Valley Water’s Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) is Valley Water’s guide to addressing climate change in its mission areas of water supply, flood protection, and ecosystem stewardship. This plan builds upon Valley Water’s existing climate change efforts, such as the commitment to carbon neutrality, to further mitigate Valley Water’s greenhouse gas emissions and develop opportunities for Valley Water to adapt to the changing climate.
Climate Change and Valley Water
Globally, climate change is predicted to cause warmer air and ocean temperatures, wildfires, changing precipitation and runoff patterns, reduced snowpack, rising sea levels, increased storm intensity, and increased flood potential. Within Santa Clara County, there is a 3˚F increase in average annual maximum temperature expected by the end of the century, which is in addition to the 1.8˚F increase between 1950 and 2018.
Furthermore, sea level is estimated to rise between 2 and 4.5 feet by 2100, although it could rise as much as 9 feet depending on the loss of Antarctic ice sheets. Annual precipitation is also projected to increase, while the wet season is projected to shorten. This will compress the time in which the increased precipitation will fall, and result in further increased flooding.
Valley Water is preparing to address climate change impacts to ensure it can continue to provide a clean, reliable water supply, natural flood protection, and water resources stewardship in the future. Warmer temperatures can increase the risk of drought and wildfires. Rainfall from more intense storms combined with rising sea levels could cause extreme flooding. Stream and bay ecosystems, and the important services they provide, will be impacted in complex ways.
The Climate Change Action Plan
The Draft Climate Change Action Plan identifies the ways in which Valley Water and Santa Clara County are vulnerable to climate change, and provides goals, strategies, and possible actions for each of Valley Water’s mission areas, including water supply reliability, flood risk reduction, and water resources stewardship, as well as for emergency response. The goals and strategies developed through CCAP planning process will guide the implementation of finalized actions.
Valley Water needs your feedback on the goals, strategies and possible actions included in the Draft Climate Change Action Plan.
The survey will be available until Jan. 18, 2021. You may also submit comments and questions to [email protected].
We look forward to hearing from you!