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