EPA Climate Change and Water News Excerpts

This week’s “EPA Climate Change and Water News” included the following articles that should be of interest to state drinking water programs:

WaterRF Releases Research Report, Case Studies, and Tool on Preparing for Extreme Weather Events:  The Water Research Foundation (WaterRF) has released a report summarizing research undertaken to identify and characterize water quality impacts from source to tap caused by extreme weather-related events and to provide dozens of case studies documenting the lessons learned from such events.  The project also resulted in an Excel tool that organizes the case studies by extreme event type.  To access these resources, visit: http://www.waterrf.org/Pages/Projects.aspx?PID=4324.

NOAA Releases Regional Climate Impacts and Outlooks:  NOAA and its partners have released the regional climate outlooks for the first quarter of 2014.  NOAA’s Regional Climate Services Directors lead the production of these quarterly syntheses of climate impacts and outlooks for many regions of the United States.  This effort, which began in 2012, now includes as many as 10 unique regional prototypes, all produced collaboratively with partner organizations.  To view the regional climate reports, visit: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/latest-regional-climate-impacts-and-outlooks.

U.S. Geological Survey Climate Projection Portal Available for Use:  This interactive viewer shows maps based on future projections of temperature and precipitation from a group of “statistically downscaled” global climate models.  Users can generate maps for various periods and scenarios to show the number of days that exceed certain thresholds in the model results (for instance, the number of days over 90 degrees Fahrenheit).  The portal can also produce annual time series graphs for regions such as watersheds or counties.  To access the portal, visit: http://cida.usgs.gov/climate/derivative/.

EPA Releases Climate Assessment Update to National Stormwater Calculator:  EPA has released Phase II of the National Stormwater Calculator and Climate Assessment Tool package.  The calculator is a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of stormwater runoff from a specific location.  The calculator now includes climate models that show expected changes in seasonal precipitation levels, the effects of more frequent high-intensity storms, and changes in evaporation rates based on validated climate change scenarios.  Users can enter any U.S. location and select different scenarios to learn how specific green infrastructure changes, including inexpensive changes such as rain barrels and rain gardens, can reduce stormwater runoff.  To use the calculator, visit the web site at: http://www.epa.gov/nrmrl/wswrd/wq/models/swc/.  To learn about EPA’s Green Infrastructure research, visit:http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/index.cfm.

GAO Releases Report on Federal Efforts to Assess and Address Water Infrastructure Challenges:  The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report that examines and provides recommendations on the actions taken (and needed to be taken) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation since 2009 to assess and respond to the potential effects of climate change on water infrastructure.  View the report at: www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-23.