Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU)
EPA's Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative assists the water sector, which includes drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities, in addressing climate change impacts. Through the development of practical and easy-to-use tools, EPA promotes a clear understanding of climate science and adaptation options by translating complex climate projections into accessible formats. This information helps utility owners and operators better prepare their systems for the impacts of climate change. Take a look at our "Becoming Climate Ready" introductory video below on what it means to be Climate Ready.
Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool
This software tool assists drinking water and wastewater utility owners and operators in understanding potential climate change impacts and in assessing the related risks at their utilities. CREAT allows users to evaluate potential impacts of climate change on their utility and to evaluate adaptive options to address these impacts using both traditional risk assessment and scenario-based decision making.
- Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool 2.0 Exercise with Southern Nevada Water Authority (PDF) (40 pp, 1MB, About PDF)
- Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool web page
Preparing for Extreme Weather Events: Workshop Planner for the Water Sector
The Workshop Planner contains all of the materials needed to plan and conduct a customized workshop focused on planning for frequent and intense extreme events. Users are guided through the workshop planning process and can choose from five different extreme event scenarios: flooding, drought, reduced snowpack, sea level rise, and wildfires.
- Register and download the Workshop Planner
- Workshop Planner Fact Sheet (PDF) (1 pg, 753K, About PDF)
Climate Ready Water Utilities Toolbox
This searchable toolbox contains resources that support all stages of the decision process, from basic climate science through integration of mitigation and adaptation into long-term planning. The Toolbox contains: reports, articles, and other publications; information about grant programs that could support climate-related actions by utilities and municipalities; current activities; upcoming seminars, workshops, and training sessions; models and tools; and climate response materials that focus on mitigation and adaptive strategies.
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, and what adaptation strategies can be used to prepare their system for those impacts. The guide now also includes information on how utilities can incorporate sustainability (e.g, green infrastructure and energy management activities) into their adaptation planning. Examples of utilities implementing adaptation options at their systems are included throughout the guide as well as a worksheet to assist in the adaptation planning process.
- Updated Adaptation Strategies Guide for Water Utilities (PDF) (106 pp, 9MB, About PDF)
- Training Presentation for Adaptation Strategies Guide (PDF) (30 pp, 3MB, About PDF)
Climate Ready Water Utilities and Climate Ready Estuaries
EPA's Climate Ready Water Utilities and Climate Ready Estuaries initiatives are working to coordinate their efforts and support climate change risk assessment and adaptation planning. Each of the three reports below explores a different set of issues including; ecosystem impacts and salt water intrusion from sea-level rise, flooding of coastal drinking water and wastewater utilities from sea-level rise and intense precipitation events, using CREAT with small systems, and using modeling tools to supplement the information in CREAT.
- CREAT Exercise with Los Osos Water Purveyors and the Morro Bay National Estuary Program (PDF) (51 pp, 2MB, About PDF)
- CREAT Exercise with Manteo and Columbia, North Carolina and the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership (PDF) (32 pp, 3MB, About PDF)
- CREAT Exercise with North Hudson Sewerage Authority and New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program (PDF) (22 pp, 1MB, About PDF)
Other Climate Ready Water Utilities Resources
- EPA Climate Change
- EPA Climate Ready Estuaries
- EPA Clean Water State Revolving Fund's Green Project Reserve
- EPA Effective Utility Management
- EPA Office of Water Climate Change
- EPA State and Local Climate and Energy Program
- EPA Watershed Academy December 2nd, 2010 Webcast "Climate Adaptation Tools for Addressing Water Issues"
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Portal
- US Global Change Research Program
- National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change
- CERES Report: Water Ripples: Expanding Risks for U.S. Water Providers
- Decision-Making in Practice: 4/9/2014
- Communicating Climate Risks: 4/23/2014
- Financing Adaptation: 5/28/2014
- Past Webinar Recordings
- Threshold Analysis: 3/19/2014
Join EPA's CRWU initiative for a webinar to learn more about the tools and resources available for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater (water sector) utilities in fulfilling their public health and environmental missions.
This webinar series, beginning in the Fall of 2013 and extending through the Spring of 2014, is being presented in coordination with the Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA) and other partners. Webinars will cover a range of strategies being used by water utilities for adaptation planning and decision-making. Each webinar will include presentations from utility representatives that have used these methods to plan and make critical decisions. Throughout the series, information will be provided on available tools to help water sector utilities understand and adapt to climate change impacts.
The key to the right provides an overview of all topics and dates offered as well as past webinar recordings. Please contact us at CRWUhelp@epa.gov for help, questions, or reasonable accommodations.
Decision-Making in Practice-Florida Case Studies
Communicating Climate Risks
Threshold Analysis to Support Decision Making
Sustainability and Adaptation
Scenario Planning to Support Decision Making
Robust Planning to Support Decision Making
CRWU 101: Introduction
Climate Change and the Water Sector
Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) 101
Extreme Events Workshop Planner
Adaptation Strategies Guide
Workshop Planner / Adaptation Strategies Guide
The impacts of events such as Hurricane Sandy pose challenges to water sector utilities. Extreme weather events, sea level rise, shifting precipitation patterns and temperature variability, all intensified by climate change, have significant implications for the sustainability of the water sector. By planning for, assessing and adapting to these challenges, the water sector can fulfill their public health and environmental missions and begin the process of becoming climate ready.
To set the foundation for our climate ready efforts, EPA convened a CRWU Working Group under the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) in Fall 2009. The NDWAC delivered its CRWU Report (PDF) (76 pp, 1MB, About PDF) to EPA in January 2011. See the Overview of the NDWAC CRWU Working Group Report (PDF), (3 pp, 875K, About PDF) for a brief summary of findings and recommendations.
The report includes 11 findings and 12 recommendations, an Adaptive Response Framework (PDF) (14 pp, 774K, About PDF) to guide climate ready activities and the identification of needed resources and possible incentives to support and encourage utility climate readiness.
Click on the tabs above for more information on the CRWU initiative, Tools & Resources and Training.
- CRWU Brochure
For more information on the CRWU initiative and products, view the CRWU Brochure (PDF) (2 pp, 441K, About PDF)
For CRWU news and updates join our listserv by sending a blank email to join firstname.lastname@example.org