On May 3, the City Council of Chula Vista, CA, unanimously approved plans to implement 11 strategies to reduce the community's vulnerability to climate change. The decision made Chula Vista the first local government in Southern California to adopt a standalone, comprehensive climate adaptation plan.
The climate adaptation plan was developed in light of expected local impacts that include hotter, drier weather, diminished imported water supplies, more poor air quality days, frequent wildfires, shifts in habitat and species distribution, and increased rates of sea level rise.
Adaptation strategies in the plan include measures to expand the city's urban forests, incorporate “cool” or reflective roofs, promote gray water and other water reuse, adjust open space management due to climate change, and design future development and municipal projects to be resilient to sea level rise.
The climate adaptation strategies approved by Council were originally developed by a group of residents, businesses and community groups as part of a 12-month public process at the Council's request. As a result, the community will benefit from improved air quality, preserved biological diversity and recreational opportunities, reduced energy and water consumption, lower utility bills, and more resilient buildings and infrastructure.
By taking small, common sense steps now, the City leadership believes that it can help minimize the future risks and costs from climate change on the community.