Climate Change Program

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; reducing the use of one also reduces the other.
  • 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.  

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, near completion, consist of standardizing the Department’s climate change analysis tools and assessing our assets’ vulnerabilities to climate change.


Related Pages

"Partners in Clime" Blog

Four new videos featuring members of native California tribes discussing the impacts of climate change will debut at the Tribal Water Summit on April 5.


As the Tribal Water Summit approaches, DWR is working to complete the video production on insightful climate change stories from four native CA tribes.


For the third time in four years, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) captured a prestigious national Climate Leadership Award for combating climate change. This year’s award honored DWR’s systemwide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.


Climate change staff shares an approach to climate change planning with the the Netherlands.


Now begins the hard work from taking interviews and footage of beautiful landscapes, into a product ready to be premiered at the 2018 Tribal water Summit.


DWR staff travel to Kern County to interview their first Tribe, as part of a series of short videos featuring tribal members throughout the state discussing their perspectives on climate change.


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