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KC Water Plays Important Role in Understanding Long-Term Climate Change

Posted on May 5, 2016

(Kansas City, Mo.) – Wetter springs, hotter summers, and longer periods of drought. That may be what’s ahead for Kansas City.

KC Water stormwater engineers worked with Dr. Dan Walker, President of Climate Monkeys, and Dr. Chris Anderson, Assistant Director of the Climate Science Program at Iowa State University, to look in the climate crystal ball to help shape a new climate outlook product called ClimateLOOK. In the process, ClimateLOOK predicted future temperature and precipitation changes specific to the Kansas City area.

The findings include:

  • Earlier spring thaw
  • Later fall frosts
  • The average annual temperature will increase from 56 degrees to as much as 64 degrees
  • Increased cooling costs for homeowners and increased heat-related injuries
  • More days receiving at least 1.5” inches of rain
  • Greater annual risk for more severe storms

None of this is guaranteed, but it’s what KC Water engineers learned as they poured over climate studies.

“This information is crucial for communities as they make long-term plans for everything from infrastructure to social services,” said KC Water Director Terry Leeds. “I’m proud of the work our stormwater engineers did on this.”

KC Water was chosen to test the ClimateLOOK product. KC Water engineers helped craft the tools that can measure climate change in any community. Right now, climate forecasts are available by region. ClimateLOOK is a service that helps predict future changes for cities and towns based on the nearest localized weather station information. KC Water does not profit from this service.

To read the report, please click HERE. Please click HERE to view a recent presentation made to Kansas City’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. (On the left side of the screen, click on ‘Water Services will be making a presentation on Climate Resiliency.’)

For more information, please contact Brooke Givens, Media Relations Coordinator, at or 816.513.0284.


KC Water maintains and operates water treatment and distribution systems, stormwater management systems, and wastewater collection and treatment systems for residential and business customers in Kansas City and for wholesale customers in the Kansas City area. KC Water is primarily funded by fees charged to customers based on their use or impacts on the three utility systems.

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