Pennsylvania is one of the best prepared states when it comes to readiness for water-related threats of climate change, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) that ranks all 50 states on their level of preparedness.
Water-related climate change impacts include threats to water supply and quality, more frequent and severe storms, floods, and drought events.
"The goal of this report is to show that climate change hits home for everyone. We're raising awareness about how unprepared most states are when it comes to climate change, and the serious threats it poses to our families, our health, and our economy," said Steve Fleischli, Director, NRDC Water & Climate Program.
The NRDC broke states into four categories; Pennsylvania is one of 9 that ranked in the top category for readiness.
"Category one states have developed a comprehensive and integrated preparedness plan that addresses all relevant state agencies and sectors," said Ben Chou, Water Policy Analyst, NRDC Water & Climate Program.
In Pennsylvania, sea level rise could contribute to saltwater intrusion in the Delaware River, an important source of drinking water for millions of Pennsylvanians. While the state ranked near the top, Chou said, recent staffing reductions and budget cuts at state agencies could have a negative impact on the state's abilities to implement readiness plans.