Producing Scientific and Strategic Guidance for California’s Department of Water Resources: The Climate Change Technical Advisory Group

Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
John R Gyakum1, Barney N Austin2, David C Curtis3, Michael Anderson4, Holly Alpert5, Sarah Young6, Al Herson7, Andrew Schwartz4, ML Levent Kavvas8, Ruth Langridge9, Elissa Lynn4, Jamie Anderson4, Kelly T Redmond10, Daniel R Cayan11, Michael D Dettinger12 and Matthew Correa4, (1)McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada, (2)Aqua Strategies, Dripping Springs, TX, United States, (3)Water Environmental Sedimentation Technology Consultants Salem, Salem, OR, United States, (4)California Department of Water Resources, Sacramento, CA, United States, (5)Inyo-Mono Integrated Regional Water Management Program, Lafayette, CO, United States, (6)Santa Clara Valley Water District, San Jose, CA, United States, (7)The Sohagi Law Group, PLC, Sacramento, CA, United States, (8)University of California Davis, Civil, Environmental Engineering, Davis, CA, United States, (9)University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, United States, (10)Desert Research Institute Reno, Western Regional Climate Center, Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Reno, NV, United States, (11)Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, United States, (12)Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, United States
Diverse areas of expertise are needed to describe and assess a changing climate and provide guidance for the agency that runs the largest state-built, multi-purpose water project in the U.S. California’s State Water Project provides: drinking water for more than 25 million people, flood control, power generation, recreation, fish and wildlife protection, and water quality improvements. Hydrologic impacts under a changing climate include rising seas, reduced ratio of snow to rain, earlier snowmelt and higher temperatures; all of which are being detected.

To improve the scientific basis for decisions and enhance the consistency of climate change approaches, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) empaneled a Climate Change Technical Advisory Group (CCTAG) for guidance on the scientific aspects of climate change, its impacts on water resources, the use and creation of planning approaches and analytical tools, and the development of adaptation responses.

To carry out DWR’s mission, incorporation of climate change into DWR’s planning, projects, and other activities must be consistent, science-based, and continually improved through an iterative process. Hydrologists, academicians, modelers, planners, lawyers and practitioners convened regularly to tackle these complicated issues in water management policy, including climate change impacts on extreme events. Actions taken in response to the CCTAG recommendations will move California toward more sustainable management of water and related resources. DWR will release a technical report of CCTAG guidance and perspectives in 2015.

The process to convene, collaborate and distribute the findings of this CCTAG will be the focus of this presentation. An academician and water resources practitioner will share their perspectives on the processes driving CCTAG’s work.