CIRES/NOAA Western Water Assessment

Mission. The mission of the Western Water Assessment (WWA) is to identify and characterize regional vulnerabilities to climate variability and change, and to develop information, products and processes to assist water-resource decision-makers throughout the Intermountain West.

The Assessment was created in 1999. Using multidisciplinary teams of experts in climate, water, law, and economics, the Western Water Assessment provides information about natural climate variability and human-caused climate change. This information - usually in the form of climate forecasts and regional vulnerability assessments - is designed to assist water-resource decision makers such as Denver Water.

WWA is one of seven RISA (Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments) programs funded by the Office of Global Programs at NOAA. These programs are designed to develop partnerships with regional stakeholders and tailor NOAA data products to meet their needs. Lessons learned here are also contributing to NOAA's emerging "National Climate Service," the climate analog to the existing National Weather Service.

Some recent Western Water Assessment projects have:

  1. provided experimental 90-day climate outlooks to the Colorado Water Availability ("Drought") Task Force
  2. generated 300-year tree-ring based historical stream flows for use by large Front Range water providers to evaluate the effectiveness of current stream flow prediction tools and assess vulnerability to drought
  3. improved springtime streamflow runoff forecasts issued by the National Weather Service for use by reservoir managers such as the Bureau of Reclamation

Products, Assessments, and Highlights >


Western Water Assessment Web Site