Oregon State University

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WRE PhD Defense - Ms. Kara DiFrancesco

Development and application of climate risk assessment methods for flood management systems – a study of flexibility, adaptive capacity, and robustness

Thursday, March 13, 2014 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Light refreshments will be provided.

ABSTRACT:  Discussions around adapting water management systems to climate change often express the need to increase the flexibility and adaptive capacity of current systems, and to implement robust strategies going forth. While these topics lie at the center of many climate change discussions, transforming adaptation recommendations into tangible tools and information used in decision-making has proven difficult. The climate adaptation literature lacks sufficient concrete examples of how water managers can assess the ability of current systems to perform under climate change and make decisions regarding potential adaptation strategies. In this research, I outline a set of complimentary methods for water managers to assess the climate risk of current systems and potential management strategies. The developed climate assessment methods place emphasis on addressing the nonstationary, uncertain nature of climate change and how this conflicts with traditional water management decision-making methods that assume stationarity.   

The presented studies provide water managers with examples of how to apply climate adaptation terms to on-the-ground water systems. I outline example evaluation techniques for a collection of related adaptation terms, in particular:  flexibility, adaptive capacity, sensitivity, vulnerability, and robustness. While the example case studies are located in California, USA, the methodological basis used to assess climate risk, has broad applicability and can be adapted and applied to other water systems around the world.


Burt Hall (campus map)
193
Kara Di Francesco
difranck at onid.orst.edu
Water Resources Engineering
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