Water Resources | Science-Policy
Wheeler Insitute for Water Law & Policy | UC Berkeley
Michael Kiparsky

My dissertation work included climate impacts modeling.

In plain language, this means I attempted to translate projected future impacts such as climate change from coarse models of temperature and precipitation, to things we care about, such as local water supply.


in my modeling:


Integrated hydrology/water operations modeling

I built a model of the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced River Basins in California's Central Valley using the WEAP platform. The model represents both climate-driven hydrology and the water resources system that stores and conveys water for objectives including irrigated agriculture, urban demands, and in-stream flows for ecosystem uses.

Climate, population, and land use

I used the WEAP model to compare the projected impacts of three future drivers on water supply risk (together, separately, and representing uncertainty).

Risk analysis

While we know that future climate, population, and land use will profoundly affect water resources and ecosystem function, there is tremendous uncertainty in what the future will actually bring. I am developed a method using economic risk analysis to integrate decision-maker risk preferences into my impacts analysis, to analyze the importance of each of these factors under uncertainty.



Michael Kiparsky, Anita Milman, and Sebastian Vicuna. 2012. “Climate and water: knowledge of impacts to action on adaptation.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 37: 163-194. [pdf]

Charles A. Young, Marisa Escobar, Martha Fernandes, Brian Joyce, Michael Kiparsky, Jeffrey Mount, Vishal Mehta, David Purkey, Josh Viers, and David Yates. “Modeling the Hydrology of California's Sierra Nevada for Sub-Watershed Scale Adaptation to Climate Change.” 2009. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 45(6): 1409-1423

Michael Kiparsky, Carter Brooks and Peter H. Gleick. 2006. “Is adaptive capacity linked to regional disparities in research on climate and water?” Climatic Change 77: 363-375.