New Water Emergency Roundtable Guide Edition is Available

ASDWA and EPA Region 5 have refreshed and revised the original 2010 Water Emergency Roundtable Outline for Discussion Guide. As you may recall, the Discussion Guide creates a step-by-step process to bring together a drinking water utility, its critical water customers and essential emergency response personnel to have an informal discussion about expectations, roles, capabilities and limitations in the event of a major water emergency. This “Discussion” is different from a traditional tabletop exercise in that there is no scenario; the discussion ensues solely from that fact that there is no water service and there’s no defined date for its return. The “Discussion” is about how customers and communities can/will manage under such circumstances; what resources can be brought to bear; and considers what actions can be taken now to minimize potential impacts in the future.

The new updated Outline for Discussion reflects some of the “lessons learned” from the August 2011 Roundtable Discussion held at the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-VPI Water Authority in Blacksburg, VA and includes input and suggested improvements provided jointly by the capacity development and drinking water security coordinators at the Virginia Department of Health Office of Drinking Water. One significant addition is a new planning timeline that helps hosts and organizers work through the sometimes unfamiliar logistics of planning a well run meeting. The Guide also includes templates for invitations, scripts for presenters, and questions to get the conversation started.

The Water Emergency Roundtable Outline for Discussion Guide is available for anyone to use on the ASDWA website at Once at the site, scroll down to the Important Documents section. Please take advantage of this tool! This is a very low cost, low tech approach that can reap significant benefits within a community in terms of security resiliency. Offer to partner with a water system or a TA provider to help a water system host a Roundtable Discussion with their critical customers and emergency responders.