Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
February 22, 2017
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative

After the drought, California is rediscovering the meaning of rain. We're in the midst of a winter unlike any before - the rainiest season on record, twice as wet as the 20th century average and 35% more than the previous record year.  Alarm bells for our infrastructure system are ringing throughout the state, from floods and mudslides to bridge closures that cut off entire communities and the near-disaster at the Oroville dam. In the face of this new climate reality, it is more important than ever to ensure that we build and maintain infrastructure according to future climate projections. 

The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative (CRC) has created a factsheet on the importance of resilient infrastructure . Our goal is to engage our regional leaders on how building resiliently can safeguard our economy, health, public safety, and quality of life.  

We're also excited to welcome two new CRC members, the University of California at Davis and the American River Parkway Foundation, and one new channel partner, the American Planning Association - Sacramento Valley Section
What California's dam crisis says about the changing climate
Photo Credit: Jim Urquhart/Reuters
The disaster unfolding at Oroville, where precipitation is more than double the average, is the latest reminder that the United States needs a climate-smart upgrade of our water management systems. With the shift toward more rain rather than snow, and the earlier melting of the snowpack, water managers need to release water more frequently for flood control. As the last five years illustrate, California's water system is not equipped for climate change's "new normal." That water system must simultaneously provide for the country's largest population and agricultural sector, and one of its most diverse natural environments. ( NYTimes)
Disturbing deficiencies seen in California's dam safety efforts
Photo: Max Whittaker/Prime, Special To The Chronicle
The 50-year-old Oroville Dam's apparent fragility took many by surprise, prompting calls for more robust inspections, maintenance and emergency planning at all of California's 1,585 dams - aging facilities that likely will be tested more severely by global warming and anticipated intense rain. As of October 2015, about a dozen state-monitored dams where failure could result in death or property destruction had gone more than two years between inspections, though checks are supposed to be done once a year. Home to some of the country's biggest dams, California also lags behind the national average in emergency preparedness for dam failure, with hundreds of high-risk sites lacking plans to handle a potential crisis. ( SF Chronicle)
State Water Resources Control Board plans for climate resilience
While areas downstream of Oroville Dam were still under an evacuation order, last week California's State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) released a draft resolution for a comprehensive response to climate change. It resolves that the agency will embed climate science into all of its existing work, both to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and to build resilience to the impacts of climate change. In doing so, the State Water Board demonstrates how public agencies can respond more proactively to climate change. ( UCS
Fears grow that climate change could lead to war 
Source: Met Office Hadley Centre and Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia
Among the 21st-century threats posed by climate change, European leaders are warning of a last-century risk they know all too well: War. Focusing too narrowly on the environmental consequences of global warming underestimates the military threats, top European and United Nations officials said at a global security conference. Their warnings follow the conclusions of defense and intelligence agencies that climate change could trigger resource and border conflicts. Ground zero for armed conflict over the climate will be the Arctic, where record-high temperatures are melting ice and revealing natural resources. The Arctic climate paradox - where countries could fight for rights to extract the very fossil fuels that would cause even more global warming - underscores energy's role as a cause of climate change. (Bloomberg)
Scientists have just detected a major change to the Earth's oceans 
Photo: Francisco Leong/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images
A large research synthesis has detected a decline in the amount of dissolved oxygen in oceans around the world - a long-predicted result of climate change that could have severe consequences for marine life. Researchers found that ocean oxygen declined more than 2 percent worldwide between 1960 and 2010. This loss in oxygen is not evenly spread out, with the largest volume lost in the largest ocean - the Pacific - but the steepest decline occurring in the Arctic Ocean. Declining ocean oxygen could affect marine life and worsen climate change in a feedback loop, as microorganisms increase production of nitrous oxide. ( Washington Post)
Climate change could have severe impacts on peak electricity demand in the US
