Meeting the Challenges of a Changing Climate
With record-breaking temperatures, an increasing number of wildfires and drought conditions in most parts of the state, the water district’s ability to be ready and resilient is critical.
As Marin County’s largest water provider, Marin Water has the responsibility to provide customers with a safe, reliable supply of water, even under challenging conditions. Emergency preparedness, strategically managing our water supply, and water conservation programs are all part of that effort.
To address the increasing potential for wildfires, our extensive Biodiversity, Fire, and Fuels Integrated Plan (BFFIP) expands vegetation management on the Mt. Tamalpais watershed and takes an adaptive approach that benefits from the latest science and research. That plan includes collaborating with fire officials on prescribed burns to reduce potential fuel for fires, and the removal of invasive broom in fuelbreaks. It also includes vegetation management that encourages a healthier ecosystem. Protecting the watershed from wildfires is a critical part of preserving our reservoirs and our core water supply.
Gearing up now for drier periods ahead with our supply is also important. About 75 percent of our water supply comes from our reservoirs, and the remaining 25 percent comes from neighboring Sonoma Water’s Russian River water system. Marin Water has strategically increased the amount of water purchased from Sonoma Water to supplement its watershed supply. Supplementing our supply now will better position us to withstand drought conditions.
Conservation is Key to Building Resiliency
Perhaps the best tool in successfully building resilience to drought conditions is conservation―using water efficiently and wisely preserves our water supply and carries us through drier periods ahead.
Trading in your thirsty lawn for more water-efficient landscaping; installing and maintaining “smart” irrigation controllers that self-adjust to deliver just the right amount of water your plants need; and graywater systems that reuse water for irrigation are all great options. Marin Water offers rebates and money-saving incentives for these and other conservation programs, and you can learn more about these programs here.
The challenges we face brought on by our changing climate are substantial. The best solutions will involve a healthy mix of planning, preparedness and community collaboration to ensure we have an ample water supply to carry us through whatever lies ahead. We are always stronger, together.