Many drinking water utilities are struggling with the demands imposed by often unexpected extreme weather events. What can they do to plan; how can they be prepared to respond; when can they declare the crisis to be over?
EPA has developed a number of tools that can help answer some of these questions and provide recommendations for action that can help drinking water systems to be more resilient. Here are some useful links that we invite you to explore:
Adaptation Case Study and Information Exchange: This tool allows water sector — drinking water, wastewater and stormwater — utilities to learn about climate change adaptation planning efforts from their peers across the United States.
Adaptation Strategies Guide: This interactive guide assists drinking water and wastewater utilities in gaining a better understanding of what climate-related impacts they may face in their region. The guide identifies what adaptation strategies can be used to prepare their system for those impacts. The guide also includes information on how utilities can incorporate sustainability (e.g. green infrastructure and energy management activities) into their adaptation planning.
Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT): CREAT is a software tool that assists drinking water and wastewater utility owners and operators in understanding potential climate change threats. The tool also aids in assessing the related risks at their individual utilities. The software identifies threats based on regional differences in climate change projections; it then assists utilities in designing adaptation plans based on the assessment.
Scenario Based Projection Map: This online map provides easy access to scenarios of projected changes in annual total precipitation, intensity, annual average temperature, 100-year storm events, and sea-level rise. To explore local climate change projection data across the United States, simply zoom in on a location or type a location into the search field.
Storm Surge Inundation Map and Hurricane Strike Frequency Map: This interactive map illustrates the worst-case storm and inundation scenarios on the American Gulf and Atlantic coasts, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The map combines data layers from FEMA 100, and 500 year flood maps. Other layers include; NOAA’s Sea, Lake, and Overland Survey from Hurricanes (SLOSH), and the National Hurricane Center’s coastal county hurricane strikes map.
Workshop Planner for Climate Change and Extreme Events Adaptation: This tool assists drinking water and wastewater utility staff, technical assistance providers, community leaders and other stakeholders in conducting climate change adaptation workshops; it generates materials tailored to your location and provides helpful guidance for hosting a successful workshop.