Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
February 11, 2015
A biweekly newsletter of the Climate Readiness Collaborative.


A respite to the drought comes to Sacramento with some much-needed rain, even as the federal government announces new drought relief funding for California. The federal government has also made exciting announcements in other areas, most notably the new guideline for federal agencies to use updated flood elevation projections to account for climate change. In his proposed budget, President Obama also made the economic case for increased climate resiliency, as natural disasters and extreme weather escalate costs for federal programs like disaster relief and crop insurance.


Don't forget to register for our first quarterly meeting of 2015, which will focus on the health risks of climate change and maintaining continuity for the healthcare network in the Capital Region. Our biggest challenges will be more frequent and more intense heat waves, air quality, and the changing spread of vector-borne diseases, but with early awareness and preparation we can work to safeguard all our communities.  

News and Research
Federal government increases drought relief funding for California

Of the $50 million dollars in drought relief funds for western states, the largest portion is earmarked for California. The funds will include $20 million for the Central Valley Water Project for efforts such as water transfers, drought monitoring for endangered species, and diversifying water supplies. Farmers and local water departments can apply for an additional $14 million for projects that reduce water use and develop response plans for drought conditions. (KCRA)

Federal government updates flood elevation guidelines to address climate change
Photo: Greg Thompson/USFWS

A new Presidential executive order requires federal agencies to adopt new flood elevation standards that incorporate the latest climate science. The standard will protect public investments by making sure federal agencies, as well as projects using federal money, account for climate impacts during project siting, design, and construction. This will help save money in the long run by protecting new infrastructure and projects and decreasing federal disaster assistance spending. (Inside Climate News)

More extreme La Ni�a events may mean more drought for California

The opposite of El Ni�o, La Ni�a occurs when colder than usual water in the eastern and central Pacific shifts rainfall patterns, bringing rain and flooding to Asia, Australia, and the northeastern parts of South America, hurricanes to the Atlantic - and drought to the southwestern U.S. New research suggests that climate change will bring twice as many extreme La Ni�a events as before, occurring every 13 years instead of every 23. The last extreme La Ni�a in 1998-1999 brought devastating floods to China and Bangladesh, severe drought to the U.S., and deadly hurricanes to Honduras and Nicaragua. Also related is an increase in extreme El Ni�o events, which are likely to precede 75 percent of extreme La Ni�a events - suggesting the world will have to prepare for years of extreme weather events in succession. (CarbonBrief)  

DOT highlights climate resiliency in transportation roadmap

Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices 2045 calls for critical investments to address the U.S.'s severe

Photo: North Carolina Dept. of Transportation

infrastructure deficit, essential to maintaining long-term economic growth, safety, and jobs. With greater fuel efficiency and more alternative vehicles, revenues from the gasoline tax are far below the rising costs of maintenance and capacity expansion - 65 percent of roads are in less than good condition and a quarter of bridges need significant repair. Beyond Traffic acknowledges that climate impacts over the next 30 years will exacerbate the vulnerability of transportation infrastructure, while changing demographics mean that transit may increase in popularity at the expense of driving. (Link)

High-speed electric vehicle chargers to link West Coast

BMW, Volkswagen, and Charge Point, a Bay Area EV charging company, will install a network of high-speed chargers along the highway linking San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland. Unlike Tesla's network of superchargers, each station will contain several types of chargers, including DC fast chargers, that can be used by all EVs. It is expected to be complete by the end of 2015. (SF Chronicle)

12 solutions for a drought- and flood- proof home
Photograph: Alamy

Here are 12 things you can do to reduce your water usage and flood-proof your home. Simple, short-term actions include replacing your lawn with native plants, placing a milk jug into your toilet, and elevating your vital electronics and other valuables. Longer-term options include introducing rain gardens and other permeable surfaces, installing a graywater system, and evaluating flood risks before buying or renting a new home. (Guardian)

Photographers wake up the world to #everydayclimatechange

Launched by a coalition of professional photographers, this project brings together profound, startling images that tell the story of every day climate impacts around the world, from Ecuador to California to the Arctic. The project is hosted on Instagram as everydayclimatechange, and users can contribute their own photos. (Climate Central)

Case Studies and Examples
Miami-Dade County to begin addressing climate change impacts

Miami-Dade County commissioners passed resolutions that will let the County address climate change impacts. They will start by hiring experts to look at predicted threats and developing a capital plan to fortify the county, especially at-risk structures like the wastewater treatment plant. The measures help bring the county in line with surrounding governments, including Broward County, which leads a regional compact. The County left out references to the causes of climate change to win bipartisan support, meaning that GHG mitigation is not part of the County efforts. But the building association and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce were key players to sign on, out of interest to protect about $6 trillion in assets. (Link)

More states and locals take resiliency seriously
Photo: AP


The Pew Center reports on efforts from states and cities to plan for and implement projects to improve resiliency. Examples include the Washington Department of Transportation's directive for projects to factor in climate change, a Hawaii law requiring state and local officials to consider climate-change impacts in state and county planning, and city efforts to upgrade stormwater systems and reduce runoff. (Pew Center)

Upcoming Events
Yolo Climate Compact - Urban Agriculture

Friday, Feb. 13, 9-11am

2nd Floor Conference Room, UC Davis Conference Center, Davis

The next meeting of the Yolo Climate Compact will focus on the urban farming movement in schools and communities around the state. 

Quarterly Meeting - Health Care and Climate Change

Tuesday, February 24, 1-5pm

SMUD Headquarters Conference Center, 6201 S Street, Sacramento

The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative is pleased to invite you to its first Quarterly Meeting of 2015, featuring an in-depth exploration of the health care system in the context of climate change. A panel of health care experts will highlight climate impacts on public health and the steps that our regional health systems are taking to respond to and prepare for these impacts. The meeting will also feature numerous other presentations and discussions relevant to sustaining and enhancing our region's resiliency efforts. Please register if you plan to attend. (Register)

Antioch University and US EPA Webinar: Collaborating for Resilience

Thursday, February 26, 9-10:15am

How do municipal decision makers and leaders effectively engage with the disadvantaged communities that are most likely to be affected by climate change? This webinar will discuss how to build equity into resilience and adaptation planning and implementation and approaches for effective engagement with community-based organizations and historically marginalized populations. (Link)

2015 Climate Leadership Conference

Feb 23-25, Washington, DC

Join leaders from business, government, academia, and nonprofits as they share best practices to address climate change through policy and business solutions. Addressing infrastructure and resilience is one of the conference themes, with events focusing on identifying climate risks and increasing resilience. (CLC)

Early Bird Registration Now Open: National Adaptation Forum
May 12-14, 2015, St. Louis, Missouri

The National Adaptation Forum is the biennial gathering of the adaptation community to foster information exchange, innovation, and mutual support. At the Forum, participants learn how to make their work climate-informed, share what they have learned with others, and develop a stronger network of collaborative peers. The 2015 program focuses on integrating adaptation into all activities and breaking out of silos to create holistic, durable solutions. Early bird registration ends Feb. 28, 2015. (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 Sacramento Region.  If you are interested in learning more about the Climate Readiness Collaborative, joining the Collaborative, or being added to the list serve, visit: