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Water: Community-Based Water Resiliency

Community-Based Water Resiliency

Partnering to Protect

Community Preparedness-
Cover your bases

Is your community prepared for a day without water? Water is essential to life, human health, and the economy. Communities rely on drinking water and wastewater to provide vital services. Hurricanes, tornadoes, aging infrastructure and intentional contamination are among the many challenges water and wastewater utilities face in an effort to operate uninterrupted. Resilient communities are better prepared to rapidly recover from water service interruptions because they have identified critical interdependencies and focused on building relationships between the water utilities and the communities they serve.

EPA's Community-Based Water Resiliency (CBWR) initiative aims to:

  1. Increase overall community preparedness by raising awareness of water sector interdependencies and enhance integration of water sector into community emergency preparedness and response efforts; and

  2. Increase preparedness and resiliency of drinking water and wastewater utilities by delivering tools and information to increase community collaboration and bolster security practices.

new A Day Without Water: A video introduction to the CBWR tool
Drinking water and wastewater utilities provide a valuable service in our communities. Many communities are not prepared for an interruption in these services and are unaware of the need to prepare for alternate methods to begin the process of building resiliency.

Utility Preparedness Widget
Add our Utility Preparedness widget to your site to link your stakeholders directly to a suite of tools, guidance and other informative resources to support drinking water and wastewater utility preparedness, response and recovery!

Critical Water Sector Interdependencies - All other critical infrastructure sectors have interdependencies with drinking water and/or wastewater services. Many community services fall under these sectors and their operations could be severely affected by a water service disruption. The eighteen critical infrastructure/key resource (CI/KR) designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are listed below:

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Download the Community-Based Water Resiliency Electronic Tool - The CBWR electronic tool is an easy way to assess your community's current resiliency to water service disruptions and learn about tools and resources that can be used to enhance resiliency. A main component of the tool is the self assessment, which provides users with questions tailored to their stakeholder group and culminates in a self-assessment summary report. The report details the strengths and weaknesses of the users' community's resiliency and recommends tools and resources that can be used to enhance resiliency. Users can then navigate to the CBWR toolbox, where they can find more information about the recommended tools and resources. For help with the tool, see the Community-Based Water Resilience Quick Start Guide (PDF) (2 pp, 914K, About PDF).

Related Materials

Many other resources are available to enhance the resiliency of communities to all-hazard threats. These resources include:

Community-Based Water Resiliency Resources

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new Conduct your own CBWR Workshop Training session in your community!


  • Demonstrate the importance of integrating drinking and wastewater utilities into community emergency preparedness efforts
  • Learn how to use the CBWR Tool to assess community-wide water preparedness and foster community resilience
    • Click on the "Resources" tab to download the CBWR Tool specified in the training

Required materials to host your training session:

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