Water and Climate Change Research
Climate change can impact water resources at local and regional scales. For example, in some areas of the United States, droughts and extreme rainfall events are increasing, which can effect water supplies in these areas. These patterns are expected to continue and to shift outside of historical trends—making forecasting our water quality and quantity more difficult.
EPA conducts research to better understand impacts of climate change on water quality and availability. This cutting-edge science helps determine and support new strategies for managing watersheds and drinking water supplies, while reducing water-related energy demands. In order to protect public health and the health of our ecosystems in the face of a changing climate, EPA research focuses on the following:
- Modeling climate-related water resource stressors, such as nutrient pollution.
- Analyzing biological indicators (such as microbial), and habitat indicators (such as hydrologic alteration), to determine the condition of a watershed.
- Determining how climate change affects water quality, flow patterns, and flooding risk.
- Understanding estuarine and coastal vulnerabilities to climate-related factors.
- Designing predictive tools for improved land use management and water utility practices.
- Developing adaptation strategies, including economic, social, and ecological approaches to meet climate-related challenges.
- Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change: Challenges of Conducting Multi-stressor Global Change Vulnerability Assessments
- BASINS and WEPP Climate Assessment Tools (CAT): Case Study Guide to Potential Applications
- Climate and Land Use Change Effects on Ecological Resources in Three Watersheds: A Synthesis Report
- Climate Ready Estuaries Report -- Volume I
- Climate Ready Estuaries Report -- Volume II
- Freshwater Biological Traits Database Report
- Implications of Climate Change for State Bioassessment Programs and Approaches to Account for Effects
- Regional Monitoring Networks (RMN) to Detect Changing Baselines in Freshwater Wadeable Streams (Final Report)
Related EPA Information
- Drought Resilience and Water Conservation Technical Brief
- Climate Change and Nutrient Interaction
- Climate Change and Water
- Climate Impacts on Water Resources
- Climate Ready Estuaries
- Creating Resilient Water Utilities
- Drought Resilience and Water Conservation
- Securing and Sustaining Water Systems Research
- BASINS 4.0 Climate Assessment Tool (CAT): Supporting Documentation and User's Manual
- National Stormwater Calculator with Climate Scenarios (SWC)
- Storm Water Management Model - Climate Adjustment Tool (SWMM-CAT)
- Being Prepared for Climate Change Workbook
- Climate Resilience Evaluation & Awareness Tool (CREAT)
- WEPPCAT: An Online Tool for Assessing and Managing the Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Sediment Loading to Streams