Climate Change: How Prepared is the Pacific Northwest?

Apr 19, 2012

An environmental group has rated each state’s strategy for dealing with climate change. Problems can range from droughts to rising sea levels. As correspondent Courtney Flatt reports, two of the Pacific Northwest states are well prepared.

Both Washington and Oregon have strategies to deal with water problems that could arise from climate change. The Natural Resource Defense Council says nine states – including Washington and Oregon – are “well prepared.”

Idaho is on the bottom half of the list. Ben Chou is a water quality analyst with the Council. He says Idaho is “largely unprepared.”

Chou: “There are a majority of states that aren’t taking this threat very seriously, and they’re not planning at the state level.”

One of Washington’s strategies is to draw more water from rivers when they’re running high and store it for irrigation and other uses during dry periods.

Oregon’s goals include doing a better job forecasting how much rain and snow will fall. That way farmers can plan ahead when they plant their crops.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network