Climatic Change

, Volume 82, Issue 3–4, pp 327–350 | Cite as

The evolution of climate change impact studies on hydrology and water resources in California

  • S. Vicuna
  • J. A. Dracup


Potential global climate change impacts on hydrology pose a threat to water resources systems throughout the world. The California water system is especially vulnerable to global warming due to its dependence on mountain snow accumulation and the snowmelt process. Since 1983, more than 60 studies have investigated climate change impacts on hydrology and water resources in California. These studies can be categorized in three major fields: (1) Studies of historical trends of streamflow and snowpack in order to determine if there is any evidence of climate change in the geophysical record; (2) Studies of potential future predicted effects of climate change on streamflow and; (3) Studies that use those predicted changes in natural runoff to determine their economic, ecologic, or institutional impacts. In this paper we review these studies with an emphasis on methodological procedures. We provide for each category of studies a summary of significant conclusions and potential areas for future work.


Streamflow Climate Change Impact Water Resource System Variable Infiltration Capacity Sierra Nevada Mountain 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil & Environmental EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Civil & Environmental EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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