Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Paul S. Chinowsky

Second Advisor

Richard D. Kuchenrither

Third Advisor

Joseph R. Kasprzyk

Fourth Advisor

Robert Allen

Abstract

Climate change is one of the largest uncertainties surrounding water resources throughout the end of the century. Warming temperatures have a cascading effect with regard to water, driving up natural and human demand. Changing climatic patterns will also increase the risk of extreme events. One of the costliest and misunderstood natural disasters is drought. In recent years drought planning has moved from a mode of crisis/reactionary management to one of risk/preparedness management. While this shift in planning has occurred in some states, others have not moved beyond reactionary planning. Climate change has the potential of increasing the frequency and severity of drought through the end of century. This research quantifies the increased risk of drought due to climate change and analyzes the state drought policy of a region with amplified drought risk. The research finds that many states lack the inclusion of climate induced drought risk when planning. Finally, recommendations for addressing increased drought risk due to climate change at a state level are provided.

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