Climate Change: Federal Efforts Under Way to Assess Water Infrastructure Vulnerabilities and Address Adaptation Challenges

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense's U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) have assessed water resource and infrastructure vulnerabilities and taken steps to develop guidance and strategies to adapt to the effects of climate change. Specifically, since 2009, the Corps has completed a high-level assessment of the vulnerabilities to climate change of various agency missions. The assessment found, for example, that the effects of increasing air temperatures on glaciers could negatively impact mission areas including navigation and flood ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. November 14, 2013.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense's U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) have assessed water resource and infrastructure vulnerabilities and taken steps to develop guidance and strategies to adapt to the effects of climate change. Specifically, since 2009, the Corps has completed a high-level assessment of the vulnerabilities to climate change of various agency missions. The assessment found, for example, that the effects of increasing air temperatures on glaciers could negatively impact mission areas including navigation and flood damage reduction. The Corps has also conducted pilot studies to help identify adaptation guidance and strategies; it has completed 5 of the 15 pilot studies initiated and plans to start another study in 2013. Similarly, Reclamation has completed baseline assessments of the potential impacts of climate change on future water supplies for the major river basins where it owns and operates water management infrastructure. Reclamation, in collaboration with nonfederal entities, is now conducting more focused assessments, known as Basin Studies, through which Reclamation seeks to identify water supply vulnerabilities and project future climate change impacts on the performance of water infrastructure. According to agency officials, these studies will also help Reclamation develop adaptation strategies to address these impacts, such as operational or physical changes to existing water infrastructure or development of new facilities. Three Basin Studies have been completed, an additional 14 are under way, and 2 more are planned. Reclamation next plans to initiate feasibility studies for adaptation strategies identified in completed Basin Studies. Both agencies are incorporating what they have learned from their efforts into agency policies, planning, and guidance, according to agency officials."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • November 14, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Climate Change: Federal Efforts Under Way to Assess Water Infrastructure Vulnerabilities and Address Adaptation Challenges, report, November 14, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc300540/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.