Developing a Capability Within Basins 4.0 for Assessing the Impacts of Climate Variability and Change on Water Resources

During the last century, much of the U.S. experienced gradually warming temperatures, increases in precipitation, and increases in the intensity of precipitation events. Water resources and aquatic ecosystems are highly vulnerable to these changes, with possible effects including increased occurrence of floods and droughts, water quality degradation, and impacts on aqutic biota. Many water managers and other watershed stakeholders recognize that climate variability and change could impact their systems but have a limited understanding of the scope, magnitude, and timing of potential effects. Given more immediate concerns, most have not incorporated considerations of climate change into their decision making process. With an improved understanding of climate change impacts, water manager would be better able to evaluate risk and make informed decisions about meeting supply needs, complying with water quality regulations, and protecting aquatic ecosystems. EPA's BASINS modeling system offers a unique platform upon which to develop additional tools useful to stakeholders concerned with climate change.