California Energy Commission's California Climate Change Center
This paper 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.
Assessment Data, tools, and research