Kerri Timmer
Vice President Climate and Energy

Kerri Timmer

Vice President, Climate & Energy



As Vice President of Climate & Energy, Kerri works in partnership with local, regional, state and federal agencies and officials to advance sustainable communities strategies, climate action planning, energy efficiency programs and other SBC activities.

Kerri is a communications and management specialist with more than 25 years of public- and private- sector experience in community and government relations, business communications, land and water conservation, and nonprofit management and capacity building.  Prior to joining SBC, Kerri spent six years with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, where she served most recently as that agency’s Regional Policy and Program Manager.  Before that, she was Executive Director of a non-profit conservation group, operated her own consulting practice where she cultivated relationships with watershed organizations, land trusts and other community groups within and outside the Sierra, and served as account executive and creative director for a community and government relations firm in San Francisco.  Kerri holds a B.A. in English Literature from San Francisco State University and a certificate in Land Use and Natural Resources planning through UC Davis Extension.  Kerri has also authored a number of publications addressing land and water conservation and community sustainability issues in the Sierra Nevada. 

Personal Highlights

Kerri and her husband John live in the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada, where they enjoy hiking, biking, boating, camping and hosting backyard barbeques for friends and family.

 What California’s Drought Means to the Sierra

 

As you know by now, California’s Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency for the state earlier today in response to what has been the driest water year on record in the state. Precipitation is at 19% of normal to date in the Northern Sierra region and only 7% of average for the whole water year (Oct. 1 through Sept. 30), according to the Department of Water Resources.

drought california mapAs you’d expect, Sierra snowpack is alarmingly low, at 20% of average-to-date for January 1st. In the northern Sierra, recent measurements show only 11% of normal snowpack, with 21% of normal in the central region and roughly 30% in the south.

Communities around the state are under voluntary or mandatory water use restrictions; fish species like the fall-run salmon are at risk; agriculture is feeling the impact of low rainfall and reduced water deliveries from the State Water Project (estimated at 5% of the requested amount for calendar-year 2014, the lowest initial allocation ever); and the recreation and tourism economy is clearly hurting, with ski resorts like Royal Gorge temporarily closing due to lack of snow.

The Governor’s declaration of a State of Emergency directs state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for these drought conditions. “We can’t make it rain, but we can be much better prepared for the terrible consequences that California’s drought now threatens,” the Governor said. Those consequences would include: dramatically less water for farms and communities and increased risk of fires like the Rim Fire that can impact both urban and rural areas.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein echoed the Governor’s declaration, “applaud[ing]” his decision and calling on the President to take similar action, including appointing a drought task force to work with the state on mitigating the drought’s effects.

COMM KT blogImage 2014 01While the Governor called on “all Californians to conserve water in every way possible,” (for information on things you can do both inside and outside your home, check the Save Our Water website), there are things the state needs to do, as well, including protecting its source watershed – the Sierra Nevada. The Sierra provides all or part of the drinking water for more than 23 million people, and irrigates one-third of California’s agricultural land. Sierra Nevada water also makes up half the inflow to the Delta, California’s water “hub.” 

Many of the major Sierra watersheds have high to very-high risk of fire due to excess fuel, or biomass material, such as small trees, branches, downed wood, etc. This excess material can fuel wildfires, making them larger and more severe – destroying stored carbon, burning up habitat, rendering large areas unfit for recreation and tourism, and even disrupting water and power. This is, in fact, why the Governor had to declare yet another state of emergency for the City of San Francisco during last summer’s Rim Fire – because of the threat to Hetch Hetchy reservoir that provides over 85% of that city’s water.

SBC has been meeting with legislative staff in Sacramento to remind them about the importance of the Sierra to the rest of the state and to discuss various investment tools, including the 2014 water bond, that can help improve water quality and quantity for the rest of the State.

All Californians share the need for predictable, clean and abundant supplies of water, air and energy, along with the many other benefits of forested watersheds. SBC firmly believes the state should be investing in protection and enhancement of these important resources. Our future depends on it.

 

 

Photo Courtesy of the California Department of Water Resources

Comments

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Dana Johnson Galvin commented on Jan 18, 2014
I believe the same has been declared for Northern Nevada...c'mon rain...snow...anything!!!
Gary Amstutz commented on Jan 18, 2014
The fact is that fracking is a water intensive process that can use over a million gallons of water per well, and fracking has been linked to groundwater and surface water contamination. Last year was the driest in 119 years of records, and we are in what Gov. Jerry Brown himself is calling a “mega drought” and “perhaps the worst drought California has ever seen since records began being kept about 100 years ago.” The fact is that fracking and its related activities have been associated with induced earthquakes. And, today marks the 20-year anniversary of the Northridge earthquake that killed 57 people and injured an estimated 5,000 more. The fact is that flaring, venting, leaking, and release of contaminants throughout the production, processing, transmission, and distribution of oil and gas are already significant sources of air pollution, and these emissions can include methane, a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 84 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20-year horizon. And, in rural areas of Kern County – a hotbed of fracking – residents already suffer from some of the highest rates of respiratory illness in the nation.
Rebecca Lanier commented on Jan 17, 2014
We're in a tight situation. Yet asking people to voluntary cut backs is like having an Honor System Snack Bar.
Brian Ahlers commented on Jan 18, 2014
Good move Jerry, people need to know how serious the drought conditions are
Rick Shearer commented on Jan 18, 2014
How about a moratorium on golf courses...oh wait, politicians golf so forget that idea.
Rick Shearer commented on Jan 18, 2014
Im curious Gary. Do you think that the the active fracking reserves led us to this drought. Also, do you think those same reserves pollute our environment more than say Los Angeles each year, or San Francisco? The fact is that fracking is a result (which im not saying is good) of American ingenuity, politicians have regulated other, safer ways to extract oil, so people have found cheaper, or unregulated ways, to extract it. And yes we're in a drought, but Jerry Brown is still a greasy politician, who will still approve a pipeline to suplply So Cal with our water, because he knows that as long as the 2 big urban cities get what they want, he gets re-elected!
Michael Anthony Jensen-Silva commented on Jan 18, 2014
We need to start looking at reclaim water!!! I work at a very large waste water treatment plant in the bay area, and we have about 50-70 million gallons a day going out to the delta and that's on a dry day.... Wet weather could reach 100-125 per day..... And to tell you the truth.... Some municipalities pull water off the delta for there drinking water, so, they are really using reclaimed water.... Or..... Build more resiviors and moratorium on building?????
Mindy Schock commented on Jan 17, 2014
Not good.
Joe Lenney commented on Jan 18, 2014
Prosser Creek Reservoir today
Steve Buff commented on Jan 18, 2014
If you ask me California is getting what it deserves. Wish the liberal state would drown.
Adella Albiani commented on Jan 18, 2014
This is a very scary! But I believe people will cut back, it does effect everyone not just a few.