Partnerships for Better Preparedness

download

EPA’s Water Security Division, in collaboration with the DHS National Information Sharing Consortium, are hosting a webinar next week on Connecting Emergency Management Agencies and Water Utilities.

This webinar is designed to help both water utilities and emergency management agencies improve preparedness and better safeguard drinking water quality during emergencies. It will review opportunities for water utilities and emergency management agencies to coordinate on developing  clear unified messages and cover how they can share their emergency capabilities and issue access cards.

The webinar also will feature case studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of synchronization between water utilities and emergency management agencies and highlight how this partnership improved preparedness.

Connecting Emergency Management Agencies and Water Utilities

DATE:              October 18, 2018

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (Eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here

Advertisements

Improving Resiliency

Drinking Water Utility

 

EPA’s Water Security Division is hosting a series of webinars this November that focus on exploring funding and technological opportunities for water infrastructure development to improve drinking water resilience. Register for any of the following webinars here.

 

 

Increasing Support for Water Resilience

DATE:          November 1, 2018

TIME:           1:00-2:00PM (Eastern)

This webinar will use successful utility case studies to validate activities that aim to increase support from the public and decision makers on infrastructure investments.

Incorporating Resilience Technologies

DATE:              November 8, 2018

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (Eastern)

This webinar will focus on the available resilience technologies that can be applied to every utility size. Case studies will show participants how to better plan emergency response and recovery.

Leveraging Funding Resources to Build Resilience

DATE:              November 15, 2018

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (Eastern)

This webinar will cover sources of funding for drinking water utilities to invest in resilience projects, and this will also be demonstrated through case studies.

EPA WSD Shares Earthquake Response Tools

Today, EPA has released three tools that drinking water and wastewater utilities can use to prepare for and respond to the impacts of earthquakes. These products include:

 

  • Earthquake Resilience Video
  • Earthquake Resilience Guide, and
  • Earthquake Interactive Maps.

The video, guide and maps were developed to help utilities identify if they are located in earthquake hazard areas, encourages them to take steps to understand the potential earthquake impacts, and provides actions on how to address potential risks.

Downloads of the three new tools and more information on earthquake resilience is available at: https://www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse/earthquake-resilience-water-and-wastewater-utilities

 

Enhancing Cyber Hygiene

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) hosted a webinar to share cyber threat and resilience information.  Several of the cyber hygiene recommendations offered during the web event may be helpful as you work with water systems to enhance their ability to provide safe drinking water.

One particular aspect of the webinar focused on trends that NCCIC analysts are seeing in the field related to cyber hygiene.  Practical corrective actions and recommended next steps were also discussed.  The trends fall into five major areas:

  • Continued use of End of Life (EOL) network devices – those that are no longer supported by vendor patches and devices that are not being replaced during update/tech refresh cycles.
  • Default/weak security configurations – use of default or weak credentials, devices put onto networks with “out of the box” configurations, or no implementation of vendor/government device hardened guidance
  • Use of unsecure/unencrypted remote access protocols – administrator access directly over the internet or external use of FTP/TFTP.
  • Poor security monitoring – lack of visibility for administrator access, device logging not implemented, or lack of visibility of configuration changes to network devices.
  • Continued reliance on the old “network operations” mentality – network device security monitoring is secondary to the operations tasks.

The discussions surrounding the above categories were not directed specifically toward water utilities; however, most would easily apply to any utility with a SCADA system.  The presentations also included information about the NCCIC and its role within DHS, broad discussions of cyber threats and exposures, and a separate section on the Federal response.  The complete powerpoint presentation is available at this link.  You are encouraged to share these materials with your colleagues in the water community.

Upcoming Water Security Webinars

EPA’s Water Security Division is hosting a series of webinars that offer great opportunities for states and drinking water utilities. The events focus on three different aspects of resilience – surveillance and response, laboratories, and available tools to help participants.

Water Quality Surveillance and Response Systems

Public Health Surveillance for Detecting Drinking Water Contamination

DATE:              October 9, 2018

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (Eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here

This webinar will discuss the role that public health partners can play in detecting and responding to drinking water contamination incidents. Information on different types of public health partners, the types of surveillance they perform, and examples that demonstrate how surveillance monitoring can be used for public health will be discussed. There will also be a discussion of roles and responsibilities during a joint water utility / public health agency investigation of possible water contamination. Please share this opportunity with your systems.

