Multidecadal streamflow regimes in the interior western United States: Implications for the vulnerability of water resources

Shaleen Jain, Connie Woodhouse, Martin P. Hoerling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the interior western United States, increased demand for water coupled with the uncertain nature of anthropogenic and natural hydroclimatic variations add challenges to the task of assessing the adequacy of the existing regional water resources systems. Current availability of relatively short instrumental streamflow records further limits the diagnosis of multidecadal and longer time variations. Here we develop a long-term perspective of streamflow variations using a 285-year long tree-ring reconstruction at Middle Boulder Creek, Colorado. Analysis of the reconstructed streamflow provides useful insights for assessing vulnerability: (a) a wider range of hydrologic variations on multidecadal time scales, not seen in the instrumental record, (b) wet/dry regimes show disparate fluctuations across various flow thresholds, and (c) temporal changes in the flow probabilities have varied "flavors" corresponding to wet and dry regimes and their spatial extent. Based on these results, we discuss implications for the climate-related vulnerability of regional water resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-31
Number of pages2
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume29
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

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water resources
vulnerability
streamflow
water resource
boulder
tree ring
adequacy
timescale
climate
availability
thresholds
rings
water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Multidecadal streamflow regimes in the interior western United States : Implications for the vulnerability of water resources. / Jain, Shaleen; Woodhouse, Connie; Hoerling, Martin P.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 29, No. 21, 01.11.2002, p. 32-31.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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