Climate change is altering the world’s water resources, as evidenced through changing precipitation patterns, severe drought and floods, snowpack amount, elevation, streamflow, and rising sea levels. It is critical that local utilities responsibly manage water resources in all local communities in order to minimize the effects of climate change.
The Climate Resilience Evaluation & Awareness Tool (CREAT), released by the Environmental Protection Agency, is a free software program designed to help utilities determine the localized impacts of climate change and assess the costs and benefits of various adaptation strategies for each plant specifically. Users can explore the risks of foregoing adaptation as well as risk reduction associated with different adaptation options over multiple time periods.
Utilizing treatment plant information provided by the user and data from the most recent national assessment of climate change, the tool accounts for potential impacts to utility assets including water resources, treatment plants, distribution system components, pump stations and more.
To download CREAT, go to http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/climate/creat.cfm .
- Climate Change Impacts on Water: An International Adaptation Forum - Results from the forum that was designed to help water utilities and resource managers identify and promote successful responses to the evident and growing climate-related challenges to water security and sustainability. American cities from Atlanta to Las Vegas are already dealing with severe water shortages, while other cities struggle with rising sea levels or catastrophic water events like hurricanes or excessive stormwater runoff.
- Cities of the Future 2010 (March 7-10, Boston, Massachusetts) brought together a diverse group of practitioners, researchers and policy-makers who shared a vision of an improved urban landscape for future generations. The conference hosted interdisciplinary discussions required to create sustainable urban infrastructure to meet the challenges of the 21st century and the interdependent engineered and natural systems that will characterize Cities of the Future. Read the post-conference blog and see the conference summary notes posted on the conference website.
- In January, the US EPA convened the First National Expert and Stakeholder Workshop on Water Infrastructure Sustainability and Adaptation to Climate Change. Presentations from this workshop are now available. Read WEF’s blog about the workshop.
Opportunities for Involvement