2012 Progress Report: Integrating Information from Climate Scientists and Resource Managers: Informing Preparedness and Adaptation to Extreme Event Impacts on Air and Water Quality in California

EPA Grant Number: R835194
Title: Integrating Information from Climate Scientists and Resource Managers: Informing Preparedness and Adaptation to Extreme Event Impacts on Air and Water Quality in California
Investigators: Bedsworth, Louise W , Duffy, Philip B. , Tebaldi, Claudia
Institution: University of California - Davis , Climate Central
Current Institution: Public Policy Institute of California , Climate Central
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2015 (Extended to May 31, 2019)
Project Period Covered by this Report: June 1, 2012 through May 31,2013
Project Amount: $710,529
RFA: Extreme Event Impacts on Air Quality and Water Quality with a Changing Global Climate (2011) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Water Quality , Climate Change , Air , Water


The goal of this project is to develop a set of management-relevant indicators of extreme events to aid in management of air and water quality in California.  The project is based on a top-down/bottom-up methodology that combines input from resource managers collected through a survey instrument with analysis of the latest climate information.  

Progress Summary:

This project has been slow to get underway for a number of reasons.  First, there have been a number of personnel challenges, with one research team member (Duffy) serving in a post at the White House and another (Bedsworth) serving in a position in the California Governor’s Office.  These personnel changes have made development of contracts under the grant challenging.  There was also a major delay in receiving Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for the human subjects portion of the research from EPA.  While materials for IRB approval were submitted in July 2012, approval was not received until January 2013.  This delayed the collection of information via interview for survey development and the deployment of the first survey. 

Despite these delays, work has progressed on development of the survey populations for the first survey.  The identification of the survey population for the survey of water managers has proven to require a tremendous amount of analysis because of the large number of water agencies in California that cover a range of functions (e.g., water suppliers, wastewater, flood control, storm water) and geographic scales.  For our survey, we would like to be able to capture that range of functions, but to develop a survey population that is manageable for survey deployment and, especially, analysis of the results. 

After analysis of several options, we have decided to focus on water agencies in California that are required to complete Urban Water Management Plans (UWMP).  This results in a database that includes almost 500 water agencies in California.  All of these agencies are water suppliers and approximately 200 also cover waste water and nearly 175 are responsible for storm water.  This survey population has two key advantages:

-    Data from UWMP are available for each, which will aid in analysis and

-    The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has collected additional qualitative information on each agency though a companion survey

The survey population for the air quality managers has been far more straightforward to compile.  For that survey, we will be using planning managers for each of the state’s regional air quality management agencies.  

For both survey populations, survey development is underway.  Testing of the survey instrument will take place soon and each should be fully deployed in the fall. Literature review and interviews with water quality and air quality experts are informing survey development.  An up-to-date literature review is being prepared as part of survey development.

Future Activities:

The key activities for the next period of this project are the deployment and analysis of the survey instruments.  The surveys should be deployed in fall 2013, with analysis of survey results underway by late 2013/early 2014.  

Analysis of survey results will then inform selection of agencies to follow-up with for in-depth case study analysis.  These case studies will be underway by late winter/spring 2014.  

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 6 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Climate change, extreme events, air quality, water quality, public policy, resource management, survey

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2013 Progress Report
  • 2014 Progress Report
  • 2015 Progress Report
  • 2016 Progress Report
  • Final Report