Knowledge Exchange and Needs Assessment on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Colorado River

Project Dates

Most organized discussion about climate change within the Colorado River Basin (CRB) has addressed projected climate impacts and specific rules for operating under surplus and shortage. This project moved the discussion from awareness to action and coordination by assessing regional adaptation capabilities and cataloging existing adaptation efforts in the broader CRB. In collaboration with the WWA and CNAP, researchers convened a workshop of key stakeholders and agencies from across a spectrum of sectors in the CRB to (a) foster communication of the extent of existing and planned climate adaptation initiatives, (b) catalogue projects, documents, and alliances whose work, expertise, and connections can be leveraged to develop sustained and ongoing assessment, (c) evaluate the scientific capacity within the region to address climate adaptation issues and to leverage existing federal labs, data centers, and new climate services initiatives (NOAA, DOI), and (d) assess science, decision-making, and communication needs in the region.

The workshop focused on water as the major medium through which climate change impacts will manifest in the CRB, and looked broadly at issues of both water and land management, as well as recreation, tourism, environmental flows, and urban adaptation. Follow-up from the workshop included a webinar series, designed to maintain communication, invite new participants, and to give an opportunity for ongoing and new initiatives to “show and tell” and for participants to network.

This project was part of the US National Climate Assessment coordinated by the US Global Climate Research Program.