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Update on Climate Ready Water Utility Activities

EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative provides tools and resources to help drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities address climate change impacts.  The following updates on several of the CRWU tools and activities should be of interest to state drinking water programs.
Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) Version 3.0:  CREAT allows users to evaluate potential impacts of climate change on their utility and to evaluate adaptive options to address these impacts using both traditional risk assessment and scenario-based decision making.  ASDWA has engaged three state drinking water program representatives (CA, UT, and NC) in developing this new version of the tool that will have full online capability and be more interactive and user-friendly.  EPA’s next steps are to:

  • Pilot test the tool with some small and medium water systems starting in February 2015 with hopes of finalizing the tool next summer, to be followed by a series of trainings.
  • Develop an interactive “Lite” version of CREAT on its web site where anyone can input their location and quickly get access to local climate projection data.

EPA Storm Surge Project:  EPA will use the drinking water intake density maps to overlay the NOAA’s 100 year and 500 year flood zone maps with the Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model to estimate storm surge heights at public water systems for infrastructure planning purposes.   The expectation is that EPA will make an attempt to clean up the PWS data before providing this new tool publicly on the internet, and will conduct outreach to utilities in storm surge areas.
EPA Adaptation Strategies Guide:  EPA plans to update the Guide with a new water demand component, case studies with associated dollar amounts, new climate projections, and a piece on laboratories.
EPA Climate Ready Workshops:  EPA has conducted three climate workshops and will conduct the next one in Fresno, CA.  They plan to conduct a few additional workshops in FY ’15 and are open to suggestions for sites.
For more information about EPA’s CRWU initiative, visit the web site HERE.