Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
April 4, 2018
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
The Sierra Nevada snowpack will be 64% percent smaller by the end of this century
Photo: Los Angeles Times
UCLA scientists have just completed detailed projections of the Sierra Nevada's future climate - and their findings tell the story of a snowpack on life support. If GHG emissions continue unchecked, by the end of this century, the Sierra snowpack in a typical April will be 64% smaller than at the end of the 20th century. Large snow storms will instead become heavy rain events, and runoff will come in earlier, flashier spurts rather than the predictable spring and summer supply that water managers are used to. The timing of flow will shift significantly, with the midpoint of the annual runoff coming earlier by 50 days on average, from May to March. Equally worrisome, California's water infrastructure is not resilient enough to make up for the loss. A first step would be to undertake a comprehensive assessment of our current water infrastructure's vulnerabilities to climate change and conduct cost-benefit and environmental-impact analyses for all possible options for replacing the storage capacity of the Sierra snowpack. ( LA Times)
Dramatic declines in snowpack in the western US
A new study warns that over 90% of snowpack monitoring sites with long records across the western US now show declines, of which 33% are significant. Declining trends are observed across all months, states, and climates, but are largest in spring, in the Pacific states, and in locations with mild winter climate. Averaged across the western US, the decline in average April 1 snow-water equivalent since mid-century is roughly 15-30% or 25-50 km3, comparable in volume to the West's largest man-made reservoir, Lake Mead. ( Nature )
America's shrinking ski season
New analysis by the Climate Impact Lab brings more bad news for American skiers. Within the next 20 years, the number of days at or below freezing in some of the most popular ski towns in the US will decline by weeks or even a month. If GHG emissions continue to rise, ski resorts could see half as many sub-freezing days compared to historical averages by late century, with Lake Tahoe, Sun Valley, and Whitefish especially affected. Winter temperatures in Nevada County are projected to average 50F by late century, and by 2100, Truckee could experience only 8 days per year at or below freezing. While reducing GHG emissions will slow the pace of decline, American ski areas will still face significantly shorter seasons in the years ahead. ( Link)
The 'nightmare' California flood more dangerous than a huge earthquake
Photo: Los Angeles Times
Several weeks of monumental storms would be all it would take to overwhelm California's flood control system and cause widespread flooding and destruction. In 2011, the USGS modeled one such extreme scenario - the ARkstorm - that could collapse 50 miles of levees, submerge Sacramento, Stockton and Silicon Valley, and force 1.5 million people to evacuate. Just 6 to 10 percent of economic losses would be insured. Currently, state and local agencies spend $30 million a year to maintain 1,600 miles of levees in the Central Valley; they should be spending $130 million annually to meet current federal standards. ( LA Times)
Desalinized water doesn't have to come from the ocean
Photo: John Chacon / California Department of Water Resources
California has plenty of salty inland water, such as the water in the upstream Delta or in underground aquifers that have absorbed soil salts. As local agencies look for more potable water sources, desalinating that local water may become an important part of the equation. But it's not cheap. Brackish desalination can run from about $800 to $3,000 per acre-foot. While this is generally cheaper than ocean desalination, costs vary significantly by location. Still, proposed projects in Antioch and Camarillo show that, despite the cost, there is still a lot of interest. ( Link)
Destruction of nature as dangerous as climate change
Photo: Raphael Alves/AFP/Getty Images
Human destruction of nature is rapidly eroding the world's capacity to provide food, water and security to billions of people, according to the most comprehensive biodiversity study in more than a decade. Among the standout findings are that exploitable fisheries in Asia-Pacific are on course to decline to zero by 2048 and that freshwater availability in the Americas has halved since the 1950s. Conversion of forests and wetlands has had a devastating cost to species - such as pollinating insects and oxygen-producing plants - on which our climate, economy and well-being depend. In the Americas, more than 95% of high-grass prairies have been transformed into farms, along with 72% of dry forests and 88% of the Atlantic forests. In the Americas - which has about 40% of the world's remaining biodiversity - the regional population is gobbling up resources at twice the rate of the global average. Despite having 13% of the people on the planet, it is using a quarter of the resources. The missing link is to involve policymakers across government and to accept that biodiversity affects every area of the economy. ( Link)
Climate change impacting most species on earth, even down to their genomes
Photo: Dan Peled/AAP
Current warming has already left a discernible mark on 77 of 94 different ecological processes, including species genetics, seasonal responses, overall distribution, and even. But genetic changes don't necessarily mean successful adaptation; in many instances, genetic diversity is being lost. Humans will face a drop in productivity of crops and timber, a drastic loss in marine fisheries, and a potential rise in new diseases. Another study found that 47 percent of land mammals and 23 percent of birds have already suffered negative impacts from climate change, including nearly 700 species that are already threatened with extinction, including snow leopards and all elephants. A third study found that more than 450 plants and animals have undergone local extinctions due to climate change, which may lead to global extinction. ( Guardian)
California's fishing industry is drying up. We need to think big on climate change
Photo: Randy Pench/Sacramento Bee
California is home to 31 kinds of salmon and trout. Of those, 23 are at risk of going extinct over the next century. Many factors affect the health of California fisheries, including water diversions and pollution, forestry practices, mining, dams, and climate change. Recreational fishing supports more than 35,000 jobs and generates $4.6 billion annually for the state's economy. Fisheries are a tourism draw, and local businesses thrive during annual festivals that attract thousands of sportsmen and women to celebrate all that salmon and trout give us. ( Sac Bee)
