What are the major impacts to agricultural viability in our county and how are they projected to change in the future?
Many factors are leading to changes in flooding for both the Snohomish and Stillaguamish Rivers. In some areas, these changes are already impacting farms - bank erosion, flood debris removal, crop and soil damage, and drainage all create challenges. New flood modeling conducted by the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group will be available online and provide farmers with long-term forecasting to plan for and manage risk.
- Inundation modeling for the Stillaguamish and Snohomish Rivers including major tributaries
- Projections of flood height for 2, 10, 50, and 100-year floods
Groundwater and Sea Level Rise Modeling:
Increased flooding and rising sea levels are creating a “coastal squeeze” where farms near the river mouth are at risk of increasing drainage challenges, saltwater intrusion, and pressure on sea dikes. Groundwater modeling conducted by Cardno will show how this “squeeze” is projected to impact groundwater levels so farmers can plan for changes in drainage management.
- Predictions of groundwater levels on estuary farmland out to the years 2040 and 2080
- Combination of field work (monitoring wells) and modeling used to create predictions
The impacts of increased temperatures and higher atmospheric CO2 levels have the potential to be both hazards and benefits to agriculture in the region. Washington State University will create an online tool that will allow farmers to view climate projections for growing season length, frost risk, heat stress, and crop maturity timing for their specific location.
- Online tool allowing farmers to manage for future risk
- Spatial analogs (mapping) will show locations where current growing conditions are similar to future growing conditions in our area
Brought to you by:
Funding provided by: National Estuary Program, NOAA, Stillaguamish River Lead Entity, Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program, and Floodplains by Design