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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA Honors California Department of Water Resources for Helping Fight Climate Change

Contact Information: 
Michele Huitric (Huitric.michele@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is honoring the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) with a 2016 Climate Leadership Award for its innovation in helping fight climate change. DWR-one of just three awardees in California-received an Organizational Leadership Award for protecting the state's water supply.

"This year's Climate Leadership Award winners are setting a high bar for organizations across the country," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "They are proving that climate action isn't just the right thing to do; it's also the profitable thing to do."

This is the fifth year of the annual Climate Leadership Awards, a partnership between the EPA's Center for Corporate Climate Leadership, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry. Seventeen awardees were recognized for managing and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in internal operations and throughout the supply chain, as well as integrating climate resilience into their operating strategies.

DWR operates and maintains the State Water Project, which supplies drinking water to over 25 million Californians and irrigation water to 750,000 acres of farmland. DWR has responsibility for 1,600 miles of flood protection levees and structures; prepares the State's strategic plan for water resources; administers over $1 billion in grant funds to improve regional water management; oversees dam safety statewide; and maintains 1700 megawatts of renewable hydroelectric power capacity.

DWR is being recognized by EPA for accomplishments that include:

Setting an absolute GHG emissions reduction goal of 33 percent from 2010 to 2020.
Developing a Climate Change Program Five-year Strategic Plan describing climate change mitigation and adaptation goals.
Creating a Climate Change Technical Advisory Group to improve the scientific basis for decisions and enhance the consistency of climate change approaches, impacts on California's water resources, use and creation of planning approaches and analytical tools, and the development of adaptation responses.
Supporting atmospheric research and citizen science, developing a California water-energy information framework, and assisting tribes in identifying and addressing vulnerabilities and strategies to reduce climate impacts.
Improving existing tools and developing new resources to support climate change planning at the local and regional level.
Partnering with external organizations to evaluate how urban water suppliers, regional water management groups, and regional flood planning agencies are incorporating climate change into their planning.
Educating water managers, the general public, and over 200 employees on climate change issues impacting water resources.

DWR was previously recognized with a Climate Leadership Award in 2015 for Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management-Goal Setting.

There are two additional winners in California for 2016:

Cisco Systems (San Jose) received the Supply Chain Leadership Award for engaging all suppliers to have strong sustainability programs.
The Government Authorities for the Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Program (San Diego) was awarded the Innovative Partnerships Certificate for helping to increase the mass adoption of home energy and water efficiency across California.

The awards were presented at the 2016 Climate Leadership Conference in Seattle, Washington.

EPA's Center for Corporate Climate Leadership establishes standards of climate leadership by encouraging organizations with emerging climate objectives to identify and achieve cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reductions, while helping more advanced organizations drive innovations in reducing their greenhouse gas impacts in their supply chains and beyond. The Center provides technical tools, guidance, educational resources, and opportunities for information sharing and peer exchange among organizations interested in reducing the environmental impacts associated with climate change.

More information about the 2016 Climate Leadership Award winners: http://www.epa.gov/climateleadership/2016-climate-leadership-award-winners

More information about EPA's Center for Corporate Climate Leadership: www.epa.gov/climateleadership

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