tv [untitled] August 11, 2010 4:30am-5:00am PST
damages but i'm apposed to amdams. i think it's a great way to evaluate new,dams or possibilities for them in california it's not good enough reason to build them and that's an important distinction. ironically we're having this same debate in nuclear power. climate change is a great thing to open the debate for nuclear power but by itself, not a good argument to build new nuclear power plants. there's economics, basic global problems, things that have not disperiod. >> climate change is a new justification for doing assessment but not necessarily
an argument for doing certain large investments and building things and we have to be careful about building infrastructure for the wrong reasons. i won't say anymore about that. let me conclude. manager's and planners, city and state water manager's can no longer assume the water conditions and climate change will look like the past. that's how we designed the rules by which we operate. our water resources are sensitive to climate. but our systems are sensitive to the way we manage what we build. we have to think not just about the,hydrology, but also management. as chuck said, we spend billions of billions of dollars building a very sophisticated
system in the west united states and it's complicated and let's test it. draw down the river 25 feet and see if our models are right. there's a lot of things we can do with models without physically doing it. there's compelling scientific evidence that posted challenges to our water systems. unfortunately, there's pretty serious evidence that we may not about quickly or effectively enough to prevent some pretty extensive consequences for us. i think that's a problem. . manager's must use current tools but also look at future risks. policy manager's have the opportunity to do this.
we already manager for variability and risk. we build homes in earthquake zones not knowing how big or when the earthquake will be. but we manager risks and we have lots of tools for doing that management but we're not doing enough yet. either in planning or actually on the ground action. we do need to take more on the ground action. ultimately the impact will depend on our ability to for see major changes and do the analysis and adopt and implement changes and this is in the face of surprises, because as much as we know, there will be surprises and things we won't know in advance, and we rely on our ability to be innovative. thank you very much.
[applause] this is main street on a one to five hundred year flood. mississippi river. this is my last slide. >> thank you very much. we're going to look for questions and we have people with microphones that will take your questions. one quick comment i would like to make and i agree perhaps we're not looking at water manager's solely as climate change for doing things, but water managers i've seen are doing investments with that volatility in mind and reduces in this. i know from 1990 to present we've increased our storage capacity tenfold. doing this understanding this. our system delivers water to largest reservoir we have
increased,cff, ability ten times. we expect water to be more volatile and want to move it in there quickly. we take the same imported water in 2007, despite adding two million more people. there's action being taken with variability and risk in mind as we see climate change as part of that. all right. i saw a question over here. >> hi i'm dave erickson, we work on local solutions reducing greenhouse gas emissions. we have reductions and we're also very aware that governor targets the state 80 percent
reduction 80 percent by 2050. given this need to reduce greenhouse gases significantly and given the direct relationship between water use and energy of greenhouse gas issues, do you think it's going to beness at a local level to put a cap, or a limit on the absolute amount of water that's used, or to start putting in place policies - such as no net increase in water - you say in a general plan or something like that further tests? >> couple of thoughts about action at the local level and those are not sort of tools we've thought about but there's interesting things happening the cities for climate control campaign.
