivalent Groundwater Storage Groundwater Inflow Surface Water Storage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the California Energy Commission Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christina R. Connell-Buck
    • 1
    Email author
  • Josué Medellín-Azuara
    • 2
  • Jay R. Lund
    • 2
  • Kaveh Madani
    • 3
  1. 1.Hydrologic Sciences Graduate GroupUniversity of California-DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of California-DavisDavisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction EngineeringUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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