President Barack Obama announced his 2015 budget on March 4, calling for a $1 billion climate resilience fund. The fund would support adaptation efforts as well as research and technology that improves community preparedness for extreme weather events, such as drought and flooding. According to the White House, the $1 billion price tag is small in comparison to economic damages caused by extreme weather events. In 2012 alone, these events caused $110 billion in damage.
Communities across the country are planning and enacting climate adaptation plans. The New York State Public Service Commission for instance, issued an order Feb. 21 requiring all utilities to integrate potential climate change effects into system planning and construction forecasts and budgets. Local planning efforts are aided by tools and national data sets with updated climate change information. In December, for example, the U.S. Geological Survey released county-level maps and temperature and precipitation projections based on National Aeronautics and Space Administration datasets. The Water Environment Research Foundation also recently released the Excel-based Extreme Weather Tool as part of its project on Water Quality Impacts of Extreme Weather-Related Events. The project also includes a report and case studies to help utilities identify and assess their vulnerabilities to weather-related events and develop effective adaptation strategies.