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Charting the Rapids Ahead: Western Water, Climate Change & Public Health


Two organizations, Carpe Diem West and the Public Health Institute’s Center for Public
Health & Climate Change, talked with some of the nation’s leading experts working in the fields of public health, water, and climate about what they see as some of the most significant areas of potential concern, with a focus on the American West. This paper highlights some of the common themes and issues that emerged from our discussions with these experts, and describes some questions for decision makers to consider as they address the potential impacts of climate change on water and health.

Among the topics covered in this paper, some of the important impacts of climate change on water-related public health include:

• Floods and Storms;
• Increased Waterborne Disease During Flood Events;
• Increased Risk of Contamination of Source Watersheds;
• Mental Health;
• Water Scarcity (Including Drought);
• Water Contamination by Wildfire;
• Drinking Water Contamination through Increased Reliance on Groundwater;
• Chemical Water Contamination;
• Fresh Water Warming and Increased Nutrient Loads.

Primary Toolkit:

Climate Change Toolkit

Keyword Area:

Adaptation, Assessment, Climate, Environmental Health, Land Use, Natural Disaster, Water Quality


Institutional Author:

Carpe Diem West and The Public Health Institute’s Center for Public Health & Climate Change





Five most recent user comments

1 Stars of 5 - Not Useful
By Linda Tindall

3.5 Stars of 5 - Useful
climate change impacts on water use, quality,quant
By Julie West
great summary of the main issues related to water and climate change impacts and some of the key messages from leaders on the issue.  Good document to get a quick overview of the issue.  Easy to read.

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