A draft "California Climate Adaptation Strategy" recommends that development projects and locations be reconsidered in light of rising sea levels, greater potential flooding and higher temperatures.
Released in early August by the Natural Resources Agency, the plan summarizes the latest science on climate change and makes numerous recommendations for dealing with its effects. State officials and climate-change scientists say an adaptation plan is necessary because even if efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are successful, some level of human-caused climate change is a certainty, as heat-trapping gasses remain in the atmosphere for a long time.
Among the recommendations::
• Consider the effects of climate change in environmental review documents for major development and infrastructure projects.
• Amend general plans and local coastal plans to avoid potential climate effects.
• Assess land use, housing and transportation proposals for their compatibility with a changing climate.
• Consider project alternatives that avoid significant new development in areas prone to flooding, rising sea level, temperature changes and precipitation changes.
• Reduce water usage 20% statewide by 2020 and expand water storage. Improve the Bay Delta water supply, water quality and ecosystem conditions.
• Protect habitat areas and manage water systems to aid species most at risk of extinction due to climate change.
The draft Climate Adaptation Strategy is available at www.climatechange.ca.gov/adaptation. A public meeting on the document is scheduled for August 31 in Los Angeles. Final adoption is scheduled for the fall.