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According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, changes in the climate in the United States and its coastal waters have altered-and will continue to alter-the water cycle, affecting where, when, and how much water is available for all uses. Changes in the climate-including warmer temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns, rising sea levels, and more frequent and intense storms-affect water resources in a number of ways such as increased flooding in some areas and drought in others, and inundation and erosion in coastal areas. Precisely how and to what extent changes in the climate will affect particular water resources in the future is uncertain, but climate-related changes are expected to continue and increase in intensity in some areas of the nation.