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Building Resilience to Climate Change Impacts

Climate change is already happening and will continue to impact Livermore in the coming years. The updated Climate Action Plan will contain actions that the City and residents can take to protect our community by building resilience. To best prepare ourselves, we need to understand what to expect. See the full analysis of climate impacts and Livermore’s vulnerabilities here and the main climate impacts below.

Hotter Temperatures

Livermore will likely see a significant increase in temperature and number of heatwaves by mid-century. Heatwaves alone are responsible for the most natural disaster-related deaths in California over the last 30 years.¹

Potential Solutions:

  • Identify “heat islands” throughout the city to plan locations for cooling centers in vulnerable neighborhoods.
  • Increase tree canopy and green space to create more shade and decrease the urban heat island effect.

Severe Drought and Limited Water Availability

Livermore is likely to experience drier conditions locally and experience lower water availability due to drier conditions in other parts of the state. By 2050, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is projected to decline by 19% and may intensify to an 83% decline by 2100.² To help prepare for these effects the City will need to understand the potential economic, food system, and health impacts of prolonged drought and water scarcity.

Potential Solutions:

  • Expand the use of recycled water, water-efficient landscaping, and passive rain capture features in municipal facilities and throughout the community to increase the efficiency of water usage.

Intense Storms and Variable Precipitation

Climate projections show that more intense and less frequent precipitation events are likely to occur. Sudden flooding from these events is one of the most pronounced climate risks in the Bay Area. Many of our transportation systems (e.g., airports, roads, trails, and railways) and hazardous waste sites are concentrated near floodplains and can lead to property damage and health risks from increased exposure to contaminated flood runoff.

Potential Solutions:

  • Continue to implement and refine the Livermore Green Infrastructure Plan to plan for and reduce damage from storms.
  • Communicate storm safety guidelines and update the City’s disaster response strategy.
  • Mitigate risks related to erosion and landslides.
  • Update stormwater pollution prevention guidelines.

Wildfires and Smoke Risk

The 2020 fire season has been the largest (by acreage) in California’s recorded history, with devastating wildfires burning millions of acres and negatively affecting air quality across the state. This included the SCU Lightning Complex, which burned in Alameda County near Livermore and is now the third-largest wildfire ever recorded in California. As climate change continues to make summers longer and drier, wildfires in California are expected to worsen in the coming decades.

Potential Solutions:

  • Encourage community members to subscribe to the AC Alert system, and conduct community-wide outreach to educate residents about local fire hazards and ways to reduce fire risk.
  • Ensure ongoing maintenance and monitoring of high fire risk areas.
  • Reliably communicate air quality conditions throughout the community.
  • Develop clean air centers for vulnerable residents during wildfires.