Climate variability and water supply of the Colorado River Basin
This study investigates the implications of climate variability and long range forecasting to the water resources of the western United States. More specifically, the usefulness of this information to water agencies in the Colorado River Basin is studied. Streamflow data from select stations are evaluated for a relationship with the climate indices: (1) the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI); (2) the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO); and (3) the North Pacific (NP). Results indicate that the Lower Colorado River Basin has a significant correlation with the SOI and PDO. The SOI and PDO can serve as indicators of the upcoming water year (Oct – Sept) streamflow conditions for the Lower Colorado River Basin. The results are not as encouraging for the Upper Colorado River Basin where the strength of the relationship is weak. Further studies should investigate the potential of utilizing climate indices for long-range streamflow forecasting prior to the beginning of the water year.
Climate; Colorado River Basin; El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO); Forecasting; Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO); Streamflow; Water availability; Water resources
Climate | Environmental Sciences | Fresh Water Studies
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Piechota, T. C.
Climate variability and water supply of the Colorado River Basin.