The Department of Water Resources (DWR) received its fifth Climate Leadership Award for its work teaching educators about the effects of climate change.
DWR’s partnership with the Water Education Foundation (The Foundation) began in 2014 with a common goal to inform educators about California’s water resources and the effects of climate change. To achieve this goal, DWR and The Foundation collaborated to develop a workshop for K – 12 educators known as “Understanding Climate Change in California” as part of The Foundation’s California Water Education Today program, also known as Project WET.
DWR staff facilitate workshops across the state with a curriculum that highlights climate change conditions in the region where the event takes place. Educators spend the day learning about the basics of climate science, how DWR is addressing impacts, and participate in hands-on activities that they can use in their own classroom.
“We are honored to receive this national recognition for our efforts in fighting climate change,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “DWR is committed to raising awareness of climate change and its impact on our water supply by empowering educators to include the basics of climate science in their curriculum.”
From 2014 to 2020, more than 500 educators have attended Project WET workshops with approximately 189,000 students benefitting from the climate change classes.
Thanks to this innovative partnership, Project WET events have served as an inspiration for similar initiatives across the country. Although in-person workshops paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, DWR and The Foundation have continued hosting virtual workshops, with participants joining as far away as Turkey and Argentina.
“Whether it’s climate or COVID-19, our society’s need for scientific literacy will only continue to grow,” said John Andrew, DWR’s assistant deputy director for climate change. “Our partnership with the Water Education Foundation helps provide California’s next generation with the capacity to solve the complex scientific dilemmas of the future.”
Hosted by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry, the Climate Leadership Awards recognize and incentivize exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change. This is the fifth time that DWR has received a Climate Leadership Award and the first in the Innovative Partnership category. DWR was previously awarded for its work in Organization Leadership and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Management.
Visit DWR’s Climate Change Program webpage to learn more about the Department’s continued efforts to address and educate Californians about climate change.