EPA WATER SECURITY DIVISION: WHAT’S GOING ON

Our colleagues in the Water Security Division have issued their latest electronic news bulletin.  See below for information about the latest in tools and products.

  • Emergency Response Mobile Website Video: Are you ready to respond? Watch and share EPA’s new YouTube video highlighting features of the Water Utility Response On-The-Go mobile website: https://youtu.be/loQqFAjcXNw
  • Checklists for Dangerous Duo: Drought and Wildfire: Print and share the Drought and Wildfire Incident Action Checklists for water and wastewater utilities. These short lists outline preparedness, response and recovery actions, as well as valuable resources on monitoring, forecasting and planning:
  • Webinar on Free Preparedness Tools: On May 13, the Water Security Division of the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water hosted a webinar on free preparedness tools for water utilities. View the webinar: https://epa.connectsolutions.com/p1l2mejz3vx/

NRWA’s Water U Online Offers Free CREAT Webinar

As part of its online curriculum, NRWA’s Water University Online is offering a one hour webinar on EPA’s climate self-assessment tool, Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT).

DATE:              August 27, 2015

TIME:               3:00-4:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here https://nrwa.webex.com/mw0401lsp13/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=nrwa

CREAT is a software tool to assist drinking water and wastewater utility owners and operators in understanding potential climate change threats and in assessing the related risks at their individual utilities.  CREAT allows users to evaluate potential impacts of climate change on their utility and to evaluate adaptation options to address these impacts using both traditional risk assessment and scenario-based decision making.

Presenters for this training are Stephen Fries and Elise Tao of CSC, EPA’s support contractor on climate issues.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Recognizing the importance of cybersecurity to our nation, President Obama has designated this October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NSCAM) is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in coordination with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), invites your organization to participate in NCSAM this October. NCSAM 2015 will include a series of events across the country hosted by governments, businesses, nonprofits, and academic organizations to raise cybersecurity awareness and increase the nation’s resiliency in the event of a cyber incident.

NSCAM themes have been developed for each of the five weeks in October.  Weekly themes focus on an aspect of cybersecurity and the reality of our constantly connected lives.

Week 1 (Oct 1-2)      General Cybersecurity Awareness: Celebrating 5 Years of Stop.Think.Connect.™

Week 2 (Oct 5-9)      Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity at Work

Week 3 (Oct 12-16)  Connected Communities: Staying Protected While Always Connected

Week 4 (Oct 19-23)  Your Evolving Digital Life

Week 5 (Oct 26-30)  Building the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals

More information about National Cyber Security Awareness Month is available at this link DHS NCSAM 2015_Themes External_Final .

ASDWA-EPA Webinar on Power Resiliency Posted

On August 5, ASDWA and EPA co-hosted a webinar on Power Resiliency at Water Utilities: What States Can Do.

ASDWA has posted both the recorded version of the webinar and the powerpoint slide presentations provided by the presenters – Lauren Wisniewski of EPA’s Water Security Division and Bill Gilday of the New York Department of Health’s Drinking Water Program.  You may view and/or download these materials on ASDWA’s website www.asdwa.org under the Security tab in the Important Documents Section.

EPA Develops Handout Summarizing its Climate Change Adaptation Tools

EPA has developed a handout summarizing the tools developed by the agency for state, tribal, and local governments and others to adapt their clean water and drinking water programs to a changing climate. Tools include, among others, a Storm Surge Inundation and Hurricane Strike Frequency Map; a Workbook for Developing Risk-Based Adaptation Plans; a Flood Resilience Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities; and a National Stormwater Calculator with Climate Scenarios.

Click here to download the handout.

Click here to access the handout and other climate change and water resources.

 

 

CRWU Videos Demonstrate How to Consider Climate/Extreme Weather

EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative’s mission is to provide resources for drinking water, wastewater, and storm water utilities to adapt to climate change by promoting a clear understanding of climate science and adaptation options.

Most recently, the CRWU Team has developed a series of videos that demonstrate how small and large, drinking water and wastewater, urban and rural systems have begun to plan ahead to be better prepared to manage extreme weather events.  Watch how these community drinking water and wastewater utilities are responding to extreme events and planning for their climate futures:

These utilities and thousands more across the nation are experiencing the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events. Many are taking action now to reduce their vulnerability and increase their resilience to a changing climate.  In 2015, EPA partnered with and assisted more than 20 communities as they completed their first climate risk assessment using EPA’s Climate Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT).  Visit the EPA Climate Ready Water Utilities website to learn more.

 

 

Paid Internship Opportunity at EPA

Do you (or do you know someone) want to explore issues related to climate change…and get paid for doing so?  We may have just the opportunity that you’ve been looking for!

A postgraduate internship is available at EPA’s Water Security Division in Washington, DC under the Division’s Climate Ready Water Utilities initiative. The internship is offered through EPA’s agreement with the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Environment (ORISE).  The appointment is full-time for a one-year period but may be renewed for an additional two years depending on the availability of funding and upon recommendation of EPA. The annual stipend will range from $43,057 to $63,722 depending on degree.

