Thursday, December 1, 2011

DWR and EPA Release "Climate Change Handbook for Regional Water Planning"

Today, California's Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of "Climate Change Handbook for Regional Water Planning", a publication designed to guide water resource managers and planners as they adapt and navigate the complexities of climate change.

In announcing the release of the handbook, EPA Region 9 Administrator Jared Blumenfeld said:
Climate change will directly affect water supplies and how they are managed. With this guide, EPA is giving water agencies the practical tools they need to effectively manage this precious resource.
DWR Director Mark Cowin added:
Our scientists, engineers and planners are on the cutting edge of analyzing and preparing for the effects of climate change on our water supply. For example, climate change is considered in Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM), one of our primary strategies for improving water management at the local, regional, and state level.
IRWM is a collaborative effort to manage all aspects of water resources in a region. IRWM attempts to address the issues and differing perspectives of all the entities involved through mutually beneficial solutions. Since 2002, California voters have approved $1.8 billion for IRWM planning and project implementation. The handbook uses the IRWM planning framework as a model into which analysis of climate change impacts and potential adaptation measures can be integrated.

The handbook also provides a checklist for identifying and prioritizing the vulnerability of local watersheds. The checklist includes questions about water demand and supply, wildlife and habitat, sea level rise, critical infrastructure, and hydropower.

The handbook includes:
  • Advice on how water resource managers can take climate change into consideration
  • A summary of climate change science with links to resources and tools
  • Tools for evaluating greenhouse gas emissions for a project
  • Tools for measuring regional climate change impacts
  • Case studies of communities already incorporating climate change into water resource management
The handbook may be found here.

For more information regarding this matter, please contact Eric Adair or the KMTG attorney with whom you normally consult.

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