Water Management

Farmers, ranchers and foresters in some regions of the U.S. contend with an overabundance of water while other regions are frequently challenged by drought and water scarcity. The 100th meridian is often touted as the dividing line between the wet eastern United States and the dry, water-limited west. Projected changes in average annual precipitation show increases in much of the northern U.S. and decreases in the southern U.S., exacerbating the water-related challenges already faced in these areas. For example, an increase in spring precipitation may reduce the number of workable field days, reduce crop yields and disrupt planting operations in wetter regions. Extreme precipitation has generally increased and is projected to continue to increase across the U.S. with a warming atmosphere. Flooding related to more extreme precipitation could impact agricultural production and surface water quality as nutrient concentrations and sediment loads are washed from fields into nearby waterways.  More extreme precipitation could also increase climate risk from aging water infrastructure.

View of the Berkshire Garden

Smart Phone or Tablet? We suggest jumping over here for an improved virtual experience!   It is important to continue to find ways to mitigate or adapt to climate change. One of the most effective strategies is to teach younger generations about taking care of the planet. At the...

UMass Permaculture

Nelson Cecarelli talks with the USDA Northeast Climate Hub about his farming practices in October 2017.

This year is different for Cecarelli Farms. In late January, Nelson Cecarelli passed away after a battle with cancer. His legacy of agricultural stewardship and passion for farming continue through his business partner and friend, Will DellaCamera. Over the past 20 years, Nelson...

Continued Conversations with Cecarelli Farms

A view at the University of Delaware's Warrington Irrigation Research Farm

Smart Phone or Tablet? We suggest jumping over here for an improved virtual experience!   Studies at the Warrington Irrigation Research Farm are aimed at using water to maximize crop yields and improve profits. Water is one of the most critical crop needs. By improving water...

Irrigation Research at UD

References for Climate Risk Management Practices prepared by: J.J. Ho; J.E. Halofsky; D.L. Peterson.    References U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service [USDA FS]. 2008. Forest Service strategic framework for responding to climate change. Version 1.0. Washington, DC: U....

Climate Risk Management Practices: References

An image describing the components used to build Grass-Cast.

Every spring, ranchers face the same difficult challenge – trying to guess how much grass will be available for livestock to graze during the upcoming summer. An innovative Grassland Productivity Forecast or Grass-Cast published its first forecast on May 22, 2018 to help...

Grass-Cast: Grassland Productivity Forecast

Sensitivities A. Increased flood frequency and higher peak flows may reduce egg-fry survival for fall spawners and yearling parr winter survival. B. Increased sedimentation in streams will accompany increased flooding and wildfire. C. Lower low flows in summer will reduce fish...

Climate Risk Management Practices: Fish Habitat and Fisheries

Burned riparian area

Sensitivity A. Reduced snowpack, shifts in hydrologic regime involving changes in timing and magnitude of streamflows, and changing groundwater recharge and discharge will likely lead to shifts in plant species composition and reduced habitat quality in riparian areas, wetlands...

Climate Risk Management Practices: Riparian Areas, Wetlands, and Groundwater-Dependent Ecosystems

Irrigation lines at Intervale Community Farm

An Economic Case Study at Intervale Community Farm After severe drought in much of the Northeast in 2016, the following summer reminded us that the trend in the Northeast is for more rainfall. However, this rain is more often occurring in heavy downpours between periods of hot...

Irrigation Pays in Protecting Crop Revenues

Sustainable Agriculture and Research for Understanding, or SARE, has released the following resource: Cultivating Climate Resilience on Farms and Ranches. This document outlines the new challenges that changing weather patterns pose in agriculture throughout the United States,...

SARE Resource: Cultivating Climate Resilience on Farms and Ranches

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