Response Planning for Distribution System Contamination Incidents

DATE:              November 6, 2018

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (Eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here

This webinar will provide an overview of the response to a distribution system contamination incident and the steps utilities can take to prepare their own response procedure. It will cover roles and responsibilities when working with response partners. The webinar will also discuss possible response actions that can be implemented to minimize consequences, such as operational changes to reduce the spread of contaminated water and public notification to minimize customers’ exposure to contaminated water. Please share this opportunity with your systems.

Labs

Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Template Webinar

DATE:              October 4, 2018

TIME:               11:00AM-12:00PM (Eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here

The webinar will discuss how laboratories maintain mission-critical functions when disaster strikes. EPA’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Template enables laboratories to think through and develop a comprehensive, customized COOP.

Water Laboratory Alliance Response Plan Tabletop Exercise Webinar

DATE:              October 9, 2018

TIME:               1:00-3:00PM (Eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here

This webinar will bring together participants from utilities and laboratories to work through a water contamination scenario. It will also focus on describing the key elements of the Water Laboratory Response Plan (WLA-RP), including water sector best practices for emergency response. The webinar will discuss the roles of laboratories and others in a response to a water contamination incident, as well as how to build relationships between water utilities, laboratories and other stakeholders. Participants will become familiar with EPA preparedness tools and resources.

Tools

Analytical Preparedness Full-Scale Exercise (AP-FSE) Toolkit Webinar

DATE:              October 16, 2018

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (Eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here

EPA’s newly released Analytical Preparedness Full-Scale Exercise (AP-FSE) Toolkit is a comprehensive guide to planning and executing a multi-organization exercise to simulate a water emergency, with a focus on tools and best practices for laboratory analytical support. This webinar covers how an AP-FSE can increase preparedness and gives an overview of the contents and functionality of the Toolkit. Participants will also learn how you can get started planning an exercise of your own and access EPA support.

Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) Webinar

DATE:              October 18, 2018

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (Eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here

The Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) is a secure online database with comprehensive information about chemical, biological and radiochemical contaminants of concern for the Water Sector. This training, intended for members of the water utility, laboratory and emergency response communities, and gives an overview of WCIT.

Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month Webinar Series

This series of events offers information on: activities, technology, and funding opportunities that will help the water community increase investment in building resilience. All of these share the same registration link. Click here

  • Increasing Support for Water Resilience (November 1, 2018 1:00-2:00PM Eastern)
  • Incorporating Resilience Technologies (November 8, 2018 1:00-2:00PM Eastern)
  • Leveraging Funding Resources to Build Resilience (November 15, 2018 1:00-2:00PM      Eastern)

Environmental Finance Center Network Hosts Two Useful Small System Webinars

EFCN Partners Host Several Useful Small Systems Webinars

The Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) receives funds from EPA to provide information and assistance for small systems.  While most of their efforts look within a system’s technical, managerial, or financial capabilities, the two webinars below look at planning and resilience efforts.

Managing Disasters Before Disasters Strike

DATE:              Wednesday, October 10, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

This webinar will explore emergency management and resilience strategies that can help small systems prepare for disasters. Discussions will cover trends in hazards, critical infrastructure stressors, and what steps small systems can take to adapt to an uncertain future.

Risk and Resilience: Assessing Vulnerability for Coastal Communities

DATE:              Friday, November 2, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

In light of an ever-changing climate and increasingly stressed infrastructure, we must take steps towards preventing and mitigating the duration and severity of water service interruptions. This webinar will discuss the importance of understanding risk, explore what it means to be a resilient coastal system, and suggest strategies for conducting basic vulnerability assessments.

Quarterly Newsletter – EPA Water Security Division

Our EPA colleagues have several interactive opportunities that you may be interested in:

  1. Hurricane – Be Ready!

EPA has developed tools to help water utilities prepare for, respond to, and recover from hurricane-related impacts. Check out our incident action checklist and other free resources…and remember to heed watches and warnings issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.  Want to know more?  Click here

  1. Water Sector Power and Black Sky Resilience Summit

On September 19, EPA is hosting a one-day Water Sector Power and Black Sky Resilience Summit in Herndon, VA to discuss and advance the water sector’s preparedness for a long duration, widespread power outage.

