Impact of Climate on the Lower Yakima River Basin

EPA Grant Number: R827454
Title: Impact of Climate on the Lower Yakima River Basin
Investigators: Vail, Lance , Branch, Kristi , Dauble, Dennis , Leung, Lai-yung Ruby , Saxton, Keith , Scott, Mike , Stockle, Claudio , Wigmosta, Mark
Current Investigators: Vail, Lance , Branch, Kristi , Leung, Lai-yung Ruby , Neitzel, Duane , Scott, Mike , Stockle, Claudio , Wigmosta, Mark
Institution: Battelle Memorial Institute, Pacific Northwest Division , Washington State University
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: April 15, 2000 through April 14, 2003 (Extended to September 30, 2003)
Project Amount: $869,364
RFA: Integrated Assessment of the Consequences of Climate Change (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Global Climate Change , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Water , Ecosystems , Climate Change


The objective of the proposed project is to develop and demonstrate a framework to assess the localized impact of climate change and climate variability on a diverse set of interdependent interests including agriculture, surface water and groundwater supply, surface water and groundwater quality, air quality, fisheries, and economics. The goal of this project is not to develop any specific new process models, but to adapt existing models to ensure that the linkages between the various models are appropriately represented.


A diverse team of experts will develop an integrated assessment framework by using a software system engineering approach. This framework will quantify tradeoffs between different interests while simultaneously considering the generation and propagation of assessment uncertainties. The framework will also assess the efficacy and tradeoffs associated with adaptation alternatives, such as, cropping schemes and reservoir operations. The framework will be demonstrated on the Lower Yakima River Basin in central Washington State. The assessment results and tradeoffs will be made available to the stakeholders via public meetings of the Tri-County Water Resource Agency (TCWRA) and the Internet. The effectiveness of the framework in facilitating communication with the stakeholders will be evaluated cooperatively with the TCWRA.

Expected Results:

The framework and assessment results will be published in the printed literature, as well as on the Internet. This framework will be transferable to other local scale impact assessments throughout the United States. The assessment results and assessment framework will contribute to the U.S. National Assessment. Additionally, all global and regional climate simulations generated for this study will be archived at the appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions that could contribute towards other studies supporting the U.S. National Assessment.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 25 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 1 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Region 10, watersheds, hydrology, socio-economic, agriculture, climate models, Washington (WA), aquatic ecology., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Geographic Area, Hydrology, Environmental Chemistry, climate change, State, Ecological Risk Assessment, EPA Region, integrated assessments, environmental monitoring, fish habitat, watershed, Yakima River Basin, economic models, socioeconomic indicators, Washington (WA), climate models, agriculture, environmental stressors, water quality, Region 10, aquatic ecology, climate variability, groundwater, air quality

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2000
  • 2001 Progress Report
  • 2002
  • Final Report