Tools from the US EPA s Climate Ready Water Utilities Initiative (CRWU) EPA Region 3 Conference Extreme Weather Events: Adapt, Mitigate, and Survive

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1 Tools from the US EPA s Climate Ready Water Utilities Initiative (CRWU) EPA Region 3 Conference Extreme Weather Events: Adapt, Mitigate, and Survive May 9,

2 Presentation Overview Background on EPA s CRWU Initiative Climate change and the water sector EPA Tools and Demos Adaptation Strategies Guide Extreme Weather Events Workshop Planner CRWU Toolbox Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) 2

3 CRWU Mission Statement To provide the water sector (drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities) with the practical tools, training, and technical assistance needed to adapt to climate change by promoting a clear understanding of climate science and adaptation options. 3

4 Climate Ready National Drinking Water Advisory Council Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) Report Final report provides EPA with recommendations on developing a CRWU initiative to support water sector climate resiliency. Developing an Adaptive Response Framework Fundamental guide to build out the concept of a climate ready water utility, integrates with other tools. 4

5 Climate Change and the Water Sector Degraded water quality and treatment challenges Lower reservoir levels and water shortages Stormwater management challenges Earlier spring runoff Coastal flooding from storm surges Reduced groundwater recharge Saltwater intrusion into coastal aquifers Increased residential demand Loss of wetlands and coastal ecosystems Increased frequency and extent of floods 5

6 Increasing Temperature 2 F increase in global average temperature has been observed over the last 50 years. Projections indicate continued warming, which leads to changes in water quantity and quality: Reduced water supply when combined with decreased precipitation Changes in surface water quality Changes in demand for water and energy Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. (Karl, T. R., J. M. Melillo, and T. C. Peterson, Eds.) ISBN

7 Changing Precipitation Patterns Overall changes in climate will alter the total amount of precipitation (may be less or more, depending on local factors and season), contributing to: Changing lake and reservoir levels Altered groundwater recharge Reduced snowpack and reservoir recharge Changes in water quality (increased turbidity) Greater demand for water for irrigation Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. (Karl, T. R., J. M. Melillo, and T. C. Peterson, Eds.) ISBN

8 Extreme Weather Events More frequent and severe extreme weather events can produce: More frequent and larger extent of flood damage to infrastructure Increased crop loss and more frequent water shortages during drought Property loss and erosion following wildfires Increased damage from coastal storm surges to low-lying utility infrastructure Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. (Karl, T. R., J. M. Melillo, and T. C. Peterson, Eds.) ISBN

9 Rising Sea Level Coastal utilities should be concerned about sea-level rise, which can lead to: Increased flooding associated with coastal storm surges Increased saltwater intrusion into aquifers Accelerated loss of wetlands and coastal ecosystems Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. (Karl, T. R., J. M. Melillo, and T. C. Peterson, Eds.) ISBN

10 Adaptation Strategies Guide Promoting a Clear Understanding of Adaptation Options 11

11 Overview Guide for drinking water and wastewater utilities that have not begun to consider climate change in utility planning Navigate guide like a website Goals: Present easy-to-understand climate science Translate science into impacts to utilities List adaptation strategies related to impacts Assist in the adaptation planning process 12

12 ASG Demo

13 Extreme Weather Events Workshop Planner Developing long term plans to increase resiliency 14

14 Walks users through all of the steps of planning and conducting an extreme events workshop Extreme Weather Events Workshop Planner Encourages participants to determine actions that their utility or community can take to become more resilient to more frequent and intense extreme events 15

15 Includes 5 scenarios: Flooding Drought Sea Level Rise Wildfire Snowpack Changes Contains customizable materials Scenario presentation Facilitator s Guide Workshop report template Extreme Weather Events Workshop Planner Workshop Planner provides a template report with actionable items to encourage participants to continue collaboration extreme event and climate planning. 16

16 Extreme Events Workshop Planner Demo

17 Toolbox Resources for Planning a Response to Climate Change 18

18 Toolbox Searchable database for utilities to obtain resources related to climate change and water Searches by utility attributes, climate concerns, and response strategies selected by the user Current version contains approximately 600 resources Publications Current activities Funding opportunities Events Tools and models 19

19 Toolbox Features: Browse by Tabs Region Map Highlighted Resources Link Direct to Web Page Option to Show Searchable Database/ Resources List 20

20 Climate Resilience Evaluation & Awareness Tool (CREAT) Assess risks and evaluate opportunities 21

21 Software tool for conducting risk assessment of potential climate change impacts at your utility Multiple climate scenarios provided to help capture uncertainty Assessments will help inform adaptation planning Results from CREAT help utilities compare potential costs, risk reduction and energy implications of different options About CREAT 22

22 What Can You Do In CREAT? Build Awareness Explore local climate data View links to publications, models and other tools Assess Risk Catalog data and assumptions Understand and assess climate impacts Plan Adaptation Compare adaptation options Generate reports to support decisions 23

23 24 CREAT Process

24 Building Awareness: Using Climate Data Quantify projected changes and potential threats 25

25 Region Tabs Climate Browser Threat Tabs

26 Historical Data 30-year ( ) annual and monthly averages of temperature and precipitation Data provided at ½ degree by ½ degree resolution (32x32 mi.) Intense precipitation data sourced from NOAA climate stations Select the station that best matches your historical data OR enter your own Location ( ) with available climate stations ( ) in CREAT 27

27 Projected Climate Change CREAT provides projected changes in Temperature Precipitation Intense precipitation Sea level Rather than rely on a single projection, three scenarios are provided to support assessments over a range of possible future conditions 28

28 Sea-Level Rise Factors Two components of global sea-level rise (SLR) Thermal expansion: varies regionally due to ocean currents, salinity and other factors Ice melt: from glaciers and ice sheets over land (Antarctica, Greenland) Latest scientific literature suggests global SLR of up to 1.5 m by 2100 for planning purposes CREAT provides regional SLR data for coastal grid cells 29

29 CREAT SLR Wizard Select a global curve CREAT provides a regional scalar Enter a local correction 30

30 Adaptation Basics When possible, adaptation can be incorporated into existing planning practices A range of activities could build resilience at your utility Enhanced operational flexibility Expanded capacity Alternate strategies Information on adaptation options currently being employed by water utilities and communities is needed 31

31 Browse over 100 adaptive measures in CREAT Review descriptions and threat relevance to select those measures to include in assessments Keep track of existing and potential measures Adaptation Library 32

32 CREAT provides: CREAT Summary Support for building climate awareness Climate data within a risk-assessment framework Links to other climate-related resources Adaptation options for consideration 33

33 CREAT Demo

34 Summary Water sector is being impacted from extreme weather and climate change Adaptation Planning - not a new effort No Regrets adaptation options provide benefits regardless of future climate conditions CRWU resources can be used to educate utility and community stakeholders

35 Upcoming CRWU Events Next Event Workshop Planner / Adaptation Strategies Guide Date May 22, 2013 Coming soon Date Assessment and Planning with CREAT June 2013 Sustainability and Adaptation June 2013 Climate Change and Decision-Support July 2013 To register for these events and download resources, visit the CRWU website: 36

36 Want More Information? CRWU website: CRWU contact: Sign up for e-newsletters: EPA Climate Change and Water News: Send a blank to EPA climate change activities: 37

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