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Historical Pattern of Exposure As a relatively water rich state, MA is exposed to periodic droughts –Heterogeneous both in space and time; –Often coinciding.

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Presentation on theme: "Historical Pattern of Exposure As a relatively water rich state, MA is exposed to periodic droughts –Heterogeneous both in space and time; –Often coinciding."— Presentation transcript:

1 Historical Pattern of Exposure As a relatively water rich state, MA is exposed to periodic droughts –Heterogeneous both in space and time; –Often coinciding with local storm floods, sometimes at same location; The most significant ’29-’32 & ’61-’69 episodes may be used as analogue for the most recent ’00-’02 droughts. –In 2001, Worcester has to supplement its supply with the Quabbin water for the first time in almost 20 years. The extent of most recent, ’00-’02 drought episode

2 Community water bans as proxy indicator of severity of ’00-02

3 Massachusetts Drought Summary Percent of time spent in drought categories -- NOAA Climate Data Center/Central Climate Division (corresponding roughly to Central Massachusetts-- PDSI CategoryPercent of Time in Category Cumulative Percent Time Extreme3.4 Severe7.310.7 Moderate15.326.0 Mild20.046.1 Incipient12.458.4 Near Normal12.470.9 Wet29.1100.0 Lowest PDSI in 1294 months-5.36 in 5/1911 Based on the monthly Palmer Drought Severity Index as computed by the National Climatic Data Center. "Cumulative" is the percent of time in given category plus all preceding categories.

4 Turbulent climate & weather in Massachusetts Precipitation variability (amount, intensity, timing) Reduced infiltration, runoff, deep percolation and aquifer recharge Shortfall Surfeit Floods High summertime heat waves, high winds, greater sunshine, low humidity, less cloud cover, etc. Increased evaporation and transpiration Soil water deficiency Reduced streamflow, inflow to reservoirs, lakes, and ponds; reduced wetlands Plant water stress, reduced biomass and yield (such as timber and horticulture harvests) Economic: -Potential of reduced timber and horticultural harvests; -Potential of decreased hydropower production; -More limited opportunities for land development; -And so forth. Social: - More likelihood for water conflicts; - Reduced daily conveniences due to water ban; -Reduced water available for fire suppression; -Tax implications for infrastructural maintenance; -And more. Environmental: - Increased water quality & public health concerns; -Heightened risks of wildfire; -Fish kills and displacement of certain populations of animals ; -Damages to wildlife habitats; Interacting impacts Progression of drought:: metrological drought  hydrological drought Mechanism, Web of Impacts, Exacerbating & Mitigating Factors Land-consuming patterns of development:  change of surface albido;  effects of urban heat islands on local climate; Population growth & wealth effects:  increasing water consumption;  increasing waste disposal; Unplanned growth:  spatial mismatch between water supplies and uses; Mid-Latitude: prone to solar forcing, teleconnections (with NAO) Coastal orientation: prone to land-ocean- air thermal contrasts Changing elevations: effect of mountain ranges Position in the zone of westerlies: prone to opposing air masses from all corners Interacting effects that add to variability Agricultural decline: reduced economic dependency on water Well-developed water supply infrastructure (the Quabbin & the Wachusett Res. Large forest coverage (from secondary growth) serving as water sponge Critical threshold of vulnerability. Frequent interaction with flood hazards not only complicate impacts, but also tend to increase the uncertainty and difficult for adaptive behaviors at all levels.


6 Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) Department of Food & Agriculture (DFA) US EPA US Depart of Agriculture Water Supply Citizens Advisory Committee. Northeastern Emergency SEC Emergency Management Administration (MEMA) The State Drought Management Task Force (DMTF) USGS National Weather ServicesState Governor Water Resources Council (WRC) US Army Corp of Engineers Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) Department of Public Health (DPH) Massachusetts Department of Fish, Wildlife & Environmental Enforcement (DFWELE) Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Public Water Suppliers Massachusetts Association of Health Boards Massachusetts Water Works Association Municipal government MWRA Community Water Suppliers Local Boards of Health Farmers Foresters Local Fire Departments Large Water Users (industrial, commercial, etc.) Emerging Drought Coping Regime in MA Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Jointly responsible by EOEA & MEMA Information collection Consistent basis for evaluation Clear lines of communication Policy recommendations Ground/surface water levels & streamflow conditions Forecast & historical comparisons Precipitation Status of water restrictions in communities Water quality & public health concerns Reservoir levels Status of water supplies Forest fire conditions Crop/soil/agriculture conditions Public utility issues Status of USACE water resources Drought indices Impacts to ecosystems, flora, and fauna Current Conditions Report US Depart of Agriculture Communicate to target audiences Regionally-based Action Levels --Six “drought regions,” defined in terms of population, density, water demand, topography, and runoff characteristics. --Staged responses formulated on a regional basis.

7 While the impacts of climate change on water supply are not certain, the anthropogenic stresses are, as the build-out analysis illustrates… Where will the new water come from and what shall we do NOW?

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