We at the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative (CRC) mourn the heartbreaking murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Stephon Clark, and countless others. Black lives matter, now and always.
Today, a Black person in our country is more likely than the average White person to be incarcerated and die at the hands of police, breathe polluted air, drink polluted water, and die from COVID-19. They are more likely to lack access to healthcare, good housing and jobs, well-funded schools, parks, and a social safety net. This grim reality also holds true in our own region.
This reality has been and continues to be shaped by exploitative practices. Chronic under-investment in communities of color and police brutality are symptoms of the systemic racism that has been ingrained in governments, financial institutions, companies, and society for far too long. We must dismantle these systems of oppression that limit the abilities of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities to pursue safe, healthy, and thriving lives.
We also recognize that the disparities and disproportionate impacts that BIPOC communities face will be further exacerbated by the accelerating impacts of climate change. As a network dedicated to building climate resilience, we know that we cannot achieve our goals without racial justice and equity. A resilient society is one in which everyone is able to breathe.
We stand in solidarity with the ongoing fight for human rights that have been shamefully denied to Black and Indigenous communities in this country and in our region as a result of systemic and structural racism. During this time of learning, healing, and mobilizing, we invite you to join us to inform concrete actions that CRC can take.
Resources and further reading:
- Extinction Rebellion Chicago’s 4-week online training on non-violent, directed action (7/11 – 8/1)
- Why Every Environmentalist Should Be Anti-Racist (Leah Thomas)
- “I’m a black climate expert. Racism derails our efforts to save the planet.” / B-side of her essay (Dr. Ayana Johnson)
- Climate Activists: Here’s Why Your Work Depends on Ending Police Violence (Dany Sigwalt)
- Racism Is Killing the Planet (Hop Hopkins)
- A Green New Deal architect explains how the protests and climate crisis are connected (MIT Technology Review)
- Omission of air pollution from report on Covid-19 and race ‘astonishing’ (Guardian)
New Resources & Upcoming Opportunities
Most Recent Member Updates
Monitoring air quality in schools and other communal spaces in both Sacramento and Yolo counties; working in underserved communities including AB-617 communities (wildfire smoke events, protecting at-risk populations who suffer from preexisting conditions)
Measures to maintain reliable water supplies and protect the American River (in partnership with neighboring water agencies):
- Complete: New spillway at Folsom Dam (allows for larger flood flows to be passed through the dam, and will also allow for more water to be stored in the reservoir during any year; helps not only with water supply, but also with maintaining a larger pool of cold water behind the dam to release during the summer to protect salmonids in the river)
- Expanding groundwater banking capabilities to allow the District to move water into the ground during high flows in the river, and reduce our need for diversions when flows are lower. This will help not only with operations during droughts, but also with the expected changes in hydrology with higher flows earlier in the year.
- El Dorado County and Nevada County are planning to add additional storage reservoirs, to allow more water to be captured, thus mitigating the loss of snowpack
- State is proceeding with the Delta tunnels project, which will allow for lower releases of water from Folsom and other Sacramento Valley reservoirs as part of deliveries of water south of the Delta.
cbec eco engineering has long recognized the need to plan and adaptively manage river systems for changes in streamflow projected to occur under future climate scenarios. In response to this, cbec has implemented a Climate Initiative to develop the technical solutions needed to plan for a changing future.
- Regular science assessments to understand the physical risks of climate change in our service territory, the locations where we generate and transmit power and source critical supplies;
- Expanded planning efforts that support adaptation to climate related hazards, including the creation of:
- A SMUD Wildfire Mitigation Plan designed to reduce the risk of potential wildfire-causing ignition associated with SMUD’s electrical infrastructure, embracing safety, prevention, mitigation, and recovery as central priorities for SMUD;
- A SMUD Local Hazard Mitigation Plan to help protect SMUD’s assets, customers, and communities by improving disaster preparedness and increasing resiliency. It also serves as a guide for SMUD decisionmakers as they commit resources to reducing the effects of potential hazards on SMUD’s energy infrastructure.
- Strategy and program development to improve regional resilience, including:
- Distributed Energy Strategy to formalize use of DERs like rooftop solar and storage in SMUD’s Integrated Resource Planning efforts;
- Creation of a Sustainable Community Strategy, designed to improve regional equity and thus resilience;
- Generous incentives to support building and transportation decarbonization.
- Evolution of SMUD’s popular Shade Tree program, in partnership with CRC member Sacramento Tree Foundation, to focus on carbon benefits and expand tree canopy in underserved neighborhoods.
- Secondary Spillway/Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations: our web page on the project – and our fact sheet that explains how Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations and new water control manual will work with the secondary spillway to really improve our climate resilience and prepare us for more extreme wet and extreme dry years.
- Forest/Watershed Health – 15,000 acre pilot project with Blue Forest AND the new North Yuba Forest Partnership (watershed scale forest health in partnership with 8 other local organizations); forest thinning, meadow restoration, prescribed burns, and invasive plant treatment
Local water managers have identified a comprehensive Water Resilience Portfolio that encompasses from the top of the American River watershed through the groundwater basin underlying the valley floor. The portfolio has a suite of projects all focused on addressing increasing threats from flood, fire, and drought. The projects address forest health, improve reservoir operations to address changing conditions, build on the region’s water use efficiency work, and change the timing and use of water diversions to enhance the reliability for human use, while improving and enhancing environmental conditions in the American River. These projects all are beneficial individually, but in combination their benefits work together to significantly enhance the region’s resilience.
This work will be further developed through improved relationships in the region between flood managers, wastewater managers, and others working to address the impacts the region faces from climate change. The region’s water managers are preparing to adapt to our changing climate. We will be able to ensure reliable water supplies for a growing economy, while improving environmental conditions for ecosystems dependent on the region’s rivers.
Join the Collaborative
Join a dynamic and diverse network working to create a resilient and vibrant Capital Region! We provide targeted assistance to help our members enhance their own climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts while fostering coordination and collaboration across the region.