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Climate change is occurring and its impacts are already being felt.  Further warming will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.

Increased air temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and sea level rise all have potential consequences for Oregon’s water resources. Much of the state’s precipitation is predicted to arrive as rain instead of snow by 2080s (see figure below).  This will lead to extreme hydrologic events, with more flood events in the winter and spring, and increased drought conditions in the summer and fall.

Diagram showing Ratio of Peak Snow Water Equivalent to October and March PrecipitationWetlands, estuaries, forests, lakes, rivers, and streams and even groundwater, will be affected by climate change. These changes will have implications for our ability to meet our water needs.  Oregon will need to continuously monitor climate change effects on Oregon’s water resources and help water users adapt to climate change.

 For more information please visit the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute webpage.