Climate Change Program

Point Lobos shoreline in San Francisco

King Tide conditions along the Point Lobos shoreline. DWR/2013

Climate change is having a profound impact on California’s water resources, as evidenced by greater weather extremes, reduced snowpack, higher sea level, and changes in river flows. Models predict that more precipitation will fall as rain instead of snow, exacerbating flood risks and creating additional challenges for water supply reliability. These impacts are expected to intensify in the future.

Managing climate change and its impact of water supply is one of DWR’s core values. DWR’s climate change program implements climate mitigation and adaptation measures to ensure that Californians have an adequate water supply, reliable flood control, and healthy ecosystems, now and in the future. Our efforts to address climate change focus on:

  • Raising awareness about the connection between water and energy use.
  • Partnering with other efforts to support adaptation to climate impacts that are already occurring.   
  • Compiling resources for water management practitioners who need to incorporate climate considerations into their plans and projects.   
  • Funding climate monitoring and research.  
  • Developing water sector policies and management practices to support California’s comprehensive approach to addressing the challenges posed by climate change.  
  • Promote awareness of climate change basics.

Climate Action Plan

To mitigate future climate impacts, we have developed a Climate Action Plan to guide the Department’s programs, projects, and activities in response to a changing climate. The Plan comprises three phases, the first of which was the development of our award-winning Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan. The other two phases consist of standardizing the Department’s climate change analysis tools and assessing our assets’ vulnerabilities to climate change.


Weather Generator Technical Public Seminar

A seminar was held to showcase a new "Weather Generator" tool to help hydrologists, scientists, and technical practitioners in water resources management to better understand and prepare for the impacts of climate change on water resources.

The free tool and accompanying data will help depict increased temperature effects on droughts and floods (especially associated with atmospheric rivers). The weather generator is especially useful for stress-testing water resource systems to identify climate change vulnerabilities and provides a significant benefit to water resource decision-makers who are trying to ensure their systems can manage plausible but previously unobserved extreme events in order to protect their communities.

Contact Us

Meet the team and connect with your climate change specialist. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.


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Climate News Digest compiles recent news articles and publications relevant to climate change and water management. Subscribe below to receive the newsletter via email.