Among the speakers will be officials and/or staff from the Sonoma County Water Agency and the Contra Costa Water District; the East Bay Municipal Utility District; the cities of Berkeley and Benicia; the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Greenbelt Alliance, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water and Public Policy Institute of California; and scientists from UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), including:
David Sedlak, co-director of the UC Berkeley Water Center, professor of civil and environmental engineering and author of the 2014 book Water 4.0
David Ackerly, UC Berkeley professor of integrative biology
William Collins, LBNL, UC Berkeley professor of earth and planetary science, and member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
California Gov. Jerry Brown’s declaration of a drought emergency last year and the institution of severe restrictions on water use statewide have hit cities and counties hard as they expand and enhance their efforts to encourage conservation and develop new water sources.
In the face of these challenges, the Climate Readiness Institute, a coalition of scientists from UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Stanford University and LBNL, is hosting a four-hour meeting with local water officials and other Bay Area leaders to discuss how academic research can help them deal with the current drought and the broader shift in California’s climate.
“These are experts on making water come out of a tap,” said William Collins, director of CRI and a climate modeler based at LBNL and UC Berkeley. “This meeting will focus on what the current drought could mean for the Bay Area and what kind of long-term steps, whether it be adaptation or mitigation, we should be taking.”
Berkeley scientists will discuss topics such as rebooting water systems to be more modern, the health implications of drought, and the impact water shortages and increasing water demands will have on ecosystems around the Bay.