Regional Analysis of Energy, Water, Land and Climate Interactions

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 11:50 AM
Vincent Carroll Tidwell, Sandia Natl Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, United States, Kristen Averyt, CIRES, Boulder, CO, United States, Robert C Harriss, Environmental Defense Fund DC, Boulder, CO, United States, Kathy A Hibbard, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Atmospheric Sciences & Global Change, Richland, WA, United States, Robin L Newmark, NREL, Golden, CO, United States, Steven K Rose, Electric Power Research Institute Paolo Alto, Palo Alto, CA, United States, Elena Shevliakova, Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton, NJ, United States and Tom Wilson, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA, United States

Energy, water, and land systems interact in many ways and are impacted by management and climate change. These systems and their interactions often differ in significant ways from region-to-region. To explore the coupled energy-water-land system and its relation to climate change and management a simple conceptual model of demand, endowment and technology (DET) is proposed. A consistent and comparable analysis framework is needed as climate change and resource management practices have the potential to impact each DET element, resource, and region differently. These linkages are further complicated by policy and trade agreements where endowments of one region are used to meet demands in another. This paper reviews the unique DET characteristics of land, energy and water resources across the United States. Analyses are conducted according to the eight geographic regions defined in the 2014 National Climate Assessment. Evident from the analyses are regional differences in resources endowments in land (strong East-West gradient in forest, cropland and desert), water (similar East-West gradient), and energy. Demands likewise vary regionally reflecting differences in population density and endowment (e.g., higher water use in West reflecting insufficient precipitation to support dryland farming). The effect of technology and policy are particularly evident in differences in the energy portfolios across the eight regions. Integrated analyses that account for the various spatial and temporal differences in regional energy, water and land systems are critical to informing effective policy requirements for future energy, climate and resource management.

 Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.