CIRC map

The Pacific Northwest Climate Impacts Research Consortium (CIRC) is a research organization funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide policy makers, resource managers, and fellow researchers with the best available science covering the changing climate of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and western Montana. In the spring of 2012, CIRC began informal discussions with water users in the Snake River Basin about how changes in future climate could affect seasonal water supplies. After continued conversations with regional stakeholders, the Big Wood Basin, a tributary to the Snake River in central Idaho, was selected as the subject of a pilot project exploring possible impacts of climate and other drivers of change on the local water resources.

The project explores the interactions between land use practices, population growth, and water resources in the Big Wood Basin and assesses how these could change in the future due to human and natural drivers of change. By working closely with local stakeholders throughout the project, CIRC aims to collaboratively produce knowledge and information that is usable and relevant for decision makers in the Big Wood Basin and the state of Idaho.



Conceptual model of water resources in the Big Wood Basin developed by stakeholders in August 2012. Endpoints are shown in colored boxes; these represent items identified by the stakeholders as being important to understand within the system. Components are other important elements that relate to the endpoints, and the arrows, or influences, indicate how components and endpoints relate to each other. Note: click on the box to view an full size version of this figure. Concept Map

Overview of Project Approach Concept Map


Project Participants

CIRC thanks the following organizations for their input and/or participation in the Big Wood Basin Alternative Futures Project:

University of Idaho Cooperative Extension, Big Wood Canal Company, Twin Falls Canal Company, Northside Canal Company, The Nature Conservancy, Wood River Land Trust, Trout Unlimited, Idaho Conservation League, Sun Valley Economic Development, City of Ketchum, Blaine County, Idaho Department of Water Resources, US Geological Survey, US Bureau of Reclamation, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Idaho Power, private landowners.