Emerging Climate Change Impacts on Freshwater Resources A Perspective on Transformed Watersheds
This review focuses first on types of socioeconomic and biotic adaptations. Many individuals, public agencies, and nongovernmental organizations are discovering ways to protect biodiversity and sustain natural ecological processes. Five case studies are highlighted to illustrate some of these alternative adaptive responses to climatic changes at local and regional scales. These approaches could be modified for use in other locations. However, most studies have evaluated uncertainties in the quantities of water supplies over relatively short periods during or immediately after a specific drought event, with limited analyses of water quality. These studies have usually focused at the scale of a single watershed or at a hierarchy of locally nested watersheds. More long‐term, spatially integrated research at regional, trans‐regional, or continental scales is needed to address the impacts of extreme climate variability on ecosystems and water supplies.