DWR Releases Final California Water Plan Update 2018
From the Department of Water Resources:
Today, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) released the Final 2018 Update to the California Water Plan. Update 2018 presents a vision for greater collaboration and alignment among water sectors and institutions, sound strategies, and long-term investments needed for the sustainable management of the California’s water supply.
As directed by California Water Code, DWR publishes an update to the California Water Plan every five years that incorporates the latest information and science, serving as the comprehensive strategic plan for how water is managed throughout the state.
From a devastating drought, widespread flooding, sea level rise, and historic wildfires, California has experienced varying impacts of a changing climate since the previous Water Plan Update in 2013. In recognizing the need to adapt to these challenges, collaborative and coordinated statewide water management has grown more critical for all regions of the state.
“We are now living in a new climate reality and we know we must respond,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “Our goals are clear — to face our critical, institutional, and systemic challenges head-on and build a more sustainable future.”
Update 2018 recommends 19 priority actions to improve integrated watershed management; strengthen infrastructure resiliency; restore ecosystem functions; empower under-represented communities; improve inter-agency alignment; address regulatory challenges; and support decision-making, adaptive management, and long-term planning.
Update 2018’s recommended actions fall in line with the Newsom Administration’s broader effort to develop a suite of priorities and actions to build a climate-resilient water system that prioritizes multi-benefit and watershed-scale approaches, utilizes natural infrastructure such as floodplains and aquifers, and strengthens partnerships.
“Update 2018 plays an important role in informing our work in the Newsom Administration to build this water resilience strategy,” said Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot.
The Update is based on a collection of supporting documents that describe the plan’s findings and recommended actions in greater details.
DWR will host a webinar on Monday, July 29 to provide an overview of Update 2018 and the changes that were incorporated following the public comment period in December 2018.
Harris, Feinstein, Colleagues Warn USGS of Scientific Data Suppression
From the office of Senator Kamala Harris:
U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Friday joined Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and 19 of their colleagues in sending a letter to Dr. James Reilly, the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), to express their concern over recent reports that USGS will only utilize climate models that project the effects of climate change through 2040. USGS has historically used models that projected the anticipated impact of climate change through the end of the century.
The Senators called into question USGS’s decision to limit the scope of climate modeling, as USGS data is used as the basis for many important planning decisions made by local, state, and federal governments. In their letter, the Senators raised their concern that these actions appear to be in line with politically motivated moves within the Department of the Interior (DOI), and more broadly across this administration, to suppress climate change science. They warned of the dangers of putting science through political filters, which would hinder the United States’ ability to understand and address environmental and public health threats.
“Hiding this information from the American public not only paralyzes the ability to execute informed decision-making today to reduce future emissions impacts, but would be further compounded by the administration’s intent to leave the ‘worst case scenario’ out of future assessments and their attempt to discredit this scenario in the NCA4. This is particularly concerning given how our current emissions pathway most closely follows the ‘worst case scenario’ and that if, as the NCA4 warns, fossil fuel use continues unrestrained, ‘the earth’s atmosphere could warm by as much as eight degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century,’ which would result in catastrophic societal issues that include decreasing food production and negative impacts on public health,” the Senators wrote in their letter.
Joining Senator Harris, Feinstein, and Hirono on the letter to Director Reilly are U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Coons (D-DE), Ed Markey (D-MA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tom Udall (D-NM), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Angus King (I-ME), and Ben Cardin (D-MD).
The full text of the letter to Director Reilly is available here.
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