Resources for Water Managers
As the atmosphere warms and impacts the hydrologic cycle, developing resiliency strategies to prepare for climate change is crucial. We encourage water resource managers to minimize greenhouse gas emissions to halt manmade global warming, assess the potential future impacts of climate change on their resources, and develop planning strategies for adapting to these impacts while building resiliency in their communities.
DWR Climate Action Plan
The DWR Climate Action Plan can help water managers structure an approach to considering climate change by understanding our approach to reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions, conducting climate change modeling for its projects, and addressing the vulnerabilities of its properties.
Climate Change Mitigation: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Water Sector
Creating an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions is essential for quantifying current emissions and progressively working to reduce those emissions. We are not requiring, prescribing or recommending any of the following greenhouse gas calculators, but rather are being provided for informational purposes.
The Climate Registry provides third party verification of greenhouse gas emissions to help agencies to report and reduce their emissions. Additionally, we partnered with The Climate Registry to develop the voluntary registry Water Energy Nexus Registry for reporting emissions resulting from the water supply and distribution.
Climate Change Vulnerabilities: Assessing Risk
Assessing the risk of infrastructure systems becoming inoperable or negatively affected by climate-related impacts is the first step to addressing adaptation. It requires understanding the foreseeable changes the system will face and determining if those impacts will cause the system to fail. While the California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment contains a more comprehensive evaluation of vulnerabilities impacting the entire state, below are resources for anticipated risks most threatening to water systems.
- Sea Level Rise
The Ocean Protection Council has provided Sea Level Rise Guidance with a science-based methodology for analyzing and incorporating sea level rise into planning and decision making.
- Extreme Heat
The state action plan Protecting Californians from Extreme Heat outlines strategic and comprehensive actions to adapt and strengthen community resilience to extreme heat.
CAL Fire has created the Fire Hazard Severity Zones to illustrate the location and the severity of fire-prone areas within Locally Responsibility Areas.
- Tribal Lands
The diagram Climate Change Effects on Tribal Communities identifies the culturally significant natural resources that may be vulnerable to climate change. The table Climate Change Vulnerabilities and Adaptation Strategies lists direct vulnerabilities to tribal practices that will be impacted by climate change and opportunities for adaptation strategies.
- Water Systems Analysis
The vulnerability of the State Water Project to effectively operate under long-term and persistent hydrological climate-changed conditions was analyzed in Decision Scaling Evaluation of Climate Change Driven Hydrologic Risk to the State Water Project by conducting stress-tests on the system to assess its response to a range of climate changes compared to its relative historical performance.
Climate Change Adaptation: Incorporating Climate Change into Water Management Planning
Agricultural and Urban Water Management Planning
The guidance documents Considering Climate Change Impacts in Agricultural Water Management Planning and Considering Climate Change Impacts in Urban Water Management Planning describe common approaches to incorporating climate change into water management planning. While these guidances are not prescriptive, they provide a discussion of the decision-making process helpful in determining which tools and analytical approaches will work best for a given water supplier’s particular needs.
Integrated Regional Water Management
The Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) program promotes collaboration amongst local and regional water resource managers to solve water supply reliability issues, including within the context of a changing climate. The Climate Change Handbook for Regional Water Planning provides strategies for adapting to climate change and considerations for incorporating climate change analysis into IRWM plans and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) documents.
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is intended to develop and implement sustainable groundwater planning and projects to protect groundwater resources over the long term. The Guidance for Climate Change Data Use During Groundwater Sustainability Plan Development was created to provide Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) with climate change datasets and related tools to develop projected water budgets.
Regional Flood Management Plans for Flood Control Agencies
To provide insight to local water managers on regional strategies to balance flood protection with population demands and ecological needs, the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan is California's strategic blueprint for improving flood risk management in the Central Valley. The Quick Guide Coastal Appendix: Planning for Sea-Level Rise contains an iterative planning process for addressing the effects of sea level rise in community mitigation plans. The Roadmap for a Climate Resilient Forecasting Framework aims to transition statistical forecasting tools into spatially explicit, climate informed modeling tools that DWR can access in an integrated forecast platform that allows for easier visual inspection of observed conditions to serve as a decision support dashboard.
|Climate Data to Support Planning Documents
|Hydrological Changes||Climate Change Models|
The annual California Hydroclimate Report is a DWR publication highlighting weather and climate events of each water year and visualization of long-term hydroclimate trends with a collection of indicators important to water resources for tracking climate change.
The Indicators of Climate Change in California are scientifically-based measurements that track trends in various aspects of climate change.
The California Climate Tracker supports climate monitoring by allowing users to generate maps and graphs of temperature and precipitation by region.
Water supply conditions at the local level can be viewed on California Water Watch.
The U. S. Divisional Climate Data generates time series and graphs of temperature and precipitation for climate divisions in the United States.
Cal Adapt contains a variety of climate change indicators and generates climate models for California regions that can serve as a resource for research and adaptation planning.
DWR developed a stochastic weather generator model for California that produces diverse climate scenarios to aid water resources planning amidst uncertain climate change effects. (Data and tools will be published in CNRA Data Library)
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Data and Tools webpage contains climate change data as desktop tools to assist users with processing climate change projections into integrated hydrologic models.
The Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) assesses climate-related risks for water utility assets and provides a climate projection scenarios map.
- The Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA) is a network of leading regional collaboratives and allies from across California that work together to advance adaptation statewide and increase local capacity to build community resilience.
- The California Landscape Stewardship Network is a network where members can share resources, solve common problems, build awareness of the value of working at a landscape scale, and find ways to increase support for this work from funders and lawmakers.
Strategies and Guidance
- The Water Resilience Portfolio, created from Executive Order N-10-19, directs state agencies to develop strategies to ensure water needs are met throughout the 21st century.
- The Adaptation Clearinghouse is California's consolidated searchable database of resources for statewide climate adaptation planning, including the Adaptation Planning Guide which provides step-by-step climate change implementation guidance for local governments.
- The Perspectives and Guidance for Climate Change Analysis represents the scientific perspective of the DWR Climate Change Technical Advisory Group on the use of climate models and technical tools for water resource planning.
- The California Climate Adaptation Strategy is a framework for bold adaptation solutions that integrate equity into California’s climate resilience programs.
- The Enhanced Climate-Related Risks and Opportunities Framework and Guidebook for Water Utilities Preparing for a Changing Climate provides a step-by-step process for understanding risks and mainstreaming climate consideration across the water sector enterprise.
The Envision sustainability certification process uses 64 sustainability and resilience indicators to guide infrastructure stakeholders into implementing more sustainable, resilient and equitable projects.
Datasets and Laws
- The Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) evaluates the limits and capacity for an infrastructure system to operate within conventional confounds versus an unknown scenario.
- The California Climate Policy Dashboard seeks to provide a concise, easy-to-use overview of some of the significant California climate laws and programs and introduce the state regulators responsible for implementing them.
- The Climate - California Natural Resources Agency Open Data contains climate datasets published by state agencies and are available for the public to access.
Reach out to the team and connect with your climate change regional specialist. If you need project or planning assistance, have questions or comments, please contact us.