Climate Ready Water Utilities Program

Location

United States
38° 59' 18.9276" N, 76° 48' 19.512" W
US
Summary: 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) Program provides tools and resources for water utilities to prepare for the effects of global climate change. A CRWU Working Group has been created to provide recommendations on the effectiveness of the program. In addition, CRWU provides water utility owners and operators with tools and resources to prepare for climate change.

Adapting to Sea Level Rise in Hayward, California

Location

United States
37° 40' 7.7556" N, 122° 4' 50.8656" W
US
Organization: 
Summary: 

The Hayward shoreline, located along east San Francisco Bay, is susceptible to inundation from wave action and flooding. Increasing sea level, which is predicted to rise by 16 inches in 2050 and 55 inches in 2100 in the bay, further threatens the area. To assess the impacts of anticipated sea level rise along the Hayward shoreline, the Hayward Area Shoreline Planning Agency (HASPA) commissioned a study by an engineering consulting firm, Philip Williams and Associates (PWA), to evaluate vulnerable infrastructure and examine strategies to protect wetlands and shoreline development.

Goleta Beach 2.0: Managed Retreat to Mitigate Coastal Erosion

Location

United States
34° 25' 0.9624" N, 119° 49' 51.222" W
US
Summary: 

Goleta Beach State Park is located just north of Santa Barbara, California. Goleta Beach is a dynamic coastal system, with alternating patterns of accretion and erosion throughout its history. However, since the 1970s, it appears that Goleta Beach has eroded substantially, prompting Santa Barbara County to examine potential strategies to mitigate beach loss. In 2009, the Goleta Beach 2.0 Concept Planning Process (“Goleta Beach 2.0”) was established to reexamine managed retreat options for the park in order to mitigate coastal erosion.

Preparing Communities of the Northwest Territories for the Impacts of Climate Change on Municipal Water and Wastewater Systems

Location

United States
63° 41' 53.6424" N, 117° 35' 51.5616" W
US
Organization: 
Summary: 

Communities in the Northwest Territories (NWT) of Canada are likely to experience climate changes such as increasing air temperatures and changes in precipitation. These changes have the potential to lead to permafrost melting and coastal erosion which can negatively impact municipal water and wastewater systems.

Kailua Beach and Dune Management Plan

Location

United States
21° 24' 10.3176" N, 157° 44' 17.7576" W
US
Summary: 

Kailua Beach is located on the windward (eastern) shore of the island of Oahu, Hawaii. While Kailua Beach is relatively stable, it is still at risk from a number of threats including overdevelopment and sea level rise. The University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program (UHSG) has partnered with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) to develop a comprehensive beach and dune management and land use development plan for Kailua Beach.

Climate Change Adaptation Policy for the Water Sector in Mexico

Location

United States
25° 22' 37.6464" N, 103° 42' 39.3768" W
US
Summary: 

Climate change in Mexico will cause reduction in rainfall and increased droughts, which will in turn affect riverine, estuarine, and coastal systems, and the country's water supply upon which people and industries depend. Mexico’s National Water Commission (Comisión Nacional del Agua - CONAGUA) released a report to address water supply issues and analyze predictions for better planning. In 2010, the World Bank approved a $450 million loan to support the development of climate change adaptation policies for the water sector.

Degrees of Change: Climate Warming and the Stakes for Canada

Degrees of Change explains the implications of a changing climate for Canada and Canadians. It is the second report in the Climate Prosperity series by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) on the economic risks and opportunities to Canada of climate change.Examining what the impacts of climate change will mean to our environment and what a global low-carbon transition will mean to our economy, Climate Prosperity offers new insights and analysis into shaping Canada’s public policy responses to this most extraordinary challenge.This Degrees of Change report illustrates the expected impacts of a changing climate for Canada and how adapting to these impacts now will be necessary to secure our prosperity in an uncertain climate future. In Canada and across the globe, we are already seeing the effects of warming temperatures and changing climate conditions. As climate change persists, we can expect, for example, further melting of glaciers and sea ice, rising sea levels, earlier springs, shifts in the distribution of animals and plants, and increasingly volatile weather. No region and no aspect of our geography will be immune; but impacts will vary in time and intensity.That is why the NRTEE has developed a uniquely Canadian diagram to illustrate the effects of climate change across eight areas of importance to our country and Canadians. Based on a vast array of published scientific literature, it maps scientifi cally accepted climate-related impacts, current and projected, to a global temperature scale. It puts global political commitments of keeping world temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius (°C) into perspective by showing what different levels of warming could mean to Canada. From ecosystems to human health to water resources to communities and infrastructure and more, Degrees of Change demonstrates just how pervasive and pernicious climate change could be. Both risks and potential opportunities — as we currently know them — are presented. Canada — our people, places, and prosperity — will be affected by climate change. Changes in forest growth, pest outbreaks, and wildfi res will impact resource-dependent communities and the livelihoods of workers and families. Tourism operators relying on seasonal patterns for snow and sun may have to plan for different outcomes. Farmers may face more varied drought and rain effects causing new economic impacts on their crop values and farming operations. These are but a few examples of what’s at stake and how climate change impacts Canadians where we live and work.Knowing what climate change could mean allows us to consider how and when to adapt to it. Adapting, so we can prosper through climate change, is essential for Canada’s economic and environmental security. Levels of warming in Canada are already higher than the global average. Arresting the growth of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions — necessary to limit the extent and speed of climate change — does nothing to change the impacts expected from GHG concentrations already in the atmosphere. Inevitably, we must think about how to adapt to the effects already taking place and those sure to come.With risk comes uncertainty. And climate change offers both. This report helps reinforce the need to improve our understanding of how climate change could affect us and assess the risk of what this means. To date, we as a country have only just begun to consider the implications of future climate change impacts and see that they become factored in major planning decisions by governments, businesses, and communities on a more consistent and coordinated basis. Whether it’s reinforcing infrastructure degraded by thawing permafrost in Nunavut or building new seawalls as protection from storm surge fl ooding in New Brunswick, we need to think differently about the value of taking action to adapt to current and future impacts of climate change. A changing climate makes the very concept of status quo irrelevant. Taking action to adapt now is an opportunity to shape possibilities and secure our prosperity for the future.