Tools and Resources
2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Presentations Now Available
The conference featured 8 in-depth thematic tracks, over 50 sessions, and 200 speakers - all coming together to equip and inspire policymakers and community leaders to improve equity and livability in their communities. Nearly all presentations from the 2018 conference are available, organized under their respective sessions on the program page. ( Link)
Resilient Solar: Powering and Empowering Communities
Communities are exploring how resilient solar can help strengthen resilience, advance renewable energy goals, and best serve vulnerable neighborhoods during disasters. This Institute of Sustainable Communities report showcases examples of resilient solar in New York, Baltimore, Duluth, and San Francisco, providing tools, resources, and lessons learned. With leadership by community-based organizations, universities, and municipalities, these collaborative projects are demonstrating the power to improve the health, safety, and well-being of communities, particularly those who are historically underserved and often most vulnerable to disaster. ( Link)
Putting Data to Work: A benchmarking toolkit for cities and energy efficiency programs
Designed specifically for local government sustainability leadership, energy-efficiency service providers, utilities, and building owners, the toolkit provides guidance and methods that stakeholders can use to successfully deploy effective energy and water performance data to drive savings. The toolkit includes a report explaining how benchmarking and data audits can help identify high-priority buildings for outreach and action, a resource list, and a guide. ( Link)
Sacramento Valley Salmon Resiliency Strategy
The Sacramento Valley Salmon Resiliency Strategy is a science-based document prepared by the State of California to address specific near- and long-term needs of Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon (spring-run), and California Central Valley steelhead. The Strategy is an aggressive approach to improving species viability and resiliency by implementing specific habitat restoration actions. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
State Adaptation Clearinghouse: Provide feedback on the beta version
Through the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) is developing a State Adaptation Clearinghouse. OPR is currently conducting beta testing of the Clearinghouse database, and would like to receive your input. They are seeking feedback on functionality, ease of use, and any gaps in resources. OPR's goal is to ensure that the Clearinghouse is easy to navigate and provides relevant resources across a diverse set of user needs. See the Clearinghouse database and then provide feedback.
Free technical assistance for the Active Transportation Program - apply today!
The Local Government Commission is offering free assistance to 3-5 disadvantaged and/or low-income communities that are interested in applying for funding from the Active Transportation Program (ATP). The Strategic Growth Council is expected to release the call for proposals for the next round of ATP funding in May, with approximately $440 million available for project implementation, programs, and plans. Fill out this short survey by April 6 to apply. ( Link)
Call for proposals now open for the Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum
The Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum (June 20-21, Sacramento) is now accepting session and poster proposals, providing an opportunity to showcase best practices, local projects, and innovative strategies for energy efficiency and sustainability. The forum encourages creative and interactive sessions that engage a broad spectrum of energy and sustainability practitioners, have a strong implementation focus, and demonstrate replicability. Deadline: April 9. ( Link)
Round 2 Solicitation Open for the Urban Greening Grant Program
The California Natural Resources Agency is announcing the open solicitation period for the Urban Greening Grant Program. Please read the Guidelines, Application, and Forms in their entirety for information on project eligibility, evaluation criteria, and submission requirements. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend a technical workshop (February 14), which will include breakout sessions to provide guidance in preparing applications. Deadline: April 11 at 5:00 pm. ( CNRA)
CARB: Community Air Grants Program
The California Air Resources Board has created the Community Air Grants Program to provide support for community-based organizations to participate in the AB 617 process, and to build their own capacities to become active partners with government to identify, evaluate, and ultimately reduce air pollution and exposure to harmful emissions in their communities. For fiscal year 2017-2018, the program has $5 million in grant funding available for projects such as public education, community and neighborhood-level meetings, charrettes, community health surveys, needs assessments, data collection, technical assistance, and more. Deadline: April 12. ( Link)
Green Urban Parks Campaign
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is supporting community efforts to build resilience and empower residents to create solutions for the challenges facing their neighborhoods. This opportunity offers $10,000 grants for innovative strategies that engage and educate residents in green stormwater infrastructure projects in parks. Deadline: April 13. ( Link)
Strategic Growth Council: Climate Change Research Program
The Strategic Growth Council has released the solicitation for the first round of its new Climate Change Research Program. Interested parties are encouraged to send written questions to by 5pm on Monday, March 12. Deadline: 5pm on April 13, 2018. ( SGC)
Behavior, Energy & Climate Change Conference: Call for Abstracts
The theme of this year's conference is "Building Bridges." In a time of increasing polarization, behavioral sciences play an important role in bridging political, cultural, economic, and geographic divides that prevent sensible solutions to climate change. From the beginning, BECC has aimed to facilitate conversations and collaborations across sectors and disciplines. In 2018, through regular and special sessions, we plan to showcase research, programs, and dialogues that bridge divides and help move toward a sustainable energy and climate future. Submit   presentation ideas or panel abstracts here. Deadline: April 15.
