Association of Environmental Authorities March 12, 2013
Water Sector Background Utilities: • 53,000 Community Drinking Water Systems • 16,000 Wastewater Systems
Mission Statement To provide the water sector (drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities) with the practical tools, training, and technical assistance needed to adapt to climate change by promoting a clear understanding of climate science and adaptation options.
Climate Ready National Drinking Water Advisory Council Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) Report Final report provides EPA with recommendations on developing a CRWU initiative to support water sector climate resiliency. Developing an Adaptive Response Framework Fundamental guide to build out the concept of a climate ready water utility, integrates with other tools.
Framework Document • Reference guide for using Framework • Key concepts and actions for each element • Resources that support pursuing actions
What does CRWU Report Mean for EPA? • EPA create and implement a CRWU program • Integrate CRWU into existing EPA efforts (e.g., EUM, Climate Ready Estuaries) • Coordinate with other federal partners, states, associations, utilities • Promote watershed planning and encourage adoption of integrated water resources management • Recommends developing adaptive regulatory capacity
Climate Ready Tools & Resources Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool Extreme Events Workshop Planner Climate Ready Process Adaptation Strategies Guide Toolbox Adaptive Response Framework Learn Climate and Adaptation Basics Explore Elements of Climate Readiness Assess Risks and Evaluate Opportunities Research and Gather Information Collaborate with Partners
Climate Change and the Water Sector Degraded water quality and treatment challenges Lower reservoir levels and water shortages Stormwater management challenges Earlier spring runoff Coastal flooding from storm surges Reduced groundwater recharge Increased residential demand Saltwater intrusion into coastal aquifers Loss of wetlands and coastal ecosystems Increased frequency and extent of floods
Increasing Temperature 2 ̊F increase in global average temperature has been observed over the last 50 years. Projections indicate continued warming, which leads to changes in water quantity and quality: • Reduced water supply when combined with decreased precipitation • Changes in surface water quality • Changes in demand for water and energy Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP). 2009. Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. (Karl, T. R., J. M. Melillo, and T. C. Peterson, Eds.) ISBN 978-0-521-14407-0.
Changing Precipitation Patterns Overall changes in climate will alter the total amount of precipitation (may be less or more, depending on local factors and season), contributing to: • Changing lake and reservoir levels • Altered groundwater recharge • Reduced snowpack and reservoir recharge • Changes in water quality (increased turbidity) • Greater demand for water for irrigation Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP). 2009. Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. (Karl, T. R., J. M. Melillo, and T. C. Peterson, Eds.) ISBN 978-0-521-14407-0.
Rising Sea Level Coastal utilities should be concerned about sea-level rise, which can lead to: • Increased flooding associated with coastal storm surges • Increased saltwater intrusion into aquifers • Accelerated loss of wetlands and coastal ecosystems Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP). 2009. Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. (Karl, T. R., J. M. Melillo, and T. C. Peterson, Eds.) ISBN 978-0-521-14407-0.
Extreme Weather Events More frequent and severe extreme weather events can produce: • More frequent and larger extent of flood damage to infrastructure • Increased crop loss and more frequent water shortages during drought • Property loss and erosion following wildfires • Increased damage from coastal storm surges to low-lying utility infrastructure Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP). 2009. Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. (Karl, T. R., J. M. Melillo, and T. C. Peterson, Eds.) ISBN 978-0-521-14407-0.
What can you do in CREAT? • Explore local climate data • Access resources Build Awareness • Collect data and document assumptions • Assess potential risks Assess Risk • Compare adaptation options • Generate reports to support decisions Plan Adaptation
Training • Integrated training • Pre-loaded scenarios • Extreme precipitation • Energy implications
Adaptation Strategies Guide Promoting a Clear Understanding of Adaptation Options 19
Overview • Guide for drinking water and wastewater utilities that have not begun to consider climate change in utility planning • Navigate guide like a website • Goals: • Present easy-to-understand climate science • Translate science into impacts to utilities • List adaptation strategies related to impacts • Assist in the adaptation planning process
Updates • We are currently updating the ASG to include two new sections • Green Infrastructure • Energy Management • These sections are under review and the new version will be available online within the next 6 months
Extreme Weather Events Workshop Planner Developing long term plans to increase resiliency 22
Extreme Weather Events Workshop Planner • Walks users through all of the steps of planning, conducting, and evaluating a workshop • Goal is to determine actions that a utility or community can take today to become more resilient to more frequent and intense extreme events
Extreme Weather Events Workshop Planner • Includes 5 scenarios: • Flooding • Drought • Sea Level Rise • Wildfire • Snowpack Changes • Contains customizable materials • Scenario presentation • Facilitator guide • Workshop report template • Adaptation is iterative, Workshop Planner encourages participants to continue to work together on extreme event and climate planning after workshop is over
Toolbox Resources for Planning a Response to Climate Change 25
Toolbox • Searchable database for utilities to obtain resources related to climate change and water • Searches by utility attributes, climate concerns, and response strategies selected by the user • Current version contains approximately 600 resources • Publications • Current activities • Funding opportunities • Events • Tools and models
Toolbox • Features: • Browse by Tabs • Region Map • Highlighted Resources • Link Direct to Web Page • Option to Show Searchable Database/Resources List 27
Climate Ready Estuaries (CRE) Pilots Promoting Coordination and Understanding of Climate Impacts and Adaptation Options Between Utilities and the National Estuary Program 28
CRWU/CRE Linkages • Pilot project with North Hudson Sewerage Authority, NY/NJ Harbor NEP, EPA Region 2 • Joint risk assessment using CREAT • Explore comprehensive adaptation strategies • Establish relationship between WW utility and NEP • Document methodology and lessons learned • Pilot with Albemarle-Pamlico NEP • Pilot with Morro Bay NEP
Webinar Series • Additional topics and dates under consideration • Visit http://www.epa.gov/climatereadyutilities for updates
Want more information? CRWU website: www.epa.gov/climatereadyutilities CRWU contact: email@example.com Sign up for e-newsletters: EPA Climate Change and Water News: Send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org EPA climate change activities: http://epa.gov/climatechange
Contact Information John Whitler Whitler.John@epa.gov Curt Baranowski Baranowski.Curt@epa.gov Amy Posner Posner.Amy@epa.gov Laura Dubin: Dubin.email@example.com