Ray, A. J., 2003: Reservoir management in the interior West: The influence of climate variability and functional linkages of water. In Climate and Water: Transboundary Challenges in the Americas, H. F. Diaz and B. J. Morehouse (Eds.), Kluwer Academic Publishers, 193-217.


Two trends in the Gunnison Basin of western Colorado are increasing the sensitivity of reservoir systems to climate variability. These trends are increasing water utilization within the basin, especially for environmental purposes, and the increasing importance of functional linkages of the basin's water to other places in the U.S. West. There is a potential for seasonal climate forecasts to provide advance guidance of wet or dry years, which could allow managers to better plan for dry conditions, or to take advantage of wet conditions. Trends in this basin mirror similar trends across the interior West, and thus it is valuable to examine the Gunnison Basin to understand how climate variability interacts with critical water issues facing the larger region, and how this information might be incorporated into decision making for reservoir management.