Department of Energy: Energy Deployment on Tribal Lands
The DOE's Office of Indian Energy will be continuing its efforts to maximize the deployment of energy solutions for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives and help build the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to implement those energy solutions. The Office seeks applications from Indian Tribes to promote Indian tribal energy development, efficiency, and use, including: (1) Install energy efficiency measures and/or energy generating system(s) for Tribal Buildings; or, (2) Deploy community-scale energy generating system(s) on Tribal lands; or, (3) Install energy system(s) for autonomous operation to power a single or multiple essential tribal loads for a short period of time during an emergency situation or for long-term tribal community resilience. Deadline: April 19. ( Link)
2018 Green Infrastructure Award
The National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies' (NAFSMA) Green Infrastructure Award Program was designed to recognize and spotlight stormwater management projects that are advancing and innovating Green Infrastructure and Low Impact Development techniques. NAFSMA also has a separate award to recognize Excellence in Communications in the categories of "Public Awareness of Flooding and/or Flood Prevention and/or Emergency Preparedness" and "Improving Water Quality." Deadline: April 30. ( Link)
Partner with CivicSpark and receive support for your climate work
CivicSpark, a Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program, is accepting project applications for the 2018-19 Service Year! The program is offering three thematic tracks: Climate (50 openings), Water (20 openings), and a new Opportunity Access (20 openings) track that will focus on affordable housing, alternative transportation, and rural broadband. Second priority deadline: May 1. ( Link)
PG&E: Better Together Resilient Communities Grant Program
PG&E established the Better Together Resilient Grant Program to invest $2 million over five years-or $400,000 per year-in shareholder-funded grants to support local initiatives to build greater climate resilience throughout Northern and Central California. In 2018, PG&E is requesting grant proposals around the theme of increased extreme heat events. Eligible projects include research, planning or demonstration projects that better prepare communities for a future with more frequent and extreme heat events. Eligible applicants must have a local government within PG&E's northern and central California service area as a partner. Deadline: May 11. ( Link)
AARP Community Challenge
The AARP Community Challenge funds quick-action projects that promote livable communities for people of all ages. For 2018, the Challenge will prioritize projects that deliver transportation and mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability and/or and transit access; create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities; and support affordable and accessible housing. Applications are open to nonprofit community organizations and government entities; other types of organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Deadline: May 16. ( Link)
Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Mini Grant Program
SACOG will award mini-grants of up to $3,000 per project in support of small events and non-infrastructure programs or projects that encourage biking, walking, riding transit, carpooling, vanpooling and teleworking, as options for reducing car trips and vehicles miles traveled. Projects that focus on testing a new strategy or tactic for changing travel behavior will be prioritized. Applications considered on a rolling basis until $30,000 has been awarded for each of two application phases. The first phase will run from January 16 through June 30, 2018. The second phase will open July 15 through December 31, 2018. ( Link)
Upcoming Events
Webinar: Powering and Empowering Communities with Resilient Solar
Thursday, April 5, 10-11.30am
Cities are exploring how the technologies of resilient solar can advance their goals to strengthen communities, aid emergency preparedness plans, and protect and support vulnerable populations during disasters. This webinar, presented by the Institute for Sustainable Communities, will tell the stories of trailblazing resilient solar projects in New York, San Francisco, and Baltimore. ( Link)
Dirt Matters: Healthy Soils for a Productive and Sustainable California
Wednesday, April 11, noon-1pm
UC Center Sacramento, Room LL3, 1130 K Street, Sacramento
Many common agricultural practices degrade soil health, threatening long-term agricultural productivity. Healthy soil promotion practices could play a major role in addressing key environmental challenges in California, including reducing harmful nutrient losses and increasing water security. Professor Timothy Bowles will discuss cases in California on how farmers are working to build soil health and how this impacts the benefits we derive from soils. ( Link)
New Urban Resilience Leadership Webinar Series
Monday, April 16, 10.15-11.45am
