SWMM-CAT allows users to evaluate climate change impacts on stormwater runoff volume and quality, and to explore how the application of various low-impact development (LID) options can be used to alter these hydrological parameters. SWMM provides a spatial and temporal analysis of runoff quality and quantity by dividing basins into multiple sub-catchment areas and analyzing runoff at different time steps.
The Local Climate Analysis Tool (LCAT) allows users to explore local climate variability in relation to global climate trends and to investigate the linkages between local climate, weather, and water events. Intended to enhance local climate expertise of National Weather Service (NWS) staff, LCAT analyzes available climate data sets (provided and recommended by NOAA) via the NWS Virtual Lab platform, helping users conduct local climate or correlation studies through a scientifically credible process.
The USGS Flood Inundation Mapper is an online flood mapping tool. Once a community develops a flood inundation map library through a collaborative effort with USGS, inundation maps are uploaded to the web-based mapper for broader viewing and access. Users can select a specific location and explore several different data sets, including current stream conditions, the estimated extent of historic flood events, and theoretical flooding scenarios.
Extreme Water Levels in an online product that allows users to analyze the likelihood that local tides will exceed a given elevation (mean high or low water) at different monthly and yearly time scales. Extreme Water Levels calculates these likelihoods based on over 30 years of monitoring data, and provides viewers with a rough idea of extreme tide heights expected every year, every other year, every 10 years, and every 100 years.
An increasingly common post-disaster mitigation approach, home buyout programs are generally intended to reduce vulnerability to future disasters. However, to date, there has been virtually no quantitative evaluation of whether or not coastal buyout programs are successful in reducing vulnerability. Through a change in vulnerability analysis, this study quantifies the success of the Staten Island buyout program in reducing the nationwide vulnerability of people and property to coastal flood hazards.
Several of New Jersey’s neighboring Mid-Atlantic States have recently proposed legislative and administrative changes to agency programs in order to account for risks posed to state resources and residents by a changing climate. Coastal managers in Maryland, Delaware, and New York identified recent legislation, executive actions and proposals as the latest efforts to incorporate climate change into law in their respective states to address coastal resources and risks, including:
- Delaware Executive Order 41: Preparing Delaware for Emerging Climate Impacts and Seizing Economic Opportunities from Reducing Emissions (Enacted)
- Maryland Executive Order 01.01.2012.19: Climate Change and “Coast Smart” Construction (Enacted)
- Maryland House Bill 615: Coast Smart Council (Enacted)
- New York S06617B: Community Risk and Resiliency Act (Proposed).
The following is an analysis with an emphasis on coastal resources and risks, and identifies adaptation programs and policies of states in the region (as of 31 July 2014) that are consistent with one or more of the individual recommendations pertinent to coastal resources and risks proposed by the NJCAA in Preparing New Jersey for Climate Change: Policy Considerations from the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance.
In Colorado, climate change presents a broad range of challenges.
Colorado has warmed substantially in the last 30 years and even more over the last 50 years.1 Future estimates project temperatures rising an additional 2.5oF to 5oF by 2050,2 meaning the warmest summers from our past may become the average summers in our future. With increasing temperatures come shifts in snowmelt runoff, water quality concerns, stressed ecosystems and transportation infrastructure, impacts to energy demand; and extreme weather events that can impact air quality and recreation. The challenges we face will affect everyone, and require collaborative solutions.
The goal of this document is to promote state policy recommendations and actions that help to improve Colorado’s ability to adapt to future climate change impacts and increase Colorado’s state agencies level of preparedness, while simultaneously identifying opportunities to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) at the agency level. In this plan, the major sectors of the state government are addressed, specific actions are called for, and policy recommendations are made. Because addressing climate change is best addressed collaboratively, this plan has been developed collectively by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the Colorado Energy Office (CEO), the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), and the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), with input from key stakeholders.
This plan has also been developed to meet the requirements of C.R.S. 24-20-111, which calls for the development of a state climate plan setting forth a strategy to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while taking into account previous state actions and efforts. This plan represents advances in the discussion on how to best address climate change at the state level, however, we know that more conversations are necessary and we look forward to a continued dialog with climate experts and the public. Therefore, over the next year, each state agency that has helped to develop this plan will hold public engagement sessions on climate change that are specific to their sector. This will include:
- The CDPHE, following the release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Clean Power Plan, will expand outreach to stakeholders, government agencies, and interested Coloradans in a public process to develop and implement a state plan to substantially reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel fired EGUs. The CDPHE will host meetings and solicit public comment to gather ideas and attempt to reach some consensus on the most cost-effective ways to reduce emissions while preserving or enhancing electric grid reliability and the economy. The CDPHE will continue to fully cooperate with the Public Utilities Commission, the CEO and the General Assembly to optimize the state plan.
- The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will serve as the public forum for future conversations on fish and wildlife adaptation. The Commission will schedule a series of conversations in the next year to hear recommendations from experts and the public about science and management options to inform management decisions.
- The CWCB will continue to be a leader on climate change adaptation in the water sector and will host an open discussion with experts and the public on climate change at a board meeting(s) during fiscal year 2016. CWCB staff will also engage with stakeholder groups around the state to gather feedback on this plan and recommendations to explore and enhance future actions.
