Project Overview

Project Objective


The goal of the SNOWPACS project is to support the adaptation of agricultural communities in the western United States to shifts in the timing and quantities of snowmelt-derived water supplies. To accomplish this goal, we have assembled an interdisciplinary team of researchers from six institutions who are working together to understand the complex relationships between changes in mountain snowpack, downstream water availability, water allocation institutions, and agricultural production.


Project Components


The SNOWPACS project has five components:


  • Hydrology
    • Refine predictions for how changes in mountain snowpack impact seasonal water availability in snowmelt-fed basins.
  • Agricultural Production
    • Statistically model how agricultural producers' cultivation decisions change in response to changes in seasonal water availability.
  • Water Allocation Institutions
    • Analyze how water allocation institutions are likely to adapt to the stress caused by changing seasonal water availability.
  • Integrated Hydro-Economic Modeling
    • Integrate hydrologic and economic model(s) to analyze how changes in seasonal water availability impact water deliveries under current allocation institutions and how these institutions can be enhanced to mitigate costs to agriculture.
  • Collaborative Research Framework
    • Design and implement a collaborative research framework that integrates all research components and supports knowledge co-production through Technical Advisory Group(s) comprised of local water managers who represent diverse water uses.


Project Components and Collaborations


Figure 1 describes the project components and collaborations across institutions in the SNOWPACS project.



Project structure and collaboration across institutions

Project structure and collaboration across institutions

Figure 1. Project components and collaboration across institutions. Acronyms: University of Nevada, Reno (UNR); Colorado State University (CSU), Arizona State University (ASU), Northern Arizona University (NAU), Desert Research Institute (DRI), University of Connecticut (UConn).