Water Planning in the Climate Change Era – 2/5/16

California’s Water Commission is in the process of creating regulations for how to spend $2.7 billion that taxpayers approved to fund new surface and groundwater storage projects. This was part of Proposition 1, a water bond, passed in 2014.

It’s a chance to set the stage for a new era of water management and infrastructure in California and Dr. Juliet Christian-Smith wants to be sure the state is using the best climate science when considering the criteria for which projects to green-light.

It makes sense. If you’re planning to build a project that lasts a century you should be using climate modeling that considers what the world will look like in a hundred years. Except so far, that’s easier said than done. But Christian-Smith hopes that is about to change, because this year is looking like it will be a crucial year in deciding the future of California’s water.

Christian-Smith talked to Water Deeply this week about why 2016 is a tipping point for water in California and how the drought has tested the limits of our 20th-century water management system.

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