Thursday, June 21, 2012

Climate Adaptation

This is an excellent example of the type of document and plan that engineers will be tasked to participate in the development of in the coming years.  Climate adaptation plans and preparedness - - this particular document, Boulder County Climate Change Preparedness Plan (Draft), is for Boulder County, Colorado and was prepared by Stratus Consulting.  I would highly recommend a review of this very important document. 

The goal of the document as stated in the plan:

"The objective of this plan is to assist county and city departments that manage climate-sensitive resources and assets to achieve their departmental objectives in the face of challenges posed by anticipated future changes in the climate of Boulder County."

Several key words in the objectives - - climate-sensitive, challenges, anticipated, and changes - - a lot will be riding on the engineering community as it deals with these types of issues.  There are several key questions that face engineers - - the most important is what are we doing in the face of significant and anticipated threats to climate-sensitive infrastructure assets and natural resources?

Chapter 3 - Water Supply provides an excellent overview of the threats and challenges that Boulder County faces in the context of critical water resources.  Per the plan:

". . . water supply entities throughout the county are still vulnerable to major shifts in climate trends that can affect planning especially due to the long time frames used by municipal water utilities." 

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