Troubled Waters

Preparing for Climate Threats to California’s Water System

Geeta Persad, Jose Pablo Ortiz Partida

Published Oct 7, 2020

Cover page of Troubled Waters report

Water is core to California’s way of life.

But as climate change causes more volatile precipitation, less snowpack, more flooding, higher temperatures, and shorter wet seasons, the water system will increasingly fail to meet the needs of California’s communities, industry, and agriculture.

New analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that the data and certainty needed to quantitatively plan for climate change in California water management are available now.

This report outlines the key shifts in California’s hydroclimate; illustrates the risks for California’s residents, businesses, and agriculture if these shifts are ignored; and describes how the state can jumpstart the comprehensive climate planning that is needed.



Persad, Geeta, Jose Pablo Ortiz Partida, Daniel Swain. 2020. Troubled Waters: Preparing for Climate Threats to California’s Water System. Cambridge, MA: Union of Concerned Scientists.

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