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Adapting to a Changing Climate. Austin, TX October 4, 2013 Dr. Lynne Carter, Associate Director Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program. 3 Parts/Steps/Phases to Adapting Planning Considerations: what do we need to think about? 2. Approaches: how might we approach this?

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adapting to a changing climate

Adapting to a Changing Climate

Austin, TX

October 4, 2013

Dr. Lynne Carter, Associate Director

Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program

slide2

3 Parts/Steps/Phases to Adapting

Planning Considerations: what do we

need to think about?

2. Approaches: how might we approach this?

3. Action Options: what could we do?

slide3

3 Parts/Steps/Phases to Adapting

1. Planning Considerations: what do we

need to think about?

2. Approaches: how might we approach this?

3. Action Options: what could we do?

slide4

What do we need to think about to begin

planning adaptation actions?

  • Do we have the needed resources (e.g., financial, leadership, information, ability to create flexible policies and regulations, etc.)?
  • Are we willing to use authorities we already have: Comprehensive Plans (influence land use); Zoning/Subdivision Ordinances (types of uses and density); Building and Development Permits (what, where, how); Building Codes (specific requirements); Spending Powers (strategic placement of infrastructure); Incentives (smart growth, bonuses, preservation)?
  • Can we plan for the unexpected (e.g., increased storm refugees, other??)?
slide5

What do we need to think about to begin

planning adaptation actions?

  • Do we know our vulnerable populations or locations? Are we going to include equity considerations in our decisions?
  • Is the correct scale/size of information available?
  • Can we include identification of win-win opportunities as an important strategy (e.g. actions good for more than more reason)?
  • Can we manage our plan adaptively – recognizing the need for continuous reassessment and adjustment of activities? (Climate is a moving target)
adaptation planning many timeframes
Adaptation planning: many timeframes

Source: Linda Mearns, UCAR

slide7

3 Parts/Steps/Phases to Adapting

1. Planning Considerations: what do we

need to think about?

2. Approaches: how might we approach this?

3. Action Options: what could we do?

slide8

Learn from Others:

Guidebooks and Specific Projects

present problems l ikely to get w ors e
Present Problems Likely to Get Worse
  • Urban Air Quality
  • Urban Heat Island
  • Sea-level Rise Impacts
    • Wetland loss
    • Salt water intrusion
    • Flooding
  • Water Quantity and Quality
  • Rainfall Flooding

From: Global Climate Impacts in the US, 2009

slide10

Insurance

Tourism

Infrastructure

Legal considerations

slide11

Lower Water Levels in the Great Lakes

Reduced water levels in the Great Lakes will have interconnected impacts across many sectors, creating mismatches between water supply and demand, and necessitating trade-offs.

Regions outside the Midwest will also be affected. For example, a reduction in hydropower potential would affect the Northeast, and a reduction in irrigation water would affect regions that depend on agricultural produce from the Midwest.

From: USGCRP, 2009

slide12

POWER PLANTS CO-LOCATED WITH AREAS PROJECTED

TO BE AT RISK OF FUTURE WATER SHORTAGES

NWF Energy

Infrastructure

Report, 2011

The southwestern parts of the United States are likely to experience increased water stress in the future, setting the region up for increasing water-use conflicts. With hundreds of thermoelectric power plants already in the region and increasing population likely to increase electricity demand, power generation is likely to face critical water-availability limitations.

slide13

3 Parts/Steps/Phases to Adapting

1. Planning Considerations: what do we

need to think about?

2. Approaches: how might we approach this?

3. Action Options: what could we do?

slide14

Many Opportunities to Adapt Exist

  • Modify long-term planning, engineering standards, and infrastructure design w/ changing climate in mind
  • Land use planning (e.g., limit development in flood-prone areas)
  • Development of riparian buffer zones
  • Become a member community for FireWiseand take action
  • Restore and maintain watersheds as an integrated strategy for managing water quality and quantity
  • Changes in management and political institutions
  • Develop response management plans for e.g. invasive species
  • Establish heat stress warning systems
  • Reduce urban heat island effect: plant trees, require green roofs
  • Enhance water use efficiencies
slide15

Heat Waves/Urban Heat Island: Energy and Health

  • Local weather service issues heat alerts
  • Provide tips on how vulnerable people can protect themselves
  • Use buddy system to check on elderly residents
  • Public utilities voluntarily refrain from shutting off services for non-payment
  • Extend hours for public cooling places
  • Install reflective or green roofing and plant trees in urban areas to help cool urban heat island

“Green roofs” are cooler than the surrounding conventional roofs.- Chicago

rapid c ity sd avoiding future flooding
Rapid City, SD: avoiding future flooding

< Omaha St: before the June 9, 1972

flood – residential and commercial

  • B

> Omaha St. after the flood – parks and golf courses (green space water retention)

Others: Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin - relocate

Napa Valley - river bypass

Tulsa, OK – greenspace retention basins

Portland, OR – green street, eco-roof,

downspout disconnection

Photos from Digital Library of S. Dakota

slide17

Water Quantity and Quality

  • Supply:
  • Build reservoirs • reuse/recharge
  • Drill wells municipal wastewater – GA.
  • River diversions • rainwater harvesting
  • De-salination plants (e.g. Brockton, MA)
  • Cooperate with nearby municipalities
  • (e.g. Boston, MA)
  • Demand:
  • Increase costs for water (equity issues)
  • Incentives (reduced costs) for reduced water use
  • Replace leaking infrastructure/increase efficiency of use
  • Quality:
  • Expensive filtration
  • Maintain/purchase buffer zones (e.g., NYC)

Clayton County Georgia: innovative water recycling system filters treated water through constructed wetlands helped maintain an abundant water supply throughout the record-setting drought 2007/8

slide18

Improving Urban Air Quality

  • Refuel vehicles after dark
  • Encourage mass transportation use by offering free services on Air Quality Alert Days
  • Encourage residents to limit car travel, especially during daytime
  • Conserve energy
  • Avoid outdoor burning
slide19

Fire: due to drier conditions

  • Thin trees and bushes near structures
  • Select ignition-resistant building materials and design features
  • Position structures away from slopes
  • Develop emergency plans and evacuation procedures

Before

After

Windsor Hills, TX

Texas Firewise Communities

slide20

Incentives that might be useful

  • Tax incentives for smart development
  • Open space land assessment
  • Assessed at “use value”
  • Compare with “market value”
  • Voluntary agreements
  • Tax credits
  • Wetlands preservation credits
  • Chicago – green roofs expedited permitting
  • Transfer Development rights
  • An incentive for evaluating success of the project?
slide21

Adaptation:Reframingthe things we do every day

  • Managers make decisions with imperfect information all
  • the time – why is climate change different?
  • Adaptive management – deliberate learning by doing
  • Co-benefits – justify action by addressing other/more priorities at once
  • Small institutional and legal changes can make a big difference (eg eliminating conflicting mandates)
  • Consider potential for partnerships and economic opportunity
  • An excuse to do the things that make sense anyway: integrated planning, changes to the National Flood Insurance program, etc.
slide22

Questions/Comments/Discussion??

Lynne Carter, Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program

lynne@srcc.lsu.edu