Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Landmark bill to address climate change in water plans moves forward

California Chronicle: The Senate Environmental Quality voted last week to approve landmark legislation by Assemblywoman Lois Wolk (D-Davis) to integrate the anticipated effects of climate change into all local and state water plans, including the California Water Plan and State Plan of Flood Control.

“Climate change poses serious risks to California’s water supply, including more frequent dry years, more persistent droughts, reduced water storage in the state’s reservoirs, diminished Sierra snowpack, and increased risk of Central Valley floods,” said Wolk. “We need to start planning now, before it’s too late.”

Assembly Bill 224 takes a threefold approach to integrating climate change into planning efforts:

• Under the bill, the California Department of Water Resources is required to identify existing peer-reviewed climate change information to help local water suppliers identify potential impacts to water supply.

• The bill requires the State Water Resources Control Board to quantify the energy savings and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from water recycling and conservation. The board will also be required to start incorporating climate change information into its water quality planning.

• Local water suppliers are required under the bill to consider the information identified by DWR in preparing urban water management plans, agricultural water management plans, and integrated regional water management plans….

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