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    With the effects of the dramatic western US drought still reverberating through the landscape, researchers gathered in advance of the 20th annual Lake Tahoe Summit to discuss western US water issues in the 21st century. This two-day workshop brought together ~40 researchers from universities and agencies (federal and state) to discuss the prospects that transformative new science and forecasting of western water can prepare policy makers and the public to anticipate a changing world. The discussion was motivated by the urgent need to improve knowledge of the resilience versus “brittleness” of western water supplies in the face of changing climate and large scale disturbances including wildfires, floods, droughts and urbanization. With much of the landscape of the west under federal and state management, increasing population growth in cities, and increasing industrial and agricultural demands for water, participants agreed that a bold integration of academic and agency intellectual power is needed. We concluded it is time for a western -focused, integrated research center to bring science and social science-based solutions to addressing water scarcity and resilience, spanning academic institutions and mission-oriented federal and state agencies. Such a center would bring state-of-the-art scientific, engineering and socio-economic findings to bear on critical water issues in context of public policy, planning, and socioeconomic trends. Western water, whether in the atmosphere, rivers or aquifers flows without regard to state or federal boundaries. Scientists, engineers and policy researchers must therefore also work across boundaries to ensure resiliency of water supplies and landscapes through the coming century.

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    Tyler, Scott; Chandra, Sudeep; Grant, Gordon. 2017. Management strategies for sustainable western water. Eos 98.


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    Watershed management, climate change, disturbance processes, streamflow.

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