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Updated 12 October, 2003

Climate Action Report 2002
The United States of America's Third National Communication Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Chapter 6: Impacts and Adaptation
May 2002


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Potential Adaptation Options
for Water Management

Following are some potential adaptation options for water management in response to climate change and other stresses:

  • Improve capacity for moving water within and between water-use sectors (including agriculture to urban).

  • Use pricing and market mechanisms proactively to decrease waste.

  • Incorporate potential changes in demand and supply in long-term planning and infrastructure design.

  • Create incentives to move people and structures away from flood plains.

  • Identify ways to sustainably manage supplies, including ground water, surface water, and effluent.

  • Restore and maintain watersheds to reduce sediment loads and nutrients in runoff, limit flooding, and lower water temperature.

  • Encourage the development of institutions to confer property rights to water. This would be intended to encourage conservation, recycling, and reuse of water by all users, as well as to provide incentives for research and development of such conservation technologies.

  • Reduce agricultural demand for water by focusing research on development of crops and farming practices for minimizing water use, for example, via precision agricultural techniques that closely monitor soil moisture.

  • Reuse municipal wastewater, improve management of urban storm-water runoff, and promote collection of rain water for local use.

  • Increase the use of forecasting tools for water management. Some weather patterns, such as those resulting from El Niño, can now be predicted, allowing for more efficient management of water resources.

  •  Enhance monitoring efforts to improve data collection for weather, climate, and hydrologic modeling to aid understanding of water-related impacts and management strategies.

Source: Adapted from NWAG 2000.


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