something like 50 municipalities signed up. so through the general purpose around the west about 50 western water providers are part of that campaign already. the municipal water district when jarrod hudson was the first to sign up for that from a new system provider. i think it's a real opportunity for water to step up in that. there are folks from the santa clara valley, looking at a range of local variabilities with climate change being one of those. in both of those areas - and those are a couple of very few examples where places have decided to get involved that local level in climate change
issues. >> i've been trying to puddle through the advice i'm going to walk away with. i hoped you would be more precise in strategies. it's not clear to me that it's predictg the future i'm not sure you want to look at,pa leo climate, it's not clear - hearing the pieces early on from charles and port land, demand planning for water utilities should not weigh off historically also. site seems the only thing you can do, is sort of what seattle is talking about metropolitan
wise. so peter, i don't know how your plan is a reasonable plan of that. so i'm wondering - and then you're saying,oh, by the way you have to move as fast as possible but don't build,dams, until you do analysis. i'm not sure how it fits together more coherently. i wonder if you could be more precise on what you tell people to do. >> on the,pa leoclimate, part, one thing to remember is the precipitation we're expecting is only suddenly changing in the climate model and one of the big concerns is an observation that brad
mentioned, the 20th century when you look at what happened over several centuries - assumeg the proxy indicators are accurate and they are probably close - is that we developed infor structure and so forth during a period when the delivery was maybe higher than the long-term average. there's a real need to understand what the natural system is or sort of has the capacity to do and the way to do that is not just from the instrumental record. it's too short. unfortunately, the climate has these natural fluctuations that will be with us that allows for mega droughts. i don't know that it's come up but there's evidence in the
california proxy record in medieval times, two periods of extremely dry climate in at least, the california and nevada region - fit occurred today would totally reset the way we all sort of think about,hydrology, i think. [inaudible] no. your not listening to what the models are telling us. they are telling us there still is the range of natural variability in precipitation eventhough temperature is changing remarkably. evidently that did not get through. but that's what happens. the
characterization of precipitation is not unlike today. not rain verses snow, but the total water volume is still looking a lot like the modern climate. >> let me take a crack at this. it's a great question. its the barrier that a lot of water managers face. on the,pa leo climate, side the the past will help me deal with floods and droughts properly deal with them. if we had a better since of this from tree rings in the
1920s we would probably make different assumptions on the colorado rivers. maybe we would not but it was information we did not have about climate that would have changed potentially a decision that water manager's and politicians had. going into the few uh-uhture, manager's and planners have a lot of tools for dealing with these kinds of variabilities that we have to face. particularly, what we're suggesting is not to do anything differently but include a broader range of future climates in our plan. that maybe designing something, if your building from scratch differently than if there water climate change. i meant to ask maurine, she
described the - well, what i want to know is are they valuing the desalination, not one of them i've seen accounts for rising sea level example. it might be done for some but not all of them. are they be evaluated underhigher temperature scenarios. are the yield numbers being evaluated that. are the ones under existing scenarios and i'd like to know that and if the answer is, no, it ought to be. it will effect the economic decisions made and ultimately investments in part infrastructure. we may choose not to do many
things differently, and accept a higher level of risk, but i would argue that if we're smart we will do things differently to reduce exposure for the future. >> just because it came out yesterday. the department of water resources has done a number of runs with reservoirs in inflows in the sierra area and it's 30 percent of inflows likely from today. the worst case is a reduction of 19 percent a big reduction. upstream at, fulsom, yesterday it was like ten billion dollars to build that reservoir and
that's a great example for water managers to take what this means. it's clearly a mistakes to build something that water managers assume they can capture might literally be gone in several decades. >> on the point that we can't assume that the past is like the future, um... you mentioned hydraulic models. i'm wondering if there's any practical models and i'll make the point with insurance industries. when they set rates, they are required to use a message that factors the past and not the future. theres the new model that the insurance industry wants to use and they've all been modified since- katrina and they have three models but they have now
revised their catastrophe model to incorporate climate science and of course, insurance companies want to be able to go by those models and i'm wondering if such practical tools are being developed for water management. >> well, the short answer is absolutely, yes. the longer answer is that from my perspective, many of the bigger models that drive our smaller models don't do a lot of things right. they don't do summer precipitation right, in fact they don't do precipitation at all. a lot of this - i hope it brings down to something reasonable. dave is working with colorado springs utilities and others
including at least one here in california the short answer is absolute . but are they great? no. but we have to start using them. >> we typically rely on models we get to create in terms of what we think demand and that drives what we build and design things. we have taken into perspective climate change but it's a different challenge in the white water side of the business that have to rely on councils and governments because of population growth and often times their relying on funds that come through the federal funds and their held and bound to using certain models and criteria.
