EPA Publishes CRWU Newsletter

Look below to find information on the array of climate ready-related projects and activities underway as part of EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative.


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.

EPA Water Utility Climate Resilience Support Project

EPA is initiating a nationwide effort to promote an understanding of climate risk and adaptation options within the water sector.  By working with a diverse set of individual utilities in a collaborative process, EPA will assist 20 water and wastewater utilities in conducting comprehensive climate related risk assessments using our Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT). The assessments will identify utility-level adaptation strategies for implementation to bolster climate readiness and resilience.  A list of confirmed participating utilities can be found on the CRWU website.

EPA’s Climate Resilience and Awareness Tool (CREAT)

  • CREAT 3.0 Framework: The CREAT 3.0 Working Group is now reviewing the draft framework document detailing the proposed elements and functionality of the third version of CREAT.  The Framework provides an overview of the additions and enhancements to CREAT and describes the new modular program architecture featuring the Climate Awareness, Scenario Development, Asset Screening, Adaptation Planning and Risk Assessment modules.


  • Scenario-Based Projected Changes Map:  This online map provides easy access to localized scenarios of projected changes in annual total precipitation, precipitation intensity, annual average temperature, 100-year storm events, and sea-level rise from EPA’s Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool.  To explore local climate change projection data across the United States, simply zoom in on your location of interest or type a location into the search field of the map.  Climate change projection data within this map is provided by grid cell, illustrated as a square grid with 1/2-degree resolution, approximately 32 X 32 miles, for the United States.  Explore the map on the CRWU website.


Climate Resilience and Sustainability Pilots


EPA and its partners are supporting two regional workshops with water sector utilities focusing on sustainable practices and building resilience to climate change impacts. The pilots are being held in Faribault, MN, and Blair, Nebraska. The work includes a full risk assessment using EPA’s CREAT, as well as our Planning for Sustainability Handbook and Sustainable Practices Roadmap. The risk assessment process will not only focus on identifying climate change challenges the utility may face, but identifying funding sources for implementing relevant adaptation strategies. These pilots will be used to demonstrate how small and rural systems can use EPA tools and resources to help adapt to climate change impacts and build effective, long-term, resilience strategies.


Climate Ready Water Utilities/Emergency Response Workshops


The Climate Ready Water Utilities and Emergency Response teams worked with communities and utilities around the country to conduct four Emergency Response and Climate Change Workshops, which were completed in September. They were held in Mattapoisett, MA, New Orleans, LA, Ft. Pierre, SD, and Fresno, CA. Each of these workshops focused emergency response and regional climate change impacts for the water sector, such as flooding, sea-level rise, drought, ice storms and power outages. Sessions included discussions on how participants can better plan for and adapt to extreme events and disasters, tool demonstrations on the Flood Resilience Guide and CREAT, utility case studies, and energy management. Participants included academia, state climatologists, associations, Union of Concerned Scientists, Tribes, non-profits, and other water sector stakeholders. These workshops will be used to update the Preparing for Extreme Events: Workshop Planner for the Water Sector Tool, and may lead to additional workshops with small and tribal utilities.


For more information on CRWU efforts, please visit us at:  www.epa.gov/climatereadyutilities


For any help, feedback or questions, please contact us at CRWUhelp@epa.gov


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