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This report cannot possibly cover all the issues of concern in the Colorado River basin. The basin is vast and diverse geographically, ethnically, and politically. Conflicts over water are part of its history, as water has been the defining resource in the settlement and development of the Colorado River basin. A complex set of laws, a treaty, court decrees, contracts, agreements, regulations and traditions of use have evolved over this past century which have governed water policy and management decisions. Over the last few decades, new social values have emerged in the basin and across the country which reflect an appreciation of the important functions of river systems along with a desire to preserve this natural...
WaSSI (Water Supply Stress Index) predicts how climate, land cover, and human population change may impact water availability and carbon sequestration at the watershed level (about the size of a county) across the lower 48 United States. WaSSI users can select and adjust temperature, precipitation, land cover, and water use factors to simulate change scenarios for any timeframe from 1961 through the year 2100.Simulation results are available as downloadable maps, graphs, and data files that users can apply to their unique information and project needs. WaSSI generates useful information for natural resource planners and managers who must make informed decisions about water supplies and related ecosystem services...
Frequent and persistent droughts exacerbate the problems caused by the inherent scarcity of water in the semiarid to arid parts of the southwestern United States. The occurrence of drought is driven by climatic variability, which for years before about the beginning of the 20th century in the Southwest must be inferred from proxy records. As part of a multidisciplinary study of the potential hydrologic impact of severe sustained drought on the Colorado River, the physical basis and limitations of tree rings as indicators of severe sustained drought are reviewed, and tree-ring data are analyzed to delineate a “worst-case� drought scenario for the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB). Runs analysis of a 121-site...
Snow covered area (SCA) observations from the Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) were used in combination with a distributed snowmelt model to estimate snow water equivalent (SWE) in the headwaters of the Rio Grande basin (3,419 km2) - a spatial scale that is an order of magnitude greater than previous reconstruction model applications. In this reconstruction approach, modeled snowmelt over each pixel is integrated over the time of ETM+ observed snow cover to estimate SWE. Considerable differences in the magnitude of SWE were simulated during the study. Basin-wide mean SWE was 2�6 times greater in April 2001 versus 2002. Despite these climatological differences, the model adequately recovered SWE at intensive...

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