Research

Recent Projects

  • 2021 Map of study area
    ACCESS: Anthropogenic Water Management, Climate Change, and Environmental Sustainability in the Southwestern US
    ACCESS is a collaborative project among researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Colorado Boulder funded by the National Science Foundation.
    Led by Drs. Yadu Pokhrel and Lifeng Luo at MSU and Dr. Ben Livneh and Liz Payton at CU, the project engages with stakeholders throughout the Southwest US to assess whether current management practices can meet future water demands while maintaining environmental water requirements, and if not, whether there are alternative approaches to achieving water and environmental sustainability. The project uses a comprehensive modeling framework that integrates key drivers of hydrologic change and water management while also accounting for environmental water needs.
  • 2021 WWA hosts a workshop with water managers
    Building understanding for water system resilience to changing streamflows
    In this project, we will engage with water providers, tribal representatives, agricultural and other water users, ecological interests, and recreational groups about future snowpack and streamflow conditions, increasing understanding of how they view water system resilience to compound hazards. This continued engagement is essential both to disseminate new research findings and to understand evolving information and planning landscapes.
  • 2021 South St. Vrain Creek near Long Lake, CO
    Building cross-scale understanding and collaboration to support wildfire-resilient water systems
    Water system managers in the Intermountain West face enormous challenges navigating unpredictable streamflow forecasts, changing snowpack behavior, and the increasingly dangerous threat of wildfire to both water quality and quantity. In this project, we aim to engage directly with water system managers in an iterative project to (1) increase understanding of their perceptions of water system resilience, (2) identify key components of regional water system resilience across a range of scales from small rural systems to larger urban systems, and (3) convene cross-scale water manager conversations to support peer learning and identify opportunities to collaboratively build equitable and just regional water system resilience. This project stems directly from conversations with the US Forest Service, Northern Water, and Denver Water.
  • 2021 Western Water Assessment
    Understanding Social Networks to Facilitate Resilience
    When communities experience the impacts of compound hazards, responses are often reactive and it is often too late to respond in an efficient and effective manner (Raymond et al. 2020). Just as academic disciplines are often siloed, sectors and decision-makers can be siloed from one another and not understand interconnections or linkages in decision-making. Social network analysis has been used to understand how information and resources flow through a system and how they influence adaptation actions (Jones & Faas 2016). While social networks have been looked at retrospectively, they have rarely been assessed in a co-produced approach with stakeholders to proactively assess and shift networks to build system resilience (Maldonado 2017).
  • 2021 Barker Reservoir in Nederland, CO
    Supporting Resilient Planning Among Regional Water Providers
    This project supports water system resilience through use-inspired research that helps providers prepare for vulnerabilities due to seasonal water supply prediction errors. We will make meaningful advances in the understanding of existing water supply forecast vulnerabilities and identifying realistic potential adaptations for water systems.

Recent Publications

The Utah Hazard Planning Tool provides information about the historical, current risk and future projections of natural hazards in Utah. This document is designed to be used as an information resource and guide for hazard planners in Utah.   Utah Hazard Planning Tool

Clifford, Katherine R, Amanda E Cravens, and Corrine N Knapp. 2022. “Responding to Ecological Transformation: Mental Models, External Constraints, and Manager Decision-Making.” BioScience 72 (1): 57–70.   https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biab086
Crausbay, Shelley D, Helen R Sofaer, Amanda E Cravens, Brian C Chaffin, Katherine R Clifford, John E Gross, Corrine N Knapp, et al. 2022. “A Science Agenda to Inform Natural Resource Management Decisions in an Era of Ecological Transformation.” BioScience 72 (1): 71–90.   https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biab102

Williams, A.P., B. Livneh, K.A. McKinnon, W.D. Hansen, J.S. Mankin, B.I. Cook, J.E. Smerdon, A.M. Varuolo-Clarke, N.R. Bjarke, C.S. Juang, and D.P. Lettenmaier, 2022: Growing impact of wildfire on western United States water supply, Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, 119(10) e2114069119.   https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2114069119

Hale, K.E., A.N. Wlostowski, S.P. Anderson, *A.M. Badger, K.N. Musselman, B. Livneh, and N.P. Molotch, 2022: Streamflow sensitivity to climate warming through the lens of surface water input, Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 39, 100976.   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrh.2021.100976

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