Water and Energy Sector Vulnerability to Climate Warming in the Sierra Nevada: Water Year Classification in Non-Stationary



CA Energy Commission




This study explores the sensitivity of water indexing methods to climate change scenarios to better understand how water management decisions and allocations will be affected by climate change. Climate change is anticipated to alter the timing and volume of runoff, and change the relative frequency of water year types as presently defined. California’s Sacramento Valley and San Joaquin Valley Indices are used as a case study to examine climatic changes. This case study illustrates how water policy and allocation frameworks were designed assuming climatic stationarity, and that adapting water policy (or maintaining the status quo) affects which users bear the burden of climate change.

Climate Impact Tags

Snowpack Temperature

Resource Type Tags


Extent: Butte County, Contra Costa County, El Dorado County, Madera County, Mariposa County, Merced County, Nevada County, Placer County, Plumas County, Sacramento County, San Joaquin County, Shasta County, Sierra County, Solano County, Stanislaus County, Sutter County, Tehama County, Tuolumne County, Yolo County, Yuba County


Last updated: Jan. 26, 2021