Resources for Water Managers

Local and regional water authorities are important partners in the statewide response to climate change. DWR supports local and regional planning and management authorities in their climate change analysis and resource management planning by providing greenhouse gas analysis guidance, climate change guidance for regional water management and annual hydroclimate reports.

In partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Resources Legacy Fund, and The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, we developed the Climate Change Handbook for Regional Water Planning , which provides a framework for considering climate change in water management planning. Key decision considerations, resources, tools, and decision options are presented that will guide resource managers and planners as they develop means of adapting their programs to a changing climate.

The handbook uses DWR's Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) planning framework as a model into which analysis of climate change impacts and planning for adaptation and mitigation can be integrated. The Handbook includes:

  • The science of climate change, tools and links;
  • The energy-water connection and greenhouse gas emissions;
  • How to assess regional vulnerability to climate change;
  • How to measure regional impacts;
  • Resource management strategies
  • Case studies illustrating a range of climate change adaptation and mitigation issues within and outside of California.

Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is a key initiative for addressing climate change and improving water supply reliability. We manage several grant programs to promote and improve local and regional water resource management by incorporating climate change considerations in IRWM planning analyses. The Accessory Climate Change Guidance for Integrated Regional Water Management provides strategies for adapting to climate change, and considerations for incorporating climate change analysis into California Environmental Quality Act documents.

Climate change is a global phenomenon, but the impacts of climate change will differ regionally and the strategies for addressing the impacts of climate change will vary by location. We encourage local and regional water resource managers to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, proactively assess likely impacts of climate change on their resources, and develop strategies for adapting to these changes.