Program Details: Open to the public

Western Water Assessment

Western Water Assessment (WWA) is an applied research program that addresses societal vulnerabilities to weather and climate variability and change, particularly those related to water resources. While we are based in Boulder, Colorado, we work across Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Our mission is to conduct innovative research in partnership with decision makers in the Rocky Mountain West, helping them make the best use of science to manage for climate impacts.

The WWA team is comprised of researchers in multiple disciplines - climatology, hydrology, ecology, social sciences, and policy - at the University of Colorado Boulder and several other institutions in the region. We work directly with stakeholders, such as water managers and the agricultural community, to articulate research questions and ensure that our research products will be usable in their planning and decision-making processes. Ultimately, our goal is to improve societal preparedness for weather extremes, drought, and climate variability and change.

We are a part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder, and our primary source of funding is NOAA's Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Program. WWA is one of 10 RISA teams operating across the United States.

In addition to conducting research projects, we produce synthesis and assessment products to make existing knowledge more accessible to stakeholders, such as the 2014 WWA report Climate Change in Colorado for the Colorado Water Conservation Board. WWA also makes accessible real-time climate information in our Intermountain West Climate Dashboard and other products. In providing useful products for our stakeholders in our region, we also serve to prototype for NOAA the delivery of regional climate services.

This is a public program. For more information, please visit the program website.


On Campus

  • 4001 Discovery Drive
  • CIRES (Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences)
  • Ekeley Sciences

In Colorado

Outside Colorado

  • Utah
  • Wyoming

Program Partners

Supporting This Program


Sponsoring Units

Research Institutes & Centers

  • Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)

Program Contact

Ursula Rick
Program Manager & Research Scientist

Program Categories


  • Climate Change
  • Community Planning
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Issues
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Geology
  • Natural Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Science
  • Social Sciences

Program Types:

  • Online Resources
  • Public Lecture/Demonstration
  • Publications
  • Workshop


  • Business
  • General Public
  • Government
  • Non-Profit Organization
  • Rural Communities
  • Tribal Communities (in U.S.)
  • Urban Communities

We do our best to accurately represent CU Boulder’s outreach programs and services, but they are subject to change and may no longer be active in a community. Please contact the program directly for current information.