Existing law establishes the Atmospheric Rivers: Research, Mitigation, and Climate Forecasting Program in the Department of Water Resources. Existing law requires the department, upon an appropriation for purposes of the program, to research climate forecasting and the causes and impacts that climate change has on atmospheric rivers, to operate reservoirs in a manner that improves flood protection, and to reoperate flood control and water storage facilities to capture water generated by atmospheric rivers.
This bill would rename that program the Atmospheric Rivers Research and Forecast Improvement Program: Enabling Climate Adaptation Through Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations and Hazard Resiliency (AR/FIRO) Program. The bill would require the department to research, develop, and implement new observations, prediction models, novel forecasting methods, and tailored decision support systems to improve predictions of atmospheric rivers and their impacts on water supply, flooding, post-wildfire debris flows, and environmental conditions. The bill would also require the department to take all actions within its existing authority to operate reservoirs in a manner that improves flood protection in the state and to re-operate flood control and water storage facilities to capture water generated by atmospheric rivers.
Committee Location: Appropriations suspense file; Approved in policy committees.