Teaming Up to Address Climate Change

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Teaming Up to
Address Climate Change

Climate change has the potential to impact the San Diego region’s water supplies in coming decades. To help understand what these effects might be, the Water Authority is partnering with The San Diego Foundation and Scripps Institution of Oceanography to evaluate possible changes to local streamflow. Streamflow modeling results will help predict changes in how much precipitation and runoff local reservoirs will capture in the future. Preliminary model results are expected in 2013.

In June, the Water Authority, the Foundation and SIO also co-hosted a series of briefings for community leaders about water-related climate change issues. SIO experts explained the potential impacts of changing weather patterns to the region’s water supply sources, and Water Authority staff discussed plans and projects designed to address these potential challenges.  Participants also toured the San Vicente Dam Raise to learn more about how the expanded reservoir will provide new flexibility for managing the region’s water supplies during future cycles of wet years and dry years.

Climate change is a concern to water agencies nationwide, so the Water Authority also engages with water agency partners around the country through the Water Utility Climate Alliance. WUCA’s current projects include a Pilot Utility Modeling Application, which is identifying state-of-the-art climate modeling tools that can be used to conduct assessments of climate-related impacts to specific regional or municipal water systems.

 

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Climate Action Plan
Under Way

Staff began working on developing a Climate Action Plan, which will address the Water Authority’s carbon footprint by providing comprehensive analysis on the Water Authority’s greenhouse gas emissions and identifying ways to reduce them. The Climate Action Plan is being prepared as part of the Water Authority’s Regional Water Facilities Optimization and Master Plan update in 2013 to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act and the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32).

Community leaders attend June 2012 climate change tour (top left).

Solar panels at Water Authority Kearny Mesa headquarters (above).