Lake Tahoe Skinny.jpg

Our communities are facing a growing list of critical infrastructure needs, these include means of dealing with the growing threats of (hover over each box for more details):

Fires
Forest Fire

Climate change has been implicated in the increased frequency and intensity of fires we are seeing all across the State of California.  Not only are we having to spend far greater sums on fire protection, but the cost of rebuilding our lost communities is threatening the availability of insurance coverage for many homeowners.  Without insurance, most will not be able to obtain mortgages.  The result will be a significant dimunition in real property values in affected communities across the state.  We therefore don't have a choice but to upgrade the infrastructure of those communities to better resist fires.

Floods and Landslides
Rain Storm

Climate change has also led to both more and less rain in parts of the state.  Areas burnt by fires are highly susceptible to increased rainfall leading to not only erosion but mudslides.  Restoring burnt areas, planting with more fire resistant species, restoring lost soil health, are all parts of building more resilient ground for our communities.  In other communities rising seas are threatening coastal neighborhoods, forcing relocation of roads, sewers, water and other utilities along the shore and building, where feasible resistance to flooding.  in some cases, entire communities are contemplating a slow retreat from the ocean's edge.

Coastal Erosion
Lighthouse by the Ocean

Drought, pollution and competing uses of water have made supplies of clean and safe drinking water a growing challenge to many California communities, particularly in the farm areas of the central valley, where loss of waters in aquifers is leading to measurable land subsidence.  But building new dams is a politically challenging proposition and so communities are increasingly being forced to come up with a combination of innovative solutions to saving water, storing water and keeping water clean.

Clean Drinking Water
Water

Drought, pollution and competing uses of water have made supplies of clean and safe drinking water a growing challenge to many California communities, particularly in the farm areas of the central valley, where loss of waters in aquifers is leading to measurable land subsidence.  But building new dams is a politically challenging proposition and so communities are increasingly being forced to come up with a combination of innovative solutions to saving water, storing water and keeping water clean.

Public Safety Power Shutoffs
Utility Pole

The fact that sparking from utility fires caused many of California's recent fires has forced our utilities to undertake sometimes weeks-long intentional shutdown of electricity to affected communities across the State.  Not only do these outages severely affect local commerce, i.e. loss of refrigeration and ability to conduct business; but the outages have also pointed out that many of our other communications infrastructures, such as cellular communications and internet were not prepared for extended power outages.  As a result, we are having to look are uninterruptible power solutions for far more communiies than expected -- leading self-powered microgrids to be viewed as an increasingly attractive solutions aross the state, particularly to protect critical services like fire, water, communications, hospitals etc.

Pandemics
Vaccine

Just when we thought that California had enough problems to address, we have been confronted with the most severe health and economic chalenge to hit us in 100 years.  COVID-19 will make us rethink all sorts of community infrastructure, from restaurants and bars, to high rise buildings, to public transit, to hospitals and to the shape of our communities themselves.  But it will also require the rethinking of supply chains and where the people who serve our communities live.  We must also recognize that our massively interconnected and interdependent world will make us more exposed to a range of similar pandemic risks and will require us to rethink how communities are built to better withstand such threats.