For the third time in four years, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) captured a prestigious national Climate Leadership Award for combatting climate change. This year’s award honored DWR’s systemwide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The award was announced March 1 in Denver, CO by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry (TCR), in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The annual Climate Leadership Conference recognizes voluntary actions to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) and address climate change. DWR was honored this year with the Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management/Goal Achievement Award for meeting its goal of an absolute reduction of GHG emissions. The goal was to achieve a 50 percent reduction below 1990 GHG emission levels by 2020, but the Department actually met this goal by 2015, five years earlier than anticipated.
“We are honored to receive this national recognition for our efforts in fighting climate change,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “DWR is committed to lowering our greenhouse gas emissions because, from a global perspective, it’s the right thing to do. Our efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change also are crucial to securing the long-term reliability of California’s precious water resources and building a sustainable future for next generations.”
In 2016, DWR received the Climate Leadership Award for Organizational Leadership. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry presented the award for exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in managing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and integrating climate resilience into their operating strategies.
In 2015, DWR received the Climate Leadership Award for Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management: Goal Setting for its work on the DWR Climate Action Plan. The award, given by the U.S. EPA, the Association of Climate Change Officers, The Climate Registry, and The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, is the highest national award given for greenhouse gas management. DWR was the first public agency to be honored with the award.
DWR Assistant Deputy Director John Andrew oversees the Department’s climate change activities and accepted the award at the Climate Leadership Conference. Andrew said DWR reduces GHG emissions primarily by replacing carbon-intensive electrical generation throughout its operations, including the State Water Project (SWP), with lower- and non-emitting generation such as natural gas, solar, wind, and hydro power.
“DWR has been a strong supporter of clean power-generating technologies such as wind and solar power, hydroelectric facilities, and cleaner-burning natural gas. We have welcomed the co-location of solar power with some of our facilities,” Andrew said. “It is an honor to be recognized nationally for our efforts.”
by Doug Carlson, DWR Information Officer