Climate Change Program

Point Lobos shoreline in San Francisco

King Tide conditions along the Point Lobos shoreline. DWR/2013

Climate change is having a profound impact on California’s water resources, as evidenced by greater weather extremes, reduced snowpack, higher sea level, and changes in river flows. Models predict that more precipitation will fall as rain instead of snow, exacerbating flood risks and creating additional challenges for water supply reliability. These impacts are expected to intensify in the future.

Managing climate change and its impact of water supply is one of DWR’s core values. DWR’s climate change program implements climate mitigation and adaptation measures to ensure that Californians have an adequate water supply, reliable flood control, and healthy ecosystems, now and in the future. Our efforts to address climate change focus on:

  • Raising awareness about the connection between water and energy use.
  • Partnering with other efforts to support adaptation to climate impacts that are already occurring.   
  • Compiling resources for water management practitioners who need to incorporate climate considerations into their plans and projects.   
  • Funding climate monitoring and research.  
  • Developing water sector policies and management practices to support California’s comprehensive approach to addressing the challenges posed by climate change.  
  • Promote awareness of climate change basics.

Climate Action Plan

To mitigate future climate impacts, we have developed a Climate Action Plan to guide the Department’s programs, projects, and activities in response to a changing climate. The Plan comprises three phases, the first of which was the development of our award-winning Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan. The other two phases consist of standardizing the Department’s climate change analysis tools and assessing our assets’ vulnerabilities to climate change.


DWR Receives National Climate Leadership Award

Two organizations, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry, presented DWR with the Climate Leadership Award for Organizational Leadership on March 5, 2020.

The award recognizes DWR for its influential role in the nation’s fight against climate change, receiving recognition for the Department’s outreach on climate resilience and for taking a comprehensive approach that aligns state and local water management.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.


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Climate News Digest compiles recent news articles and publications relevant to climate change and water management. Subscribe below to receive the newsletter via email.