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Leela Stevens

California State University, Long Beach

Project: Projecting Water Security for the Columbia River Basin. How Much Different Could Our Future Be?

Hi! My name is Leela Stevens, and I am majoring in Civil Engineering at California State University of Long Beach. Here is a little short clip about my research project.

Columbia River Basin (CRB) expands a total of 1200 miles from British Columbia (Canada’s Western most province) to Astoria (Oregon). Columbia River Basin is essential to federal, state, local, and private water management projects, and it serves multiple purposes in the roughly 258,000 square miles encompassed in its domain, such as: flood risk management, navigation, recreation, fish and wildlife protection and restoration, hydropower generation, and irrigation. For this reason, changes in water availability in the CRB due to anthropogenic climate change can strongly affect the closely integrated systems of river operations as well as the complex international relationships for the flood risk reduction and energy production negotiated by the governments of the U.S and Canada where the Columbia River rises and where substantial water is stored during the rainy season. My work characterizes and explains some of the projected future effects of anthropogenic climate change on water availability in the CRB domain using process-base model projections of changes in surface air temperature, precipitation, and snow water equivalent together with statistical estimates of water supply and storage volumes at selected location.

Leela's research poster