Case Studies on Water Utility Strategies in Response to Extreme Climate/Weather Events

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 11:45 AM
Room C210 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Nancy Beller-Simms, NOAA/Climate Program Office, Silver Spring, MD; and K. Metchis, L. Fillmore, K. Ozekin, E. Brown, C. Ternieden, and E. Powell

Community water resource managers have had to simultaneously adapt and cope with: increasing numbers and impacts of extreme events; growing populations with mounting pressure for limited energy, water and other natural resources; and aging infrastructure to provide services to customers. Water utility providers are torn between the publics' expectations for reliable and inexpensive water, wastewater and stormwater management services and the cost of providing these services. These utilities are looking to better plan for and cope with extreme events, and in some cases, manage expectations about the cost and reliability of expected services.

NOAA, EPA, the Water Environment Research Foundation, the Water Research Foundation, Concurrent Technologies Corporation, and Noblis partnered to convene a series of workshops in six communities that have experienced extreme events (e.g., drought, flood, sea level rise, freezing weather, and cascading impacts from multiple events). This presentation will focus on how the local water utilities planned for, and responded to, past extreme events, and how they are planning for increasing incidence and strength of future events. It will share novel and innovative approaches that water utilities are taking to increase their resilience and reduce vulnerability of their infrastructure and operations and will discuss what we in the climate community can learn from their experiences to better serve this vital sector.