EPA Host First in Water-Energy Nexus Workshop Series

On August 6th, EPA’s Water Security Division hosted the first in an anticipated series of workshops to explore the nexus between water/wastewater and energy before, during, and after a disaster. The day-long event, held at Fairfax (VA) Water’s Griffith Treatment Plant, was designed to inform discussions and decisions in support of the following goals:

1. Increase drinking water and wastewater utilities’ resilience to loss of power;
2. Increase the Energy Sector, federal partners, and state and local emergency operations centers’ (EOCs) prioritization of the Water Sector for power restoration; and
3. Promote increased coordination and communication between water utilities and their electric and gas utilities.

Participants included representatives from Washington, DC, Virginia and North Carolina-based water, wastewater, and electric utilities; water organizations such as ASDWA, WEF, and AWWA; and Federal agencies including EPA, Department of Energy, Corps of Engineers, and FEMA. Speakers looked across the spectrum of water and energy impacts including lessons learned from large storm events; how energy utilities view and/or prioritize power restoration; and mitigation opportunities. The workshop presentations are available at: http://www.horsleywitten.com/water-power/Presentations.html

If your state would be interested in helping to facilitate similar discussions, please contact Lauren Wisniewski at EPA’s Water Security Division at wisniewski.lauren@epa.gov or give her a call at 202-564-2918. There are four opportunities to host workshops – particularly in locations that would be attractive to more small and medium size utilities. Lauren is particularly interested in identifying a local “champion” who could help to identify speakers and no-cost meeting spaces.