Promising Practices in Adaptation & Resilience: A Resource Guide for Local Leaders

This Resource Guide represents a synthesis of the best available information we were able to find about the ways in which experts and practitioners across the country are working to meet the challenges outlined above. The Resource Guide is intended to help practitioners in cities and metropolitan regions resolve local issues, by showcasing promising practices in climate adaptation and resilience, and by providing efficient access to some of the very best information and resources that are available.The Resource Guide is not an exhaustive compilation of available information—a near-impossible task given the growing volume of international studies, reports, websites, books and blogs on the topic of climate resilience. Still, this document reflects an intensive effort by the CLA team, including dozens of phone consultations with leading experts and practitioners and a great deal of web-based research, to identify, compile, vet and synthesize useful information on innovative policies, programs and practices being deployed throughout the country.The Resource Guide includes:

  • Case Studies that discuss how various local government practitioners have made progress on climate adaptation planning, including risk assessment, integration of climate concerns in planning, getting and keeping commitment to adaptation, and cross-jurisdictional collaboration.
  • Resource lists by topic that direct practitioners toward the topic-specific sources of information—studies, reports, articles, and websites—that we believe are most likely to help them improve, expand and accelerate their adaptation and resilience efforts.

Finally, this Resource Guide is and will continue to be a work in progress. While the CLA team produced it initially for those practitioners who were attending the first Climate Leadership Academy on Adaptation and Resilience, the team intends to update and expand it on a regular basis, and make it available to local practitioners everywhere.

Colorado Climate Action Panel Final Report

The Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO) undertook the Colorado Climate Project to bring Coloradans together to reduce the state’s contribution and vulnerability to climate change. The project was inspired by and patterned after similar efforts undertaken by state governments around the country. Like many of those efforts, the Colorado Climate Project was carried out in partnership with the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS), which helped design the process and provided technical analyses for and facilitation services for this project, as CCS has done for state government advisory panels in several states.

RMCO’s Project Directors of the Colorado Climate Project appointed a blue-ribbon Climate Action Panel (CAP) and charged them to develop recommendations for actions that can be taken in Colorado by the state government, local governments, water providers, the private sector, and individuals to reduce the state’s contribution and vulnerability to a changed climate. This report is the culmination of the work of 116 Coloradans who worked as members of and alternates to the CAP and the six Policy Work Groups (PWGs) that supported the CAP.

In January 2007, CCS prepared a preliminary draft greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory and reference case projection for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) that was separately provided to the CAP and its PWGs to assist them in understanding past, current, and possible future GHG emissions in Colorado, and thereby inform the policy development process. The preliminary draft Inventory and Projections was improved by incorporating comments provided by the CAP and PWGs. As shown in Figure ES-1, the Inventory and Projections revealed substantial emissions growth rates and related mitigation challenges. Colorado’s gross emissions of GHGs grew by 35% between 1990 and 2005, slightly more than twice the national average of 16%. Colorado’s emissions growth was driven largely by the growth of Colorado’s population, as the state’s emissions on a per-capita basis stayed essentially constant between 1990 and 2005. Under current law, Colorado’s gross GHG emissions (not counting sequestration) are projected as rising fairly steeply to 147.5 million metric tons (MMt) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) by 2020, or 71% over 1990 levels.

The CAP recommends 70 policy actions. Among those CAP members present and voting, sixtyone policy recommendations were approved unanimously; seven were approved by a super majority, with fewer than five votes against them; and two were approved by a simple majority. For each of 10 recommendations (four of which were among the recommendations not approved unanimously), at least one CAP member expressed qualifications but did not object to it. These expressions of qualifications, which CAP members called “yes but” votes, allowed members to express an objection or concern to some of the specific details of a policy recommendation or the supporting analysis considered by the CAP while supporting the overall concept of the policy. Explanations of both individual objections and qualifications are in the appendices to this report, in the detailed accounts of each CAP recommendation (except that the explanation for the one objection to a water adaptation recommendation is in Chapter 8, where those recommendations are detailed).

Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact

Location

United States
25° 44' 19.968" N, 80° 38' 22.7328" W
US
Summary: 

The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact was signed by Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties in 2009 to coordinate mitigation and adaptation activities across county lines. The Compact represents a new form of regional climate governance designed to allow local governments to set the agenda for adaptation while providing an efficient means for state and federal agencies to engage with technical assistance and support.