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How Special Districts are at the Forefront of Climate Adaptation Priorities

By Kristin Withrow posted 22 days ago


California special districts are innovative, front-line leaders in building community resilience against climate impacts. Among other things, they are confronting the threats and impacts of drought, wildfire, flooding, seawater intrusion, and air pollution.  Through smart innovation, public private partnerships and long range strategic planning, special districts are helping California meet climate goals and mitigate risks against climate related losses.


Such sweeping projects require substantial funding to plan and implement. Here are three examples worthy of state investment:


  • Drought and flooding — preparing for atmospheric rivers, preventing flooding, and managing water resources by piloting a next-generation radar system.
  • Wildfires — reimagining community safety and wellbeing within the wildland-urban interface and facilitating responsible housing by integrating parkland as essential natural infrastructure.
  • Air pollution — leading the way to a 2040 zero-emission bus fleet through workforce training, data integration, and deployment of fuel cell and battery electric transportation.


To ensure fairness and protection for all California communities, funding must be:

  • Targeted toward priority projects at adequate levels
  • Accessible to the diverse entities positioned to serve vulnerable communities
  • Universally inclusive of those entities—such as special districts—already doing the work
CSDA has developed several special district resources used in this video::

For more information or to meet with local service specialists leading the way on these issues of critical statewide concern, please visit or contact CSDA by emailing

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