Climate Change and the Southwest Water Crisis

March 14, 2011 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Family Planning, Water, United States, Daily Email Recap

From the Stockholm Environment Institute’s Climate Economics Group.  Scanning the main report, it does not seem that the authors considered the alternative of limiting population growth.

Three-report package

The Last Drop: Climate Change and the Southwest Water Crisis

Water is already a major concern in the Southwest, where homes, businesses and farms use far more water than is produced by rain and snowfall, and groundwater reserves are shrinking.
In this study, funded by a grant from the Kresge Foundation, Frank Ackerman and Liz Stanton quantified the impact of climate change on the Southwest’s water supply.
Without prompt action, they found, Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah will face a combined shortfall over the next century of 1,815 million acre feet from population and income growth alone, plus an additional 282 million to 439 million acre feet of shortfall due to climate change.
Based on current water prices, meeting the baseline shortfall alone would cost $2.3 trillion to $4 trillion, and climate change could increase that by a quarter, adding as much as $1 trillion to the costs of 21st-century water supply in the Southwest.

To read the main policy report, click here.
A second piece of this package, California Water Supply and Demand: Technical Report, describes our CWSD model, created to analyze urban and agricultural water use.
A third piece, The Water-Energy Nexus in the Western States: Projections to 2100, describes an analysis of water use for energy production, conducted by Synapse Energy Economics Inc.

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