The Pacific Institute in Oakland, California, explains in its state-commissioned report that California needs to invest about $14 billion to protect its coastal regions by the end of the century. Furthermore, it will need a further $1.4 billion/year thereafter for maintenance.
California faces either costly or dramatic times ahead in its control of the elements. On the one hand it is experiencing drought, water shortage & fires, on the other hand it is facing floods.
With regards to floods, it is forecast that climate change may increase the ocean levels over the next several years, rising up to five feet by 2100. If such a worst-case scenario will come about, approximately half a million California residents will be at risk of flooding by 2100. This would place roughly $100 billion in commercial and residential property at risk.
About 2/3 of at-risk property is in the San Francisco Bay Area. Damages could be controlled with dunes, dikes, seawalls, and bulkheads, according to experts. However, these structures will cost the state of California approximately $14 billion.
The California Energy Commission explains “Because California has such a diverse topography, producing a variety of drastically different micro-climates, the effect of climate change on California is complex.
Climate variability and change will impact natural ecosystems and water resources. Major alterations to natural ecosystems due to climate change could possibly have negative consequences for our economy, which depends in part on our state’s lands, waters, and native plant and animal communities.”
A tailored approach will need to be devised. For example, a high-value area such as the San Francisco International Airport, which is surrounded on three sides by the bay, may obtain priority protection.