tv [untitled] December 29, 2010 4:30am-5:00am PST
great names in western law and politics. our next speaker doctor dan will repeat that entire lunchtime presentation except he'll talk really fast and do it in ten minutes. our third speaker barry nelson, codirector of national resources defense council and working on an interesting project water law and policy, and that's settlement and potential rest to raks of the san jaoquin river. thank you very much. brad? [applause] >> good afternoon, dan i'm
from nebraska actually. actually, i'm not but colorado is close enough and will have to do in my point. those of us from other parts of the country are looking very carefully to what your doing here and we're learning a lot of great lessons and we hope the sea level rising is a lesson we don't have to learn but you all, are doing fascinating work. i road in last night with joel smith and he said with a wink and nunl, never turn down a trip to san francisco or new orleans. we have one still left. all right. i'm going to talk about a shared resource in the west and my first thing here is all important dividing line on the upper and lower basin colorado line. this photograph was taken lo
1880's and you will see the lower right, the founder. john lee is actually my grant grant grand father. you might think it's remarkable to be a descendant of the guy, but he had 21 lives and by my count about 2500 descendants right about now. let's go to the next. you probably all know the overview of the river. those that never heard of the colorado river let me give you facts. 7 states and two nations share it. the fastest growing part of the nation by percentage or numbers. including utah, arizona, and nevada and california just on sheer numbers. 8 percent of the land area in
the united states and it has 60 million acre feet of storage and that's closest to the highest in the world relative to it's annual flow of 15 million acre flow a year. it's about five to 25 million acre feet. there are 35 million people served in an enormously complicated legal environment. what happens after 7 years of drought on the river. these are two parts that have 50 million of the river in storage and we started out with full reservoirs and you end up with these enormous drops and we're at about 50 percent of the average. underaverage lake immediate will never refill given demands on the system and lake paul
will take decades. it estimated ten acre feet per year and that's a serious history record, there's nothing like it. how much is variability and how much is greenhouse gas, no one can say. i think you would be silly to think it's solely natural variability. these two photographs or four actually, lake,meed, looks like that and the other lake, powell. >> this is courtesy of doctor read mond, you should. he's doing wonderful work on the climate. what we have here is a temperature slide from the
lower basin starting about 1890 to current and it looks much like the slide of worldwide temperature. the annual data is red and the blue is $1,130,569 running mean and this two degree fahrenheit increase. the upper basin numbers are comparatively about 1 point 5 degrees and in the little inset here you can see, what's happening nationally during that period. you know las vegas wins the record for many many things and they win nationally for the highest temperature increase during that same period of time. another slide from doctor redmond, he swapped the colors to red is the $1,130,569 year running mean. what you see is very little trend over this one hundred
year period. it's interesting to look that low period numbers here at the end and the lots of variability you see here in recent years. in 2002, and 04 and 06, the basin lost enormous amounts of snow pak in the spring. this one shares the continental divide with can colorado river. so this is indicative of what happens in spring of 06. the dark bars are what it was on april 01 and this is may one a month later. most of these lost 50 percent of their snow on one month
period. many my favorite is went from 176 to normal and 0 percent in one month. this is a spring time warming trend that's quite son certain. this is provided by the national resource office in new port land. the trees are containing the manager's and it's been my pleasure to work with connie and she a long with dave and a few others reconstructed this going back five years and we're looking at a 20 year average dating to about 1500. what's interesting is the tree ring is 13 point 5 acre point feet and historical is 18 point 1. with this no one cares about
global climate models and some both. there are lots of future greenhouse gas predictions. there was a brief period of time around the time of the national assessment in the year 2 thousand that we hoped we would see more flows in the river but if you look at the study recently out of university of washington, one has to have a pessimistic outlook on what future flows look like in the colorado river. my colleague marty produced one as well. that show as 50 percent reduction by 2030. i'm not sure i believe that but if you think the river is going to get more water, you might be living in, la la, land. two problems. one in lower basin and one in higher basin.
