Water

Sector Overview 
Investigating how climate change may impact how water supplies and quality change in the urban Northeast is critical building resilience.

The CCRUN water sector team is lead by Dr. Richard Palmer at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

 

Phase I Highlights 
Evaluation of the potential impacts of climate change on the millions of individuals in the Boston-NYC-Philadelphia urban corridor served by some of the major water supply utilities in the region.

Tools and models were created and utilized for the three cities to calculate climate-induced impacts on water availability.

 

Phase II Highlights

Phase II of CCRUN’s water assessment projects focused on exploring the effects of climate change on water systems that provide our drinking water (typically outside of cities), particularly in regard to drought.

As a result, our researchers found that hydrologic forecast error and uncertainty increases with increasing lead time for 90-day forecasts. City-specific research, based on models of the City of Baltimore Water Supply System, indicated that improved forecasting of water system responses (ensemble hydraulic forecasting) resulted in quantifiable improvements in system performance over the 2001 to 2010 historic period, including the 2001 drought.

Previous results indicated that the use of seasonal scale hydrologic forecasting was an effective method for drought management under projected climate change conditions for the northeast. This experiment aimed to quantify the value of improved forecasts in a way that compliments existing National Weather Service forecast verification tools.