Nov 21, 2014

EPA Ensures Climate Resilience for U.S. Water Utilities

The EPA will provide communities with technical assistance to bolster climate change readiness 

U.S. EPA, "Becoming Climate Ready", Climate Ready Water Utilities, CRWU

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing up to $600,000 in training and technical assistance to help water utilities in more than 20 communities bolster their climate change resilience and readiness.

Drinking water, wastewater and stormwater utilities will participate in a multi-year program to prepare for potential impacts from climate change. Challenges include droughts, more intense and frequent storms, flooding, sea-level rise and changes to water quality. Communities will receive technical assistance in using EPA's Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool, software that helps users identify assets, threats and adaptation options to help reduce risk from climate change.

During each risk assessment, utilities will consider potential future climate change impacts in an effort to build more climate-ready and resilient water services and infrastructure. 

Such risk assessments will, for instance, help utilities:

  •  use adaptation options to better protect critical pump stations from projected precipitation events;
  •  use conservation measures to prepare for projected reduced snowpack or less-frequent rainfall events;       

These examples illustrate the variety of adaptation options utilities can identify and build into planning based on their risk assessments.