Climate risk is the effect of climate uncertainty on objectives
http://ny.water.usgs.gov/projects/news/currentnewsrelease.pdfThis graph shows the annual peak discharges on the East Branch of the Delaware. During the 73 years of record, the 10 year peak discharge (or greater) occurred 5 to 6 times, the 50 year peak discharge (or greater) twice and the 100 peak discharge (or greater) once. If in the next decade we get another 50 year or 100 year peak discharge, the probability distributions will be changed.
Extratropical storms in late winter early spring causing peak flows
So this is the likelhood, based on 75 years of data, that a tropical cyclone such as Irene or Lee will be the cause of the peak annual discharge.
If we accept that adapting to climate change is all about managing climate risks, then we can examine different strategies for managing riskThere are other approaches to categorizing risk management (such as proactive and reactive), but these categories seem useful.All approaches can be taken by individuals, businesses and governments.Give example of weather derivatives offered by CME in first category. Scientists/engineers tend to focus on second category
Concept of bounded rationality supports these appraochesBounded RationalityRationality in decision making is limited byInformation availableCognitive limitations Finite time for decision makingSo rather than arriving at optimal solutions, decision makers arrive at satisfactory ones
Managing Water Resources as Climate Changes
Managing Water Resources as Climate Changes: Adapting to Uncertainty Susan Riha Professor, Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric Science Director, New York State Water Resources Institute October 26, 2011
Strategies for Managing Risk1. Share/transfer – Share or balance climate risks with others through tools such as insurance and hedge products (derivatives, bonds)2. Reduce/mitigate – Reduce likelihood or severity of climate risk (via infrastructure, operations, stockpiling, disaster response)3. Avoid (eliminate, not initiate) – Some climate risks can be avoided4. Retain – Can be used in the case of very small or very large risks
Non “optimal” Approaches for Managing Risk• Adaptive management: Originally conceived as a way to make decisions in the face of uncertainty through an iterative process which allows learning over time.• Precautionary principle: Scientific uncertainty should not preclude cost-effective measures to prevent or mitigate harm.• No-regrets options: There are other benefits of taking actions that address climate risks.• Scenario planning/Robust decision making: Developing management strategies that best adapt to a wide range of plausible future conditions.
Role of Local Governments• Much of our water resource infrastructure already designed to reduce climate risks.• Asset management important. – Grey water resource infrastructure (dams, POTWs, water treatment systems, private wells, septic systems) is expensive and ages. – Opportunities for consolidation, downsizing, elimination, replacement with green infrastructure – Could simultaneously make us less vulnerable to climate variability