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Decision Support Planning Methods: Incorporating Climate Change Uncertainties into Water Planning

Created: 12/31/2009 - Updated: 3/14/2019


Climate change is challenging the way water utilities plan for the future. Observed warming and climate model projections now call into question the stability of future water quantity and quality. As water utilities grapple with preparing for the large range of possible climate change impacts, many are searching for new planning techniques to help them better prepare for a different, more uncertain, future. There are several promising new methods being tested in water utilities planning. This white paper will help water utilities learn about and evaluate these new planning techniques, called Decision Support Planning Methods (DSPMs), for use in their own climate adaptation efforts.

Published On

Friday, January 1, 2010


Regional / Subnational
Sector Addressed: 
Water Resources
Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Air temperature
Flow patterns
Sea level rise
Water quality
Water supply
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Capacity Building
Conduct / Gather additional research, data, and products
Conduct vulnerability assessments and studies
Conduct scenario planning exercise
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Infrastructure retrofitting and improvements
Stormwater systems: retrofitting and improvements
Water supply: retrofitting and improvements
Make infrastructure resistant or resilient to climate change
Develop / implement adaptive management strategies

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Photo attributed to McGhiever. Incorporated here under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. No endorsement by licensor implied.

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