The series will introduce participants to climate change adaptation and resilience leaders working in policy, innovation and technology, and climate justice and social equity from across various scales of government and other sectors. These experts will share cutting-edge examples of how they are putting effective, innovative and equitable climate adaptation into practice. The first webinar focuses on climate adaptation policy at the state and local level, with speakers including Michael McCormick from OPR. Subsequent webinars will address innovations in climate solutions, climate justice, and other timely and impactful subjects. ( Link)
ARRCA Learning Session: Adaptation Clearinghouse Beta Testing
Wednesday, April 18, 1-2pm
This webinar will provide a first look at the new California State Adaptation Clearinghouse, which aims to be a centralized source of information and resources to assist decision makers at the state, tribal, regional, and local levels when planning for and implementing climate adaptation efforts. The Adaptation Clearinghouse is a main component of the Integrated Climate and Adaptation Resiliency Program. The Office of Planning and Research is currently conducting beta testing of the Adaptation Clearinghouse and looks forwarding to receiving input from the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation. ( Register)
Energy Storage: Meeting California's Clean and Reliable Energy Goals
Monday, April 23, 8.15am-5pm
SMUD Customer Service Center, Rubicon Room, 6301 S Street, Sacramento
Join the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition and SMUD for an information and networking forum on energy storage for local government energy professionals. Speakers will provide insights on California's Energy Storage Roadmap, the state of the technology, emerging policy, decision-making tools for implementation and first-hand project experience. ( Link)
Webinar: How Transportation Technology Trends are Shaping the Parking Landscape
Wednesday, April 25, 11am-noon
This session will examine two transformative trends in transportation. The first is the rise of the sharing economy, private sector ride-hailing services, autonomous vehicles and associated web-based tools for trip planning, ride hailing and fare payment. The second is the emergence of new parking technologies like parking space sensors, automated vehicle identification and payment systems, and web-based tools for finding parking and for paying parking fees and fines. These trends are impacting parking demand and parking management in urban areas, but what do they have to offer in places like Lander WY, Twin Falls ID, or Livingston MT? ( Register)
Online Course: Hazard Mitigation Planning Fundamentals
May 9 and 10, 10am-noon
Hazard mitigation planning affects everyone and at all levels of government, and having plans in place for your community and yourself personally is key to surviving a disaster. It is important to: (1) enact preventative measures that reduce or eliminate risk from hazards, and (2) help communities recover more quickly post-disaster. This 4-hour online course, presented over two 2-hour webinars, will introduce professionals to the main concepts of hazard mitigation planning and connect them to tools to initiate effective planning in their communities. ( Register)
Business of Local Energy Symposium 2018
June 4-5, Sacramento
Join Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) experts from across the state for a day-long event about accelerating CCA adoption, sharing best practices, and creating more benefits for our communities. A pre-symposium workshop on June 4th will focus on distributed energy resource projects that build local resilience, provide unique customer services, and contribute to local economic development. ( Link)
Save the date for the 3rd California Adaptation Forum
August 27-29, 2018, Sacramento, CA
Join the Local Government Commission and the State of California at the 3rd California Adaptation Forum taking place August 27-29 (with pre-forum workshops on August 27), 2018, in Downtown Sacramento. The Forum gathers a multidisciplinary audience of 600+ climate leaders to foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and mutual support to transition from adaptation awareness to planning and action through a series of engaging plenaries, sessions, workshops, networking activities, and more. ( Link)
About the Capital Region Climate  Readiness  Collaborative
The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative is a membership based collaborative network designed to promote greater climate change resilience planning coordination in the six-county Sacramento Region. The purpose of this collaborative network is to create a forum where leaders from government, academia, environmental and community groups, the business community, and labor can come together to exchange information, identify vulnerabilities and data gaps, leverage resources, and advance comprehensive solutions in an effort to create stronger, sustainable, and economically viable communities in the Capital Region.

The CRC is a program of the Local Government Commission.