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Climate Fix: How The Bay Area is Preparing for Sea Level Rise

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Flooded road in San Mateo County, California February 2017 (Getty Images)

Scientists have warned for decades that due to climate change water levels are rising throughout the Bay Area. The first place excess water will show up is underground. As we saw from recent storms, shallow groundwater can cause flooding in streets and low-lying areas and can overwhelm wastewater systems. Local planners and policy makers are analyzing how the region should adapt to the problem of a rising water table and how to design buildings, freeways and sewer infrastructure in response. In our next installment of “Climate Fix: Rethinking Solutions for California,” a collaboration between the KQED’s Forum and Science teams, we’ll discuss what’s happening with groundwater levels as the Bay Area prepares for sea level rise in the next several decades. Have you experienced flooding in your home and how did you handle it?

Guests:

Ezra David Romero, climate reporter, KQED

Dana Brechwald, assistant planning director for climate adaptation, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission

Dr. Kris May, CEO and founding principal, Pathways Climate Institute LLC; Engineering Criteria Review Board member, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission; lead author for the Coasts chapter of the Fifth National Climate Assessment

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