National Action Plan: Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate (Draft)   [open pdf - 2MB]

"Freshwater resources are critical to the health of people, the environment, and the economy. Recent studies and assessments of climate change impacts, including the 2009 Global Climate Change Impacts in the US prepared by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, identify several major impacts of a changing climate on the Nation's freshwater resources. Expected increases in air temperatures will lead to warmer waters. Rainfall amounts are expected to decline in some areas and increase in others, while the proportion of precipitation that falls as snow decreases. Rainfall and storm events are expected to be more intense. Rising sea levels are expected to result in inundation of water infrastructure, such as water treatment facilities, and degradation of coastal groundwater resources. In October of 2010, the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force published a Progress Report describing Federal agency actions needed to better prepare the Nation to respond to the impacts of a changing climate. The Task Force recommended in the Progress Report that the Water Resources and Climate Change Adaptation Workgroup supporting the Task Force develop a national action plan to identify steps that Federal agencies can take to improve management of freshwater resources in a changing climate."

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