- The CEO, in conjunction with the Public Utilities Commission, will continue to serve as subject matter experts concerning energy efficiency technologies, markets, and practices involving electric utility end-users. In this role, Colorado Energy Office will convene one or more forums over the next year to engage stakeholders and ensure energy efficiency options best fit within a compliance plan for the state. The development of these forums will also include collaboration with the CDA, who has partnered with the CEO on several energy programs.
- The DOLA will deliver trainings to local government planners and emergency managers on integrating information regarding changing hazard risks and resilience principles into local plans and land use codes using their forthcoming Colorado Hazard Mitigation and Land Use Planning Guide as a framework.
- The Colorado Tourism Office will include as session on climate change as part of the agenda at their annual conference. The conference will be held in Crested Butte in September.
- The CDA will work with the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts to provide an informative, science-based panel and discussion at the annual conference for conservation districts to explore the projected climate change impacts on production agriculture in Colorado and steps that can be taken to adapt and prepare for those changes.
- The CDOT will work with the State Transportation Advisory Commission to develop a stakeholder engagement process to take place over the next year.
In 2007, Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. released a Climate Action Plan laying out goals for the state through 2050. The plan was primarily focused on mitigation efforts and detailed a handful of measures that would help in reducing overall GHG emissions. Since that time the state has moved forward with many of these measures and has worked to implement additional mitigation efforts as well as greatly expand adaptation initiatives. Federal regulation has also expanded to address some of the goals laid out in 2007. Major State actions, such as the adoption and expansion of Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES) also simultaneously addressed several the 2007 goals, and positioned the state well to respond to the recently released EPA Clean Power Plan rule. Below is a timeline illustrating the measures that have been accomplished since the 2007 plan was released.
Colorado is a state full of talented innovators who come together to tackle challenges and overcome obstacles on a daily basis. That collaboration and creative thinking is at the heart of this plan. The strategies and recommendations laid out here, in addition to the proposed stakeholder engagement opportunities, are commitments by state agencies to continue moving us forward and provide state level policies and strategies to mitigate and adapt. Over the coming months state agencies will work to incorporate the recommendations of this plan, schedule opportunities for continued stakeholder engagement, and continue to ensure that we are taking steps to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in a balanced and responsible way, while also pursuing adaptive strategies that protect the core elements that make Colorado such a desirable place to live, work, and play.
Severe weather, coupled with an aging and overstressed electrical infrastructure, is having a dramatic impact on the U.S. population. In late 2012, Superstorm Sandy’s devastation left 132 people dead; more than 8 million people in 16 states lost power; subway tunnels were inundated with water; 305,000 homes in New York City and 72,000 homes and businesses in New Jersey were damaged or destroyed; sewage plants were crippled, causing hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage to ow into waterways; and four New York City hospitals shut their doors.
Rebuilding after any major storm is a formidable challenge. The core principal of any major reconstruction effort should be to “rebuild smart,” ensuring that reconstruction funds maximize the deployment of technologies to mitigate future power outages, save lives, and protect property.
Resilient and reliable power is critical for rst responders, communications, healthcare, transportation, nancial systems, water and wastewater treatment, emergency food and shelter, and other vital services. When smart technologies are in place, power outages are avoided and lives, homes, and businesses are protected.
Good examples are the deployment of microgrids, energy storage, and cogeneration. As reported in the MIT Technology Review:
- Local power generation with microgrids showed the bene ts of reliability during Hurricane Sandy.
- The Food and Drug Administration’s White Oak research facility in Maryland switched over to its onsite natural gas turbines and engines to power all the buildings on its campus for two and a half days.
- Princeton was able to switch off the grid and power part of the campus with about 11 megawatts of local generation.
- Similarly, a cogeneration plant at New York University was able to provide heat and power to part of the campus.
- A 40MW combined heat and power plant in the Bronx was able to provide electricity and heat to a large housing complex.
The 400-plus member companies of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and its staff of experienced engineers and electroindustry experts—spanning more than 50 industry sectors—stand ready to assist industry and government of cials when rebuilding after a disaster.
On a narrow promontory extending far out into the Chukchi Sea, the village of Point Hope enjoys one of the nest locations in Alaska for the harvest of subsistence resources, including sh, marine mammals, birds and caribou. This amazing place has allowed the Inupiat of Point Hope to ourish for centuries, and it is one of the oldest continuously occupied communities in Alaska. But it is also one of the most exposed, vulnerable to the full force of coastal storms and the constant shaping of the land by the wind and the sea. Shore erosion and the risk of ooding has forced relocation in the past. Today with the added pressure of climate change, Point Hope continues its struggle with increased urgency; against erosion and against other new emerging challenges to the community, the culture, and to public health.
Three issues were identified that are of special public health concern: first, the permafrost that cools traditional underground food storage cellars is thawing, and there are currently no community alternatives for storage of whale meat and blubber. Secondly, warming is contributing to changes in 7 Mile Lake, the community drinking water source. Temperature in uenced blooms of organic material have clogged water lters, adversely affecting water treatment. Thirdly, the community is increasingly vulnerable to flooding, due to storm intensity, erosion and late freeze up. The airstrip and 7 Mile road are also vulnerable. Emergency planning should continue to address these vulnerabilities, encourage early warning systems for storm events and ensure that evacuation routes and adequate shelter is available in a safe location.