Thursday, December 1, 2011

Federal-state partnership helps water managers plan for climate change

Environmental Protection Agency: The California Department of Water Resources, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Resources Legacy Fund, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today released a publication to assist water resource managers. The Climate Change Handbook for Regional Water Planning provides resources and tools to guide water resource managers and planners as they adapt and navigate the complexities of climate change.

"Climate change will directly affect water supplies and how they are managed," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "With this guide, EPA is giving water agencies the practical tools they need to effectively manage this precious resource."

Climate change impacts will pose many challenges to the management of California’s water resources. Extreme weather events, sea level rise, shifting precipitation and runoff patterns, temperature changes, and the resulting changes in water quality and availability all have potentially significant implications for water management. Drinking water and wastewater utilities, irrigation districts, local land use planners and flood control agencies are beginning to evaluate how these changes might affect their missions and their future investments.

“Our scientists, engineers and planners are on the cutting edge of analyzing and preparing for the effects of climate change on our water supply,” said Mark Cowin, director of the Department of Water Resources. “For example, climate change is considered in Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM), one of our primary strategies for improving water management at the local, regional, and state level.”...

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