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Climate Change Handbook for Regional Water Planning

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Resources Legacy Fund
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Developed cooperatively by DWR, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Resources Legacy Fund, and The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Climate Change Handbook for Regional Water Planning provides a framework for considering climate change in water management planning. Key decision considerations, resources, tools, and decision options are presented that will guide resource managers and planners as they develop means of adapting their programs to a changing climate.

The handbook uses DWR's Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) planning framework as a model into which analysis of climate change impacts and planning for adaptation and mitigation can be integrated.

The Handbook includes:

  • The science of climate change, tools and links;
  • Evaluating the energy-water connection and greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Assessing regional vulnerability to climate change;
  • Measuring regional impacts;
  • Evaluating projects, resource management strategies, and Integrated Regional Water Management Plans with respect to climate change;
  • Implementing and quantifying uncertainty; and
  • Case studies illustrating a range of climate change adaptation and mitigation issues within and outside of California.

Download the Handbook Size
Complete Handbook 15.15 MB
Individual Report Sections  
Front Matter 1.6 MB
Section 1: Overview of IRWM Planning and Climate Change 1.7 MB
Section 2: The Science of Climate Change 1.3 MB
Section 3: Evaluating the Energy-Water Connection and Greenhouse Gas Emissions 1.5 MB
Section 4: Assessing Regional Vulnerability to Climate Change 1.3 MB
Section 5: Measuring Regional Impacts 3.8 MB
Section 6: Evaluating Projects, Resource Management Strategies, and IRWM Plan Benefits with Climate Change 1.6 MB
Section 7: Implementing Under Uncertainty 1.5 MB
Section 8: References 450 KB
Appendix A: Climate Change Literature Review
(searchable Excel database)
266 KB
Appendix A: Climate Change Literature Review
601 KB
Appendix B: Vulnerability Assessment Checklist 425 KB
Appendix C: Quantifying Uncertainty in Climate Change Analysis 738 KB
Appendix D: Climate Change Analysis Tools 485 KB

Current Perspectives
Principal Consultant to the California Assembly Select Committee on Regional Approaches to Addressing the State's Water Crisis, Alf Brandt, talks about how the Climate Change Handbook for Regional Water Planning will help push California toward more action on climate change adaptation. Read his blog post on DWR's Current Perspectives Blog.

Click here to download the "Vulnerability Assessment Checklist", quickly and easily identify how climate change could impact aspects of water resources in your region.
A very limited number of printed handbooks are available for those who are unable to download and print the handbook. Please contact: IMR Publications or call DWR Publications Office at (916) 653-1097.
For additional information about the handbook please contact: Andrew Schwarz (DWR) or Suzanne Marr (USEPA)