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Workshop on Nonstationarity, Hydrologic Frequency Analysis, and Water Management Proceedings

Published Aug. 16, 2010
Photo of water in a stream.

ALEXANDRIA, VA—August 16, 2010. The Proceedings for the "Workshop on Nonstationarity, Hydrologic Frequency Analysis, and Water Management", held January 13-15, 2010, in Boulder, Colorado, are now available online. The workshop brought together researchers and practitioners from the United States and international institutions. It was sponsored by the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management, Colorado State University, and five Federal water agencies involved in the Climate Change and Water Working Group: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Reclamation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency.

An underlying assumption of traditional hydrologic frequency analysis is that climate, and hence the frequency of hydrologic events, is stationary, or unchanging over time. Anthropogenic climate change (i.e. processes derived from human activities) and better understanding of decadal and multi-decadal climate variability present a challenge to the validity of this assumption. The workshop discussed possible alternatives to the assumption of stationarity in hydrologic frequency analysis and water management.

The workshop objectives were (1) to discuss in detail how water management agencies should plan and manage water resources in the face of nonstationarity, and (2) to form a coordinated action plan to help the agencies move forward. The workshop was organized into several main themes:

  • Introduction to the problem nonstationarity poses for water management
  • Understanding nonstationarity through data analysis and statistical methods
  • Forecasting future hydrologic frequency through the use of climate model information
  • Decision making with a highly uncertain future
  • International perspectives on nonstationarity
  • Summary and conclusions

The workshop program included presentations by five Nobel Peace Prize laureates who were lead authors for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports. International participants came from Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Poland, Greece, and Italy. Other information about the workshop, including presentations, is available on the workshop website. Presenters from IWR, HEC and the Corps included:

  • Beth Faber, PhD, HEC
  • Prof. Gerald E. Galloway, Jr. , Maass-White Visiting Scholar 2006-2007
  • J. Rolf Olsen, PhD, Responses to Climate Change Program, IWR
  • Nate Snorteland, Director, Risk Management Center
  • Eugene Stakhiv, Technical Director ICIWaRM, Senior IWR International Water Advisor
  • Prof. Jery R. Stedinger, Leo R. Beard Visiting Scholar 2005-2006
  • Jerry Webb, Principal Hydrologic and Hydraulic Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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