Climate change risk and adaptation costs for storm water management in California coastal parklands

Erik Porse, Cristina Poindexter, Christian Carelton, Michael Stephens

Extreme precipitation from climate change may strain many existing stormwater systems. While studies have evaluated such effects on stormwater infrastructure, other sources of uncertainty not yet explored should also be considered. This paper presents an analysis of adaptation costs for new stormwater infrastructure to mitigate increases in design storm precipitation depth with climate change, including how economic and managerial uncertainty related to life cycle unit costs and knowledge of existing infrastructure affect costs. For case study areas in California, we quantify adaptation costs for new green infrastructure capacity by evaluating future design storms. Results indicate that design storm depths increase by an average of 28%, but lack of knowledge of the condition of existing infrastructure and life cycle unit costs result in wide cost ranges. The findings illustrate how climate change planning for stormwater should also consider economic and managerial uncertainty when estimating long-term adaptation costs.

Published Work | 2021 | Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure

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