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ACWI Climate Change Workgroup Meeting Held this Week

The Water Resources Adaptation to Climate Change Workgroup (WRACCW) (a subgroup of the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Advisory Committee on Water Information (ACWI)) held its first in-person meeting on February 19-20, in Arlington, VA.  ASDWA Staff and ACWI Member Brandon Kernan, representing ASDWA from the State of New Hampshire’s Drinking Water Program were in attendance, along with workgroup members from multiple stakeholder groups, state and water utility organizations, and Federal agencies.  The purpose of the meeting was to bring the workgroup members together to develop recommendations on the President’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) and the related National Action Plan:  Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate, and to hear about Federal agency and other industry group activities.  During the meeting, workgroup members:

  • Participated in work team discussion breakouts focused on developing the CAP recommendations in the following five topic areas:
    • Improve Water and Climate Change Information for Decision-making
    • Strengthen Assessments of Water Resources Vulnerability to Climate Change
    • Expand Water Use Efficiency
    • Support Integrated Water Resources Management
    • Support Training and Outreach to Build Response Capability

Some of the general recommendation themes of the work teams included: making the Federal agency tools easier to use; relying on and supporting partnerships with organizations that are trusted messengers for state and local audiences; and fostering Federal interagency collaboration, education, and data and information sharing.

  • Heard from representatives of each of the Federal agencies including: USGS, USDA, Fish and Wildlife Service, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Forest Service, FEMA, NOAA, CDC, and EPA, about their various initiatives and tools that address climate change.  While there are too many initiatives and tools to mention here, the White House Council on Environmental Quality is planning to develop a climate data portal as a means to share these tools with the public in one location using a variety of search functions.  In addition, you may want to visit ASDWA’s web site and check out the Water Availability, Variability, and Sustainability (WAVS) National Activities Matrix which includes a compendium of ongoing climate change activities by key workgroups, agencies, and organizations, as well as EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities web page that includes more links to a variety of tools and resources.

The workgroup plans to refine the CAP recommendations before presenting them to the full ACWI for approval, and then submitting them to the White House for consideration in the next few months.  For more information about ACWI and the WRACCW, visit the USGS web site at:  http://acwi.gov/.