Climate Change

The Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) is a cooperative effort being led by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. WICCI was formed to address how climate change might affect Wisconsin. The SEWRPC staff serves on the WICCI stormwater working group and as co-chair on the Milwaukee urban area working group.

SEWRPC is also conducting studies that will enable assessment of the possible effects of climate change on water quality and quantity issues in the Region.

One of these efforts is a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences Great Lakes WATER Institute (GLWI), UW-Madison climate scientists, and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD). That project used the water quality model developed under the  SEWRPC update to the regional water quality management plan for the greater Milwaukee watersheds along with meteorological data reflecting a range of climate change scenarios to assess the possible effects of climate change on combined and separate sanitary sewer overflows from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District system. This is one of the first efforts of this kind under which downscaled climate change projections derived from the World Climate Research Programme’s coupled general circulation models that were used in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report were applied within a local-scale continuous simulation hydrologic model.  The study report was issued in 2011.

SEWRPC, the GLWI, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and UW-Madison climate scientists, with funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sectoral Applications Research Program, have completed a study of the effects of climate change on the water quality of streams in the Kinnickinnic, Menomonee, Milwaukee, and Root River watersheds, the Oak Creek watershed, and the Lake Michigan nearshore area (collectively referred to as the greater Milwaukee watersheds). That study also builds off the water quality models developed under the regional water quality management plan update. The study report was issued in 2013.  The following are supporting documents:

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Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission


W239 N1812 Rockwood Drive
P.O. Box 1607
Waukesha, WI 53187-1607


Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Phone: (262) 547-6721
Fax: (262) 547-1103
E-mail: sewrpc@sewrpc.org

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