Tingju ZHU 1, Stacy K. TANAKA1 , Marion JENKINS1 , Jay R. LUND1 , Richard HOWITT2 , Randy RITZEMA1 , Ines FERREIRA1
1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
2 Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. University of California, Davis. Davis, CA 95616, U.S.A.
Concern for climate change in California has increased in recent years and the potential effects of climate change have been widely discussed from a variety of perspectives. Unlike previous studies of California’s water systems, which examined only one or few climate projections and focused on a few isolated river basins or one or two major water projects, this approach employed here used an integrated economic-engineering optimization model to examine the entire inter-tied California water supply system based on urban and agriculture water demand projections adjusted to land use changes and population growth at 2100 level as well as typical climate warming hydrologies from 12 climate warming scenarios for 2100. The results indicate California’s water system can adapt to severe population growth and climate warming, although the costs in absolute terms can be high. Agricultural water users in the Central Valley are the most vulnerable to climate warming and, water use in Southern California is likely to become predominantly urban.