A more complete job description (reference EPA Water 2015-359) is available on the ORISE website at: http://orise.orau.gov/epa/applicants/description.aspx?JobId=18561. An application for the position can be found at http://orise.orau.gov/epa/applicants/application.htm.  More information about EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities project is at www.epa.gov/climatereadyutilities.

Questions?  Please contact EPA’s Mike Maier at maier.michael@epa.gov.

 

Are Your Communities “Wildfire Ready”?

Wildfires seem to be frequently in the news these days.  States west of the Mississippi and up in Alaska seem to have experienced an unusually high number of wildfires already this year.  But wildfires can happen anywhere.  Are your water systems ready?

Did you know that EPA’s Water Security Division has prepared a Wildfire Incident Action Checklist specifically targeted toward water utilities and actions they should consider in the event of a wildfire?  The Checklist offers helpful recommendations for advance planning (develop a GIS map of system components), communications (make sure your customers understand water advisories), coordination with local agencies (know what kind of fire suppression chemicals your fire department may use and its potential impact on water supply quality), documentation (check your power requirements), and collaboration (explore joining your state’s WARN for mutual aid)?

The Checklist also provides useful resource links like FEMA’s Wildfire Preparedness link via Ready.gov; Fire Weather and Forecasting Tools from the National Weather Service; and a document titled Private Wells after the Fire – A private well owner’s guide to protecting your drinking water sources prepared by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.  There are numerous other links, tasks, and recommendations included in the Checklist.

You can download a shareable version of the Checklist by clicking Wildfire Incident Action Checklist.  Please let your water utilities know about this easy-to-use tool so they can be better prepared in the event of a wildfire incident.

WSD has created checklists for use in a wide range of natural disasters – floods, droughts, earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, extreme heat, and others – all designed for water utilities.  Each Checklist provides concise lists of key preparedness, response and recovery actions that can be taken, as well as valuable resources related to monitoring, forecasting and planning.  To take a look at the full array of checklists and other planning and preparedness tools such as the On-the-Go Mobile Website or the Flood Resiliency Guide, go to: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/emerplan/index.cfm#pp29

Critical Infrastructure Cyber Community (C3) Hosts Risk Management Webinar

The C3 Voluntary Program is hosting the next installment of its 2015 Webinar Series.  To meet growing technological needs and to protect against evolving cyber threats, this month’s topic focuses on increasing awareness, encouraging information sharing, adopting best practices, and promoting a shared sense of responsibility for cybersecurity among our Nation’s small and midsized businesses (SMB). While not specifically aimed at the water community, there are likely to be good data and strategies to be shared.

DATE:              August 19, 2015

TIME:               1:00-2:30PM (eastern)

DIAL:   1-888-989-8177/8976024

HSIN LINK:      https://share.dhs.gov/ccubedvp-webinar8/ (enter as a guest)

RSVP:       Email your name and affiliation to CCubedVP@hq.dhs.gov by August 18, 2015.

During this webinar, presenters will discuss cyber risk management programs and best practices for SMBs, including identifying the most common cyber vulnerabilities, how to conduct a Cybersecurity Resilience Review (CRR), how to begin to approach the NIST Framework, and free resources made available from both the public and private sectors, especially, the newly developed C3Voluntary Program SMB toolkit, a suite of resources specially designed to help SMBs recognize and address their cybersecurity risks.

More information on the C3 Voluntary Program can be found at: https://www.us-cert.gov/ccubedvp.  Previous webinar recordings can be found at: https://www.us-cert.gov/ccubedvp/press

 

Hurricane Resources and FEMA Hazard Mitigation Funding for Water Utilities

 

Hurricane season began on June 1, 2015, but there’s still time to prepare. EPA’s Water Security Division wants to remind water and wastewater utilities about the free tools that support hurricane and disaster preparedness.

REMINDER: Application Deadline – 8/28/15 for Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Grants:  Utilities can now apply for FEMA HMA grants for projects that increase resilience to hurricanes and other hazards.

http://www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-assistance

Hurricane Incident Action Checklist:  Print and share these “rip and run” checklists to take action before, during, and after the storm.

http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/emerplan/upload/epa817f15006.pdf

Storm Surge Inundation and Hurricane Strike Frequency Map:  Find out worst-case coastal storm surge scenarios and hurricane strike frequency for your area.

http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/climate/stormsurge.cfm

Fed FUNDS – Find Funding:  Federal Funding for Utilities – Water/Wastewater – in National Disasters helps identify pre- and post-disaster funding opportunities and explains how to apply.

Watch Video: Fed FUNDS Overview

Flood Resilience Guide:  Easy-to-use tool that leads utilities through a four-step process to help them understand their flood risks and identify mitigation options.

http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/emerplan/upload/ epa817b14006.pdf