Adaptive management strategies for potential impacts of climate change on Guam

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Guam’s water demands are anticipated to increase. Potential impacts of sea-level rise and a changing climate on surface-water and groundwater resources are assessed. 

Guam’s water resources in a future climate (2080–99) are projected to diminish relative to recent climate. Future average temperature increases and average rainfall decreases will lead to reduced streamflow into the freshwater reservoir and reduced groundwater recharge. Adaptive management strategies are described for the freshwater-supply reservoir and groundwater aquifer that could be effective in maintaining freshwater availability.

Based on historical and projected population growth and proposed U.S. military relocation to Guam, demand for freshwater is expected to increase. To help evaluate the availability of freshwater under projected future climate conditions, watershed, water-balance, and groundwater models simulated end-of-century climate projections to capture the full range of projected rainfall conditions in the peer-reviewed literature.

Gingerich, S.B., Johnson, A.G., Rosa, S.N., Marineau, M.D., Wright, S.A., Hay, L.E., Widlansky, M.J., Jenson, J.W., Wong, C.I., Banner, J.L., Keener, V.W., and Finucane, M.L., 2019, Water resources on Guam—Potential impacts of and adaptive response to climate change: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5095, 55 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195095.