California Resilience Challenge Offers New Opportunities for Water Systems and Rural Communities

EDF statement from Ann Hayden, Senior Director, Western Water and Resilient Landscapes

December 2, 2019
Ronna Kelly, (415) 293-6161,

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Dec. 2, 2019) In coordination with the start of U.N. climate talks in Madrid (COP25) today, the Bay Area Council launched the California Resilience Challenge, a new $2 million initiative for diverse and replicable climate change resilience projects across the state.

Ann Hayden, a member of EDF’s Western Water team, is serving on an advisory committee for the challenge.

β€œIn California, climate change is not a distant threat. Rather, our state is already experiencing the sometimes-deadly impacts of climate change, in the form of wildfires, drought, floods and sea level rise. Ensuring that our communities are more resilient to these challenges will require more funding, unprecedented collaboration across all sectors and difficult trade-offs.

The California Resilience Challenge is important because it demonstrates the private sector recognizes it, too, has a role to play in investing in efforts that create more climate-resilient communities.

As someone who has worked on California water issues for two decades, I see the California Resilience Challenge as an incredibly timely and important opportunity for communities to make their water systems more resilient to climate change. I am also very hopeful that rural areas across the state will take advantage of this new funding to support disadvantaged communities, including farm workers, who are particularly vulnerable to drought and flooding.”

  • Ann Hayden, Senior Director, Western Water and Resilient Landscapes, Environmental Defense Fund

# # #

Environmental Defense Fund (, a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Growing Returns, Twitter and Facebook.