New Water Systems Community Lifeline for Disaster Response Operations

On August 1, FEMA modified its Community Lifelines construct to include an eighth Lifeline called ‘Water Systems.’ Previously, drinking water and wastewater had been included in the ‘Food, Water, and Shelter’ Lifeline. EPA and Water Sector Partners, represented by the Water Sector Coordinating Council and Government Coordinating Council, have for several years strongly advocated for this type of structural change to better identify and represent the water sector in existing emergency response procedures, protocols, and frameworks.

The creation of this new Water Systems Community Lifeline will emphasize the importance of drinking water and wastewater service restoration for community recovery.

The community lifelines are designed to increase effectiveness in disaster operations and better position the response to catastrophic incidents. Lifelines allow emergency managers to characterize the incident, identify the root causes of priority issue areas, and distinguish the highest priorities and most complex issues from other incident information.

More information is available on the FEMA public website.