Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins Climate Impact Assessment
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) | September 8th, 2014
Through West-Wide Climate Risk Assessments (WWCRAs) conducted under that program, Reclamation is conducting reconnaissance-level assessments of risks to water supplies and related resources in eight major Reclamation river basins in the Western United States.
This report presents the results of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Climate Impact Assessment (SSJIA), which addresses impacts in two of these major basins in California. The SSJIA also includes the Tulare Lake Basin in the southern part of the Central Valley of California; part of the Trinity River watershed from which some water is diverted into the Central Valley; and a portion of California’s central coast region where Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP) water supplies are delivered. The water supplies and demands analyzed in the SSJIA include CVP water users, SWP water users, and the other non-project water users in the study area.
Included in the report is an overview of the current climate and hydrology of California’s Central Valley (Sacramento, San Joaquin and Tulare Lake Basins), an analysis of observed trends in temperature and precipitation over historical record, and a comparison of these trends to future water operation projections not considering climate change. The report then presents hydrologic projections developed from global climate models to evaluate the ways that projected climatic and hydrologic changes could impact water availability and management and water demands within the Sacramento, San Joaquin and Tulare Lake basins. The SSJIA analyzes potential impacts of climate change under a current trends projection of future urban growth considering the conversion of agricultural to urban land use and assuming the continuation of current crop types in the Central Valley. Finally, the SSJIA assesses risks to the eight major resource categories identified in the SWA by looking at a range of climate futures and attempting to book-end future uncertainties.