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Journal article

Modifying agricultural water management to adapt to climate change in California’s central valley

David Purkey, Brian Joyce, Vishal Mehta / Published on 30 December 2011

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Joyce, B.A., V.K. Mehta, D.R. Purkey, L.L. Dale and M. Hanemann (2011). Modifying agricultural water management to adapt to climate change in California's central valley. Climatic Change 109 (Supplement 1), 299-316; Special Issue: California Second Assessment: New Climate Change Impact Studies and Implications for Adaptation.



Climate change impacts and potential adaptation strategies were assessed using an application of the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) system developed for the Sacramento River basin and Delta export region of the San Joaquin Valley. The authors applied the model to evaluate the hydrologic implications of 12 climate change scenarios as well as the water management ramifications of the implied hydrologic changes.

In addition to evaluating the impacts of climate change with current operations, the model also assessed the impacts of changing agricultural management strategies in response to a changing climate. Model simulations suggested that increasing agricultural demand under climate change brought on by increasing temperature will place additional stress on the water system, such that some water users will experience a decrease in water supply reliability.

To adequately address the impacts of climate change, adaptation strategies will have to include fundamental changes in the ways in which the water management system is operated.

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SEI authors

David Purkey

Centre Director

SEI Latin America

Profile picture of Brian Joyce
Brian Joyce

Senior Scientist


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10.1007/s10584-011-0335-y Closed access
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