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Article

Projected Changes in Water Year Types and Hydrological Drought in California’s Central Valley in the 21st Century

California Department of Water Resources, 1416 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, USA
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Climate 2021, 9(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9020026
Received: 16 December 2020 / Revised: 25 January 2021 / Accepted: 25 January 2021 / Published: 28 January 2021
The study explores the potential changes in water year types and hydrological droughts as well as runoff, based on which the former two metrics are calculated in the Central Valley of California, United States, in the 21st century. The latest operative projections from four representative climate models under two greenhouse-gas emission scenarios are employed for this purpose. The study shows that the temporal distribution of annual runoff is expected to change in terms of shifting more volume to the wet season (October–March) from the snowmelt season (April–July). Increases in wet season runoff volume are more noticeable under the higher (versus lower) emission scenario, while decreases in snowmelt season runoff are generally more significant under the lower (versus higher) emission scenario. In comparison, changes in the water year types are more influenced by climate models rather than emission scenarios. When comparing two regions in the Central Valley, the rain-dominated Sacramento River region is projected to experience more wet years and less critical years than the snow-dominated San Joaquin River region due to their hydroclimatic and geographic differences. Hydrological droughts in the snowmelt season and wet season mostly exhibit upward and downward trends, respectively. However, the uncertainty in the direction of the trend on annual and multi-year scales tends to be climate-model dependent. Overall, this study highlights non-stationarity and long-term uncertainty in these study metrics. They need to be considered when developing adaptive water resources management strategies, some of which are discussed in the study. View Full-Text
Keywords: water year type; hydrological drought; climate change; adaptive strategies; Central Valley water year type; hydrological drought; climate change; adaptive strategies; Central Valley
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MDPI and ACS Style

He, M.; Anderson, J.; Lynn, E.; Arnold, W. Projected Changes in Water Year Types and Hydrological Drought in California’s Central Valley in the 21st Century. Climate 2021, 9, 26. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9020026

AMA Style

He M, Anderson J, Lynn E, Arnold W. Projected Changes in Water Year Types and Hydrological Drought in California’s Central Valley in the 21st Century. Climate. 2021; 9(2):26. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9020026

Chicago/Turabian Style

He, Minxue, Jamie Anderson, Elissa Lynn, and Wyatt Arnold. 2021. "Projected Changes in Water Year Types and Hydrological Drought in California’s Central Valley in the 21st Century" Climate 9, no. 2: 26. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9020026

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