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Sonoma County Gazette
Climate Change increases risk of fire storms

Sonoma Water receives Federal Grant for Water System Disaster Preparedness

Dec 17, 2018


Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) and Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-02) announced that theFederal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded more than $2.9 million to theSonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) for relocation of a portion of the water supply pipeline outside a hazard zone, providing for increased resiliency to future disasters.  


“Ensuring our community is better prepared to withstand disasters is one of my highest priorities in Congress, which is why I am proud to announce this federal funding that will shore up our water transmission systems across Sonoma County,” said Thompson. “Our water infrastructure must be modernized and ready to continue serving the customers who rely on it, no matter the disaster scenario.”


“In aftermath of the catastrophic wildfires that rocked Northern California, we must do everything we can ensure our communities are as ready as possible for future disasters,” said Huffman. “I’m glad to announce that the Sonoma Counter Water Agency will receive this federal support to update their water infrastructure to be prepared in case of emergency. We will continue to work with local, state, and federal partners to ensure that our districts have every resource needed during the long path to recovery and resiliency.”


“We are very grateful for this show of support from our federal partners. This project will increase the resiliency and reliability of our water transmission system,” said James Gore, Chair of the Sonoma Water Board of Directors. “This will help us maintain safe and reliable drinking water for our 600,000 customers in the event of an earthquake. Investing in our critical infrastructure is one of the most important services that government provides.”

To learn more about what Sonoma County is doing to prepare for Disaster Emergencies that result from Climate Change - here's a program underway that brings together people who are committed to helping our home survive… 

SoCo Climate resilience team

Realizing a Potent Vision for Community-Scale Climate Action

What is the Climate Resilience Team? An internationally recognized public-private coalition accelerating local climate action across sectors and creating a transferable model for communities worldwide.

Climate Resilience Team Founders: Sonoma County Water Agency, Regional Climate Protection Authority, Pepperwood Preserve, USGS (U.S. Geological Survey), Earth Knowledge and the North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative with the support of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.

Need: Climate preparedness and resilience are vital to ensuring the strongest economies and healthiest landscapes and communities.  The World Economic Forum 2018 identified three of the top five global economic risks that were likely and most impactful: 

1.    Failure to mitigate and adapt to climate change;

2.    Extreme weather events; and

3.    Natural disasters - NOAA identified $306 billion in costs related to 2017 extreme weather events alone, this includes fires and floods in Sonoma County and others across the state and nation.

Solution: Creating a model for Sonoma County through private-partner collaboration to develop and share the best decision tools for operations, planning and emergency response.

Vision: Building on a decade of leadership encompassed in the Sonoma model, local governments and businesses build capacity to accelerate climate risk management and mitigation across all sectors and the Sonoma County community at large.

Mission: To advance and codify the innovative Sonoma County model through public-private partnerships; to accelerate implementation in decision-making across sectors; and to promote evidence-based resilience practices applicable to local communities worldwide.

Opportunity:  The Climate Resilience Team & Stakeholders can help the community, businesses and organizations successfully build stronger private-public partnerships, ground-breaking science and related information and use highly effective decision tools that provide unprecidented levels of resilience and preparedness, further defining Sonoma County as Climate Resilience Leader & Lighthouse for other communities around the world.

Summer Maximum Air temperatures estimates through 2099

The Sonoma model provides all the ingredients needed for building community resilience:

·      Targeted science

·      Cross-sector, cross-government coordination

·      Effective network building

·      Community engagement

·      Integration of mitigation and adaptation

·      Innovative funding strategies

Our goal is to pioneer transferable strategies needed by local communities worldwide for key audiences such as city planners, local elected officials, agriculture, energy, telecommunications, emergency managers, health departments, water and transportation agencies.

Sonoma County Climate Resilience Team, developed with the Obama White House Climate Data Initiative PREP (Partnership in Resilience and Preparedness), is an internationally recognized public-private coalition accelerating local climate action and decision tools across sectors and creating transferable tools and models for businesses and communities worldwide.

In September 2016, SCCRT’s leadership, including current Sonoma County Board of Supervisor Chairman James Gore and SCWA General Manager Grant Davis, participated in the Obama’s White House PREP launch. At this same event, SCCRT released its initial Climate Resilience Dashboard 

View The Obama White House Fact Sheet

Preparedness & Resilience for the Strongest Economy and Healthiest Landscapes & Communities

In Spring 2018, Sonoma County Climate Resilience Team (SCCRT) is meeting with Sonoma County stakeholders to demo this initial dashboard and do a “Deep Dive” to explore the need for and interest in the development of specific decision tools for:

1.    Natural Resources

2.    Agriculture

3.    Emergency Management/Infrastructure

Sonoma CountyClimate Resilience Team’s meetings with stakeholders will explore interest in:

·      Sector-specific decision tools to mitigate and manage climate risks, including before, during and after natural disasters;

·      A centralized place for data, information, insight and tools, along with more coordinated decision-making; and

·      Harnessing more of Sonoma County’s valuable data to make it more accessible, understandable and actionable.  

The Partnership for Resilience and Preparedness (PREP) Platform: Harnessing the Data Revolution for Climate Resilience

The Partnership for Resilience and Preparedness (PREP) is a public-private collaboration to empower a data-driven approach to building climate resilience. PREP aims to help planners, investors, and resource managers more easily incorporate climate risks into their decisions by enhancing access to relevant data and facilitating collective learning through insights on climate change.

The Water Agency’s Ann DuBay spoke at an international climate summit in New York City on September 22, 2016 on behalf of the Sonoma County Climate Resilience Team.  This event highlighted how the data revolution and public-private collaborations for building climate resilience are creating more timely, accessible, user-friendly, and user-customizable data to support decision making.

The event featured senior White House Administration officials, senior officials from governments around the world, and leaders from private-sector companies and civil-society organizations, who discussed progress in developing innovative solutions and announced commitments to open data in support of climate resilience planning and action. The Sonoma County Climate Resilience Team is one of a very few select organizations worldwide being recognized for our climate leadership.


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