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November 2, 2014

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New study: Rising temperatures challenge Salt Lake City’s water supply - Sensitivity study helps the city, others in the Intermountain West, plan for the future

Dell Creek in Parley’s Canyon, is a source of water for Salt Lake City. A new study shows how climate change is likely to affect the various creeks and streams that help slake Salt Lake City’s thirst. Credit: Patrick Nelson, Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities

Dell Creek in Parley’s Canyon, is a source of water for Salt Lake City. A new study shows how climate change is likely to affect the various creeks and streams that help slake Salt Lake City’s thirst. Credit: Patrick Nelson, Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities

News Story

1 November 2013

Joint Release

WASHINGTON, DC—In an example of the challenges water-strapped Western cities will face in a warming world, new research shows that every degree Fahrenheit of warming in the Salt Lake City region could mean a 1.8 to 6.5 percent drop in the annual flow of streams that provide water to the city.

By midcentury, warming Western temperatures may mean that some of the creeks and streams that help slake Salt Lake City’s thirst will dry up several weeks earlier in the summer and fall, according to the new paper, published today in the journal Earth Interactions. The findings may help regional planners make choices about long-term investments, including water storage and even land-protection policies. Earth Interactions is jointly published by the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, and the Association of American Geographers.

Source: American Geophysical Union (AGU)



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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement #DEB-1637686. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necesarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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