if you look that bottom line the net balance is a minus one point 4 million acre feet per year. that's going in there on average and that's not doing to change in lake, powell, and the out flows are 14 million acre feed with that in that system , it doesn't take long to see you will have a problem with average hydraulics. in my state there's this great terror that something called, a compact call will occur. basically it means section 3d, will be violated and it will fail to deliver this feed in ten years. when your denver water or
other utilities that are in case 70 dependent in some cases on water, a notion of a contact call strikes terror in the heart of water manager's. there's that issue and theres the upper issue of, how much water is left to develop. some things or think there is plenty jpand some folks think there's. 0. hydro logic left overs. this is the only other water resource and need less to say the folks in colorado are particularly perplexed by this. there are two new projects that are four and five billion mixed and ten billion to take it from the green river and pump it into the range. will it fly? i don't know.
it depends. there's also one other item out there to keep in mind, the environmental statements that recreation is pursuing. the, eis, is out there to do two things. one be to figure out and end the fighting on coordinating operations and how to deal with shortages in the area is the second. or sow in the deserves mention here. this is on a fast track and it's amazing interrum took that ten years because they're going to do the shortage of two. these rules will be in place through 2025. i think it's getting the picture here. their moving away from their reliance on historical hydraulics and have a chapter
and very interested by or behind the scenes with respect to the river. i need to say that this basin structure will change the way the river works and congratulate the people that put this together because it will change how the system operates. a couple of concluding thoughts for you. both population and climate change are puting a major stress on this basin and i think you will see shortages in the lower basin. you talk to arizona and they are nervous about this and proposeed a de say innization and they would take water in exchange from another plant and that was a reasonable proposal. that has no ability of the storm. their 3 hundred thousand acre feet and up against that and
they don't know what to do and pat,mroy is not someone to hangle with. when arizona said they had this 3 million to spend on fees she said i'll call your 3 million and raise you 3 million. this is the future growth of that part of the basin and terror behind this compact call notion, i have not mentioned the environmental issues out there that hang on this. dangerous species on all aspects of the river and the delta as well. there are two wild cards. what happens with fires in the upper basin especially with the beetle kill in colorado. the international forest says we will lose 90 percent of the dominant tree species and if you have not been to grand
lake or any of those places you will be shocked at what you see. it's clearly a change. i know all the messages today are apposing and i look at this sort of like mountain climbing as a former and pretend mountain climber, thankfully when you climb mountains the levels of steps are right when you begin and that's what we all get to deal with. i take t comfort from the writer that said we were not really lost, merely where we shouldn't have been without knowing exactly where that was. thank you.
[applause] >> i'm not going to repeat it all. but you can't take the climate out of the climatologist eventhough this is a strategy session. let me - i think i missed part of the discussion in previous panel and i think, there was something that i frag mentally caught about water. i wanted to point out in california, the amount of water that's used in conveying and other forms of pump inging, imagining the water system is
about 18 percent of the total electrical use in the state. so, the different - that means the different parts of the climate problem are connected. it's not just the water problems over here and the energy problem is over here and their somehow insulated. they are not. so, next one. um... this is a slide that, you know, if i really tortured you i would have shown a few minutesing a but this is a picture of the,g fel, model under a medium high emissions scenario. the change of the temperature at the end of the century, verses the model, historical climate, and you can see the
scale. i'm looking that map here. scale is at the bottom and what you see by this is the coastal air temperature raised, by the end of the century, about 2, 2 and a half degrees celsius. but when you get to the interior of north america, this is for summer, the temperature rise is in excess of five celsius and colorado does not look very good, naturally in those terms. so, what this suggests - and more than one model shows the same kind of behavior and i'll show you : tha. but this is a transit of
