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California Climate Change Symposium Leads Discussion of Current California Water Situation

At the 2015 California Climate Change Symposium (August 24-25, 2015), one session was dedicated to the discussion of the future of California’s water supply in the face of a historic drought and climatic change. Titled “Water Resources in California: Drought, Extreme Events, and Management Options”, the session featured presentations from several prominent members of the scientific community, including representatives from the U.S. Geological Survey, Stanford University, the Pacific Institute, and the Public Policy Institute of California. These presentations covered important questions and cutting-edge research concerning water stress and climate change, including atmospheric rivers, severe hydrologic events, and water resource management. They emphasized that regardless of whether climate change caused the recent drought, the effects of climate change have made the drought more severe. Relatedly, these representatives raised concerns about the impacts of the recent drought on California energy production and potential for maladaptive responses, for example increasing greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas as the energy sector turned to gas plants in the absence of readily available hydropower.

California is already dealing with the impacts of climate change, as evidenced by the current drought and rampant wildfires statewide. The Climate Change Symposium brought together scientists and policymakers to discuss how to effectively manage and adapt to these changes while preserving California’s water supply for multiple uses. The California Climate Change symposium was led by California’s Natural Resources Agency and co-hosted by the International Panel on Climate Change.

For more information, visit the California Climate Change Symposium website.

Post last edited on: 2015 October 02

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