LSCRB Climate Change Impact Study Results Available

May 6, 2022
University of Arizona researchers Kathy Jacobs, Neha Gupta, Chris Castro, and Hsin-I Chang have been key contributors to the first comprehensive assessment of climate change effects on the Lower Santa Cruz River Basin (LSCRB). Jacobs, Director of AIRES Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions, and Gupta, Program Coordinator for AIRES University Climate Change Coalition, were on the study’s leadership team. A collaboration between the US Bureau of Reclamation and a group of LSCRB stakeholder organizations, the 5-year study assessed climate change effects, including reduced CAP deliveries. The study incorporated historical observations and model-based projections into its assessment. Castro, Professor and Associate Head, and Chang, Assistant Research Professor, both from the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, were responsible for the study’s climate projections. Projected effects on basin-wide water supplies and demands informed efforts to identify potential supply-demand imbalances, groundwater-level changes, and environmental impacts. The final report summary states that the LSCRB can expect hotter, drier conditions, more variability in precipitation, and decreased streamflow. Regions of special concern include communities outside and surrounding the city of Tucson on the North, East, and South. The report also contains potential adaptation strategies. The final report will not be released officially before the fall, but summary results and climate modeling outcomes are available. With the publication of these results, a Safe Yield Task Force meeting has been scheduled for Monday, May 23, 10:00 AM at Metro Water. When call-in and agenda information are available, an update will be published in the Weekly Wave. AIRES is the Arizona Institute for Resilient Environments & Societies.