southern california showing you the temperature rise across this area, and you see this tremendous gradient of temperature increase as you get in land. of course, that has a profound influence - or would have on all sorts of things including probably water, eco systems, forest fires, human health, all sorts of issues. this is a facet of the latest generations of climate models that really was not recognized five years back or so and whether or not this is going to be um... - this is going to be verified and confirmed by future model runs that's a question, but it looks like
land properties, because of the drying that brad mentioned feeding back to the summertime atmosphere, and perhaps causing a potential worse problem to deal within the warm season. next one. this is four different model runs showing you the amount of change in the annual cycle. the one i just showed you a, well the reddish, more dramatic with the bars but truth in advertising, even a less responsive model does show some of this. it's not necessarily to the degree as the other one that was done but this is kind of to make a point. next one. the other thing to mention
here, is the infinite of the extremely warm base and that is called, heat base. norm miller has done a lot of work on this kind of behavior and he published a paper recently remarking about some of these same scenarios and ot days over this terrain but the message here is, the number of heatwaves gets greater. they begin earlier and last longer both in seasonal context and their synoptic event scale. that's a two day heatwave may all the sudden be a five day heatwave. of course you probably know,
just human nature knows if we get more than two days of heatwave we'll run the air conditioner a bit longer and finally give in as far as requiring more cooling, so in california, of course, we have a summertime heat and electrical demand and you can expect that peak power load will creep up because of this. this has the enormous ecosystem implications for this environmental justice issue mentioned earlier, because a lot of people can't afford air-conditioning and ones that can, are going to suffer more or can't will suffer more.
evidently there's a geographic issue here. people that can afford to live along the coastline are more insulated than the ones living in colorado or, elcentro. so at the bottom was an account of the increase for these events at this particular model at this particular point which i'm not doing to be labor. finally, the next one. so, i'm going to finish early, brad. as was mentioned, several times, there's a, range of
warming we can anticipate but it looks like there's a threat this warming could happen disproportion nightly has we get away from the insulating nature of the ocean that absorbs heat over a water column and ture temperature you get sitting over a continental land surface. the heatwave essentially, is doing to start earlier, if you believe these models. there is an electrical energy and probably other energy implication of all of this, in terms of cooling and power demand. there or this certainly has
environmental justice implications, and finally i would say this issue brad mentioned about trying calculate the environmental water demand. that is how much of our water that's delivered is lost to eva evaporation or transportation, the residual is the run off you get in the colorado river or some other river system. that's very much under debate in the scientific community right now. its the first order of question. a few percent have a very very large impact, so this that's one of those things that there are a lot of studies going on and i think is a scientific issue, which probably will get more refined and we'll get better at that one. that's where i stop.
thanks. [applause] >> afternoon. i'm barry nelson with the water project here in san francisco. i'd like to start by thanking the city for pulling this conference together and note it's in some way as real landmark event. this is, i think the first conference i've attended with water manager's. this is the first one where a significant portion of the event is not devoted to whether climate change is real. i think water managers really in the last couple of years have moved past that and now we're ready for the next step in that discussion, what are the impacts of that and what
can water managers do to adopt their operations appropriately. that's a particularly appropriate time for us to be working on this issue and we're putting the finishing touches of a report could, in hot water, what can water manager's do to address this. there's executive summary and we're just finishing the editing now and it should be out in six weeks and how should water managers be changing the way they think in response to water climate change and we're delighted to be there with the report. if you interested in receiving that give me your card afterwards and i'll make sure you get some. happy to preview a few results of our analysis. a lot of folks have done good
work on these issues the two points we think are new is first, summarizing what's happening around the west in terms of what water managers are doing with a tremendous amount of activity and we talked about it earlier today, there's a tremendous amount of activity around the west and no one has pulled that information so to see what water managers are doing. we're trying fill that gap and second, we're trying to get a reasonable blueprint to import climate change into the management of their agencies. two key documents are documents already mentioned. the,awaa, research and someone fromdwr, great resources for looking