Climate Action Plan

SWP Deliveries Decision Scaling Response Surface

Caption: Climate sensitivity graph for the State Water Project

The Climate Action Plan is the Department’s guide to addressing climate change in the programs, projects, and activities over which it has authority. 

Our Climate Action Plan is divided into three phases to address mitigation, adaptation, and consistency in the analysis of climate change:

 

  • Phase II: Climate Change Analysis Guidance – This phase of planning develops a framework and guidance for consistent incorporation and alignment of analysis for climate change impacts in DWR’s project and program planning activities
  • Phase III: Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (VA) describes, evaluates, and quantifies the vulnerabilities of DWR’s assets and business to potential climate change impacts. The Phase III: Adaptation Plan (AP), expected for release in 2020, will help prioritize DWR resiliency efforts such as infrastructure improvements, enhanced maintenance and operation procedures, revised health and safety procedures, and improved habitat management.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction PlanThe Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan (GGERP) guides the Department’s project development and decision making with respect to energy use and GHG emissions. The Plan lays out the Department’s GHG emissions reduction goals and strategies for the near-term (present to 2020) and long-term (2050).

We have identified 11 GHG emissions reduction measures, which include:

  • termination of its participation and associated delivery of electricity from a coal-fired power plant
  • efficiency improvements to DWR’s existing facilities
  • purchase and development of renewable and high efficiency electricity supplies
  • comprehensive improvements to DWR’s construction practices
  • improvements to DWR’s business activities that will reduce GHG emissions

In total, these measures will reduce annual GHG emissions in 2020 by over 1 million metric tons per year and by over 2.5 million metric tons per year in 2050.

We identified a critical need for consistent departmental analysis and alignment of climate change impacts on the wide array of project and program planning activities we conduct. Climate change analysis can be extremely complex, as it must account for large uncertainties about future climate conditions and their impacts. This DWR Climate Action Plan will ensure that all DWR planning activities meet standards for quality, scientific rigor, and consistency. Phase II Climate Change Analysis Guidance establishes a two-step process for DWR project managers to screen for and evaluate risks to planning and operational activities posed by climate change.

The Phase III Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (VA) provides the first comprehensive evaluation of DWR’s vulnerabilities to expected increases in wildfire, extreme heat, and sea-level rise, as well as to changes in ecosystems and long and short-term hydrology due to climate change. The VA identifies the activities performed and specific assets owned and/or operated by DWR that have vulnerabilities related to climate change. 

 

A supplemental report, the Decision Scaling Climate Vulnerability Assessment documents a joint endeavor of DWR and academic partners to improve planning for the uncertain effects of climate change on the California State Water Project by integrating vulnerability-based analysis with traditional risk-based assessment methods. Results of the Decision Scaling report are featured in an online story map.

 

The Phase III Adaptation Plan (AP), expected for release in 2020, will help prioritize DWR resiliency efforts such as infrastructure improvements, enhanced maintenance and operation procedures, revised health and safety procedures, and improved habitat management.