There will be presentations and discussions on black sky threats, generators, alternative power options, microgrids, critical interdependencies, and communications. The focus will be on some of the challenges and potential solutions to a long duration power outage. The target audience is drinking water and wastewater utilities, water and energy associations, electric utilities, and local, state, and federal government agencies. To participate in person Register Here  If you are outside the DC metropolitan area and are interested in participating in a webcast of the event, please send an email to Lauren Wisniewski at wisniewski.lauren@epa.gov.

  1. Webinar – Customer Complaint Surveillance for Detecting Drinking Water Contamination

DATE:              September 11, 2018

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

REGISTRATION:  Register Here

This webinar will describe how water quality complaints from customers can be analyzed in real time to detect emerging water quality problems. It will describe methods and tools that can be used to analyze historical data to set thresholds that minimize the frequency of invalid alerts without compromising detection capabilities.

  1. Webinar – Public Health Surveillance for Detecting Drinking Water Contamination

 DATE:              October 9, 2018

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

REGISTRATION:           Register Here

This webinar will discuss the role that public health partners can play in detecting and responding to drinking water contamination incidents.  It will provide an overview of common public health partners as well as the types of surveillance they perform.  Examples of the application of public health surveillance to monitor for water contamination incidents will be presented.  There will also be a discussion of roles and responsibilities during a joint water utility/public health agency investigation of possible water contamination.

  1. Webinar – Response Planning for Distribution System Contamination Incidents

 DATE:              November 6, 2018

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

REGISTRATION:           Register Here

This webinar will provide an overview of the response to a distribution system contamination incident and the steps utilities can take to prepare their own response procedure. It will cover roles and responsibilities when working with response partners. The webinar will also discuss possible response actions that can be implemented to minimize consequences, such as operational changes to reduce the spread of contaminated water and public notification to minimize customers’ exposure to contaminated water.

WSD Webinar Reminders – Hurricanes and Customer Complaints

Our colleagues at EPA’s Water Security Division are hosting two webinars in the coming weeks that may be of interest to you.  See below for details and feel free to share these opportunities with colleagues and water systems.

Puerto Rico Water and Sewer Authority’s Response to Hurricane Maria

DATE:              August 8, 2018

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

REGISTER:      https://epa-puerto-rico-webinar.eventbrite.com

 During this webinar, Eli Diaz-Atienza, President of Puerto Rico’s Water and Sewer Authority (PRASA) will describe how the utility was impacted by the loss of power caused by Hurricane Maria. At its peak, PRASA was using 1,610 generators at its 114 drinking water plants, 51 wastewater plants, and pump stations. During the webinar, Diaz-Atienza will discuss some of the challenges with operating, maintaining, and fueling the generators. The webinar will also summarize some of the lessons learned and plans for increasing PRASA’s resilience.

Customer Complaint Surveillance for Detecting Drinking Water Contamination

DATE:              September 11, 2018

TIME:               1:00 PM EDT

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6501680928031531778

This webinar will describe how water quality complaints from customers can be analyzed in real time to detect emerging water quality problems. It will describe methods and tools that can be used to analyze historical data to set thresholds that minimize the frequency of invalid alerts without compromising detection capabilities.

AWWA Offers Emergency Preparedness & Response Video DVD

Our colleagues at AWWA have developed a DVD/video that covers key emergency preparedness requirements to help water utilities establish an acceptable level of emergency preparedness based on both identified and perceived risks.  It steps you through eight basic activities that include elements ranging from commitment to preparedness to risk assessments to training and partnerships.

This link takes you to the AWWA webpage that offers a preview of the video, information about its content, and an order form.  The cost is $199 (for AWWA members) and $285 for others.  States may find this useful as a training tool.

 

EPA WSD to Host ‘Analysis of Online Water Quality Data’ Webinar

Registration is now available for the next webinar in the “Water Quality Surveillance and Response” series hosted by EPA’s Water Security Division.

DATE:              August 14, 2018

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

REGISTER:      Click here

Two presentations will be offered during the web event.  The first will describe methods for conducting an exploratory analysis of historical water quality data collected from a water distribution system using online monitoring instruments. The second will describe how source water constituents of concern can be estimated in near-real-time using continuous water-quality data.  Representatives from EPA and USGS will lead the discussions.

This flyer contains more information about the event and the presentations.  SRS Webinar Series_August Webinar_Email Flyer 07052018