The Connecting Wildlands and Communities project has finalized the selection of watersheds that will make up the primary study area for the project. The refined list of 55 watersheds prioritizes areas of focus based on project goals and stakeholder feedback.
The Connecting Wildlands and Communities project has finalized the selection of watersheds that will make up the primary study area for the project. We began with a proposed study area in coastal southern California from the mountains to the coast ranging from Ventura County in the north to the U.S.-Mexico border in the south. To refine our study area further, we prioritized areas of focus based on our project goals using watershed boundaries. Within this final study area we will address the priorities identified through our initial stakeholder engagement sessions while taking the availability of data for analyses into account.
The final study area is shown in the map below. Watersheds shown in darker blue indicate where enhanced water data will be available. Click "View Larger Map" to see more detail and then click on each watershed to see more information.
The attributes used in the prioritization were:
The percentage of area in a watershed of
Wildland/Urban Interface (WUI)
Areas with available data to be used in analyses by the Biodiversity and Fire teams
In addition, to identify where the need and potential use for the data from the CWC project is likely to be greatest, the CWC Planning team created a unique “Institutional Propensity” (IP) rating for each city and county in the initial study area. To develop this rating, the team reviewed the status of climate, conservation, and general planning for each jurisdiction and translated those findings into a need or willingness to incorporate regionally-specific data into planning and decision making for conservation and climate adaptation planning as well as General Plan updates.
The prioritization process resulted in a study area made up of fifty-five of the original seventy-nine watersheds. Within this study area (and in some cases, beyond), we will develop our biodiversity and fire data, as well as generalized watershed data. In a subset of these watersheds, the CWC Water team will conduct fine-scale modeling that requires high-resolution hydrological data; specifically, streamflow data at or near watershed outlets, and existence of active stream gages downstream of southern California wildfires. Working within these limitations, the Water team will develop enhanced watershed data for a subset of thirty of the fifty-five final watersheds, and expanding to additional priority watersheds if time and available data permit.
The Climate Science Alliance is directly supporting the Connecting Wildlands and Communities project by coordinating the involved partner and stakeholder network, as well as presenting broad scale delivery of data products, visualizations, and decision tools that will encourage adoption of science-based information and guidance.