so it's getting very complicated when you go into regional planning to flood control to water and all the sets and different for legal reasons as apposed scientific. >> the problem is not the models. there are plenty of models. we have lots of tools. the problem i would argue, is not even the scenarios. there is problems with precipitation. i think the problem is politics and management decisions about who's going to take responsibility for changing - >> i wanted to change the subject, along the coast up to oregon and washington, one thing that sets our climate is
marine, i wonder if anyone else here sees any changes taking place with that layer that has a lot to do with our water supply and also reducing the need for water on the coast? >> really good question. >> as far as we know, the marine layer we think is still going to be with us. one of the interesting facets with this potential change of temperature gradient, the warmer - more warming inland than warming over the coastal ocean is actually the sea breeze circulation, which is - is tied up with the marine
layer development and probably the thing or thk big size. there maybe more because of that increase in circulation but i would say this is an area that a waits more of this regional model development that, brad eluded to, that is still kind of on the fringe of our science right now. that's my answer to that one. i think that you can count on still having a marine layer, but i don't know if it will be stronger than it is today. >> yes, doctor and dan, you both mentioned we have models now but that's not a problem,
we have the regional models now. it seems one of the key areas to implement is in the california environmental quality act. the planning and conservation league is hosting series of workshops across the state helping planners and community leaders integrate climate change in all the work they do, so i'd like to get your thoughts on that and specifically from jeff, when do you see metropolitan, integrating climate change into their analysis? >> good question, except i'm the moderator. >> that's an excellent question and that's what we wrestle with, how to incorporate it into a type of analysis where, yes we can see
more constant variables in volatility and we don't know how things will be driven. certainly we see things warmer, but as the models it could be more snow melt and perhaps we have not been able to confidently say what all the impacts of it are. but it is something we have looked at. we are going through - every five years we have an integrated resource plan we update and the following year after that, we try to up date our urban water management program and the next cycle is suppose to have a chapter on that. and you know we assume over time, it will get more sophisticated and what it actually means in actual actions. hopefully that answers that.
>> for one specific example of another agency that should be looking at climate change is the california recreation board that's responsible for protectg the central valley for flooding and it's particular striking they have done so in the delta where there's a lot of housing constructed and where they are now , we don't know the risk those communities would be in risk of flooding. are we building another katrina in the delta and are we doing so that increases the delta failure that has profound water shortage implications and we have them claiming yes climate change is real, yes, it has implications, but, no, they
would not evaluate them. so being the reasonable people we are, we sued them. but we think it require as real analysis especially when agencies are making long-term issues with profound effects for public safety and we hope the courts resolve that rapidly and the legislature can do that as well. >> as far as regional exercises, i think i'm all for it. they do have their limitations but the way to improve these models and to understand their capabilities is to use them and try to confirm that they work on big events that we actually have observed, and so you know, typically, we look retrospective simulations and try to introduce as much
independence in the tests that are used, in order to gain confidence that the models work in future situations. i'm not familiar with the environmental quality act or activity that you mentioned but i think it's worth discussing. >> just time for a few more questions. >> this one is for dan, i want to pick up on some things you mentioned, just reiterate, especially ten years back, we don't know about regional climate scene just through temperatures. my sense is science is improving and you mentioned the business about regional change in precipitation and the tendency to get dryer moving north and the models also
showing tendency for wetter winters and dryer summers and whether the model shows heatwaves and that's interesting not just as temperatures being higher but more sustained and more precipitation, and planning knowing how to apply these things could be very useful but i wanted to comment on that. >> yeah, thanks joel. well, precipitation is still roblematic but there's this >> there's a tendency for more wetness in tropical climates. it's kind of if you shift the whole frequency distribution of temperature to the warm side
and naturally the tail shifts as well and you get a propensity of more extremes. because the temperature impacts snow,packs you propose more run off in certain mountain settings. there's a little evidence of increase in heavier precipitation and that's showing up in some observations across the united states and i think you'll see this in the,ip sfpuc, but it's not real real strong. i would say that's kind of a second order effect. you know, if we were living in the gulf states we probably would be worried about the tendency for more tropical storms and we really have not
seen that in these models in the eastern pacific but i don't know that they would show that. so, there is more specificity developing as we do more and more work on this. there's more models and you know we've gone from maybe a dozen models to 20 or so, in the fourth assessment and their contributing all of this. it's an interim process and one that which, incremental changes and improvements are being made. >> i think we're going to end it there and i'll thank the panel one more time. thank you, very much. [applause] >> thank you very much. jeff, panelists great job. lanl we are going to