Climate change may force U.S. utilities to invest billions of dollars in new power infrastructure to keep air conditioners humming on the hottest of days. As summertime highs increase, peak power demand could increase by 18 percent in a business-as-usual scenario, requiring an additional $180 billion worth of infrastructure to meet peak customer demand as millions of people try to stay cool. With moderate climate change mitigation efforts, peak demand would increase by 7.2 percent, necessitating a $70 billion increase in capacity. One mitigating factor could be the deployment of cost-effective energy storage on the grid. ( Link)
Al Gore rescues climate change and health summit to examine surprising impacts
Photo: kwest/Shutterstock
The Centers for Disease Control's three-day climate change and health summit - abruptly canceled in January - was revived as a one-day meeting by Al Gore, likely earning much more attention than it would have otherwise. Presenters discussed rising temperatures that encourage mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika, greater flooding that increases the dispersal of waterborne pathogens such as cholera, plant diseases that attenuate the nutrients in major crops, and extreme weather events that destabilize societies. Presentations also focused on the   surprising link with mental health, as rising temperatures and extreme weather are correlated with aggression, while rising air pollution levels are linked with a higher risk of neurological and psychiatric problems through neural inflammation. ( Eos)
Tools and Resources
Adaptation Clearinghouse: Preserving Federal Adaptation Resources
The Georgetown Climate Center began working in November to archive and update all federal adaptation resources in their Adaptation Clearinghouse. The Center is developing a page to make it easy to find all archived federal resources. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
Survey: Overcoming Financial and Organizational Barriers to Local Adaptation
As part of a research project for California's Fourth Climate Change Assessment, we are requesting your input through an online survey to better understand the financial barriers and challenges faced by local governments in implementing climate change adaptation measures. If you work in local government and perform activities related to researching, planning, financing, convening stakeholders for, and/or implementing adaptation activities, we hope that you can take 10 minutes out of your busy schedule to share your experience and insights. ( Link)
Provide input on Statewide Housing Assessment
In January, the California Department of Housing and Community Development released the public draft of "California's Housing Future: Challenges and Opportunities," the 2025 Statewide Housing Assessment. There will be public workshops in Oakland (Feb 17) and Redding (Feb 24), or you can submit comments to until March 4, 2017. ( Link)
CEC's Local Government Challenge for climate action planning and energy innovation
The California Energy Commission is awarding $10.2 million to local governments to help them achieve their climate and energy goals. The $3 million Small Government Leadership Challenge will help cities of 150,000 people or less to design or implement climate action plans or other planning efforts to reduce GHG emissions. Cities that already have climate action plans can apply for the Energy Innovation Challenge, which has $7.2 million for innovative programs that improve energy efficiency and reduce building energy use. The projects should serve as an example for other local governments. For both grants, preference points will be given to projects implemented in or benefiting disadvantaged communities. Deadline March 6, 5pm. ( CEC)
2017 POCACITO in Germany Application
The Ecologic Institute invites you to apply to participate in the 2017 POCACITO in Germany tour to explore firsthand how German cities are adapting to the impacts of climate change. Apply for a seat on this tour to have the unique opportunity to directly engage with German professional counterparts and build a US-German network to promote sustainable cities through international exchange. Applications due March 6. ( Link)
Strategic Growth Council: Transformative Climate Communities Draft Guidelines
The Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Program will administer $140 million from California's cap-and-trade revenues to develop and implement neighborhood-level transformative climate plans that will reduce GHG emissions and provide economic, environmental, and health benefits to disadvantaged communities. The TCC will invest $70 million within the city of Fresno, $35 million within the city of Los Angeles, and $35 million in a to-be-determined third city within the top 5% of disadvantaged communities. The SGC is taking comments on the draft program guidelines until March 13. ( SGC)
USDA Rural Development: Community Connect Grants
The program helps fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not yet economically viable for private sector providers to deliver service. Grant funds may be used to deploy service to critical community facilities, residents and businesses; construct, acquire, or expand a community center; and equip a community center that provides free access to service to community residents. Rural areas that lack any existing broadband speed of at least 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream are eligible. Deadline March 13, 2017. ( USDA)
Comments requested: Draft California Forest Carbon Plan
