The Department of Water Resources (DWR) was one of two public agencies to be inducted into the first-ever Climate Leadership Awards Hall of Fame at the national Climate Leadership Conference for its ongoing work to address California’s changing climate and evolving water management challenges.
DWR joined 28 organizations in the Hall of Fame including Fortune 500 companies like Bank of America, UPS, Ford Motor Company, and Microsoft.
Since the 1980s, DWR has worked to understand and adapt to climate change impacts and adopted a three-part Climate Action Plan that includes a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan, guidance for analyzing climate change impacts, and a vulnerability assessment of DWR’s assets. The plan also includes an adaptation process to help prioritize resiliency efforts such as infrastructure improvements, enhanced maintenance and operation procedures, revised health and safety procedures, and improved habitat management.
“Climate change is having a profound impact on California’s water resources, as shown by greater weather extremes, reduced snowpack, higher sea level, and changes in river flows. As a steward of California’s environment, we have a responsibility to act and protect our natural resources,” said John Andrew, DWR deputy director for Climate Resilience. “Through initiatives like our three-part Climate Action Plan, we use strategy and data to find ways to better analyze the impacts of climate change now and in the future.”
As California is facing a significant drought in the wake of one the driest and warmest periods ever on record, DWR is investing into multi-sector adaptation strategies like improvements in forecasting and Flood-Managed Aquifer Recharge (Flood-MAR), in addition to the Climate Action Plan. By investing in new forecasting technology and strategies like Flood-MAR, DWR can better understand forecasts of precipitation, seasonal snowpack, and runoff to support more efficient water management of the states water supply during drought conditions and wet years.
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. The Department previously received awards for Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (2018), Goal Setting Certificate: Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (2015), Innovative Partnerships Certificate (2021), Organizational Leadership (2016, 2020).
Visit DWR’s Climate Change Program webpage to learn more about the Department’s continued efforts to address and educate Californians about climate change.