California Department of Water Resources Finalizes Climate Action Plan

The California Department of Water Resources ("DWR") recently finalized and approved a Climate Action Plan ("Plan"). The first phase of this Climate Action Plan is a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan, which will guide State Water Project development and decision making with respect to energy use and greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions. The Plan outlines how DWR will make substantial reductions in its GHG emissions in the near-term (present to 2020) and how it will continue to reduce emissions beyond 2020 to achieve its long-term (2050) GHG emissions reduction goals. To this end, the Plan lays out both near-term and long-term GHG emissions reduction goals to guide decision making though 2050.  DWR's goals are:

  • Near-term goal—reduce emissions by 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2020
  • Long-term goal—reduce emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050

In order to meet these GHG emissions reduction goals, DWR has identified eleven GHG emission reduction measures that it will implement. These eleven GHG emissions reduction measures include DWR’s termination of its participation and associated delivery of electricity from a coal-fired power plant in Nevada, efficiency improvements to DWR’s existing facilities, purchase and development of renewable and high efficiency electricity supplies, comprehensive improvements to DWR’s construction practices, and improvements to DWR’s business activities.

In total, DWR estimates that these measures will reduce annual GHG emissions in 2020 by over 1 million metric tons and by over 2.5 million metric tons in 2050.

The DWR Climate Action Plan Phase I: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan and associated California Environmental Quality Act Initial Study and Negative Declaration were approved and adopted respectively by DWR director Mark Cowin on May 24, 2012 and were filed with the State Clearinghouse on June 1st, 2012.  These documents and more information on the Plan can be found here.

If you have any questions concerning this topic, please contact Hanspeter Walter from our office, or the KMTG attorney with whom you normally consult.