Many Californian forests are in a state of deteriorating health, at risk of catastrophic wildfires and becoming a net carbon emitter. The California Forest Carbon Plan seeks to reverse these trends and firmly establish our forests as a more resilient and reliable long-term carbon sink. The Plan provides strategies to promote healthy wildland and urban forests and emphasizes working collaboratively at the watershed or landscape scale. The Plan will be the detailed implementation plan for the forest carbon goals in the 2030 Target Scoping Plan and the mechanism for addressing black carbon emissions from wildfire. Deadline: February 23. ( Link)
Sustainable Agricultural Land Conservation Program Draft Guidelines
The Strategic Growth Council welcomes comments on the Draft 2016-17 Guidelines for the Sustainable Agricultural Land Conservation Program (SALC) program. SALC provides funding to protect at-risk agricultural lands from conversion to more GHG-intensive uses to promote growth within existing jurisdictions, ensure open space, and support a healthy agricultural economy and food security. Deadline: March 17. See below for related public meeting. ( Link)
Contribute to best practices library for California's Adaptation Clearinghouse
The Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) is tasked with developing the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program, which includes an Adaptation Clearinghouse that will contain a library of case studies. We'd like to ask for your help in populating the case study library and to highlight the great work you are all doing. Specifically, we are looking for 1- to 5-page case study write-ups that highlight a project, program, or policy that might be considered a best practice in the realm of adaptation. Please contact Great Soos ( if you are interested; OPR is able to offer assistance in writing and editing the case study. ( OPR)
Upcoming Events
UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies Weekly Seminar: Multi-Hazard Resilience Quantification in Interdependent Civil Infrastructure Systems
Friday, February 24, 1.40-3pm
1605 Tilia Street, Room 1103, West Village, Davis
To ensure effective post-disaster provision of services, agencies charged with designing, constructing, managing and operating civil infrastructure systems must invest in measures that prevent or mitigate the effects of disasters and less major disruptions. This talk will describe mathematical tools for quantifying the maximum resilience level of transportation networks and determining the optimal set of mitigation, preparedness and recovery actions necessary to achieve this level. ( Link; Webcast)
Webinar: Climate Justice: Local, Tribal, Global, and Generational
Monday, February 27, 10-11.45am
2017 is the American Public Health Association's (APHA) " Year of Climate Change." Please join the APHA, Public Health Institute, and Island Press for a very special kick-off webinar. You'll hear from speakers who are engaged in the fight for climate justice and healthy communities to explore how climate justice is the best strategy to address both climate change and health inequities in the US and around the world. ( Register)
Public Meeting: Sustainable Agricultural Land Conservation Program Draft Guidelines
Thursday, March 2, 1pm
Department of Conservation, 801 K Street, MS 14-15, Sacramento
This public meeting will present the DRAFT 2016-17 Guidelines for the Sustainable Agricultural Land Conservation Program (SALC) program. Please RSVP; spaces limited. ( Link)
Climate Justice and Hope: A Spiritual-Political Calling
Saturday, March 11, 1.30-4.30pm
Davis Community Church, 412 C St., Davis
The Fifth Annual Interfaith Climate Conference will feature Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda and community-led discussions that explore the moral crisis of climate injustice and paths toward climate justice. The increasingly pressing and depressing situation of Planet Earth poses urgent ethical questions for people of faith and conscience. But the future of the earth is not simply a matter of protecting species and habitats but of rethinking the very meaning of ethics. (Register)  
CivicSpark 2017-18 Project Partner Informational Webinar
March 3, March 8, or March 17
CivicSpark is a Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local governments to address climate change and water resource management issues. Each year, 70 fellows serve for 11 months, implementing projects related to water resource management, climate change mitigation, and adaptation. CivicSpark helps local governments build capacity by working directly with local staff or in the community. Join the webinar to learn more about being a project partner, program structure, application process, and local match costs. ( Webinar, CivicSpark)
ARCCA Learning Session SB-379 Implementation
Wednesday, March 29th, 10.00-11.00am
Join ARCCA's first Learning Session of 2017 to learn about the requirements and timeline for the SB 379 implementation, as well as replicable strategies and good practices from Four Twenty Seven 's work with six cities in Alameda County. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn about additional resources available to support their efforts. (Register)
Registration Open for Business of Local Energy Symposium
Friday, May 5, Hyatt Regency Long Beach
Join government, business, and community leaders from across the state to accelerate California's shift to a clean energy economy. Don't miss this opportunity to network, exchange ideas about Community Choice Energy programs, and learn about energy policy, regulations, markets, and technology. Use CRC's discount code BLE17CRC to receive a 10% discount off registration! ( Learn more or register)
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.