76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008
Miami

2008 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS

CALLING FOR ACTIONS AND PROGRAMS TO ASSIST IN ADAPTATION TO THE WATER RESOURCE CHALLENGES POSED BY CLIMATE CHANGE

WHEREAS, a warming climate will amplify national water supply related challenges, such as smaller snow packs, earlier snow melt, more extreme flooding, greater evaporation, less ground water, and more frequent droughts; and

WHEREAS, these changes will make it harder to meet the nation’s water needs and interstate compact obligations, threaten recreation and agriculture, and increase wildfire; and

WHEREAS, while most municipal water resource planning has been based on past hydrology, water users can no longer assume that future conditions will reflect the past; and

WHEREAS, interstate compacts and state water laws add to the challenges of adapting to changes in water availability; and

WHEREAS, pressures from growth and changing availability even apart from climate change are straining municipal water planning resources; and

WHEREAS, more study is needed of the effects of climate chang eon water resources; and

WHEREAS, federal funding for water-related programs continues to erode, especially when compared to the looming challenges over Western water supplies and the more than $100 billion investment in water infrastructure over the past 100 years; and

WHEREAS, timely major rehabilitation, advanced technology retrofits, and extraordinary maintenance of older facilities that must now be completed should address the challenges of climate change; and

WHEREAS, most of the climate-change debate has focused on mitigation of greenhouse gases from man-made sources, with very little emphasis on adaptation as a strategy for dealing with a warming climate; and

WHEREAS, even if CO2 emissions are reduced to optimal levels today, our climate will not begin to react for a number of years into the future,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls for partnerships between federal, state and local entities, to improve current understanding of climate change impacts to water resources and implications for the nation’s water infrastructure; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors desires an increase in federal funding to enhance the quality and accessibility of regional climate modeling, maintain and expand collection and dissemination of climate data and support the development of decision support tools that enhance local government’s ability to incorporate accurate climate change projections into real time operations and infrastructure planning efforts for the rehabilitation and modernization of existing water facilities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors asks for an increase of federal investments in research and development for new-generation water treatment technologies and new water management techniques to help meet the challenges of climate change impacts to water supplies in the future.