Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Water: Key Features of an Active and Effective Water Security Program

Key Features - Utility Resources

Key Features Utility Resources ImageThere are many resources available to water and wastewater utilities to implement the Key Features of an Active and Effective Program.  Most of these resources are readily available to utilities at no or low cost.

The following fact sheet provides an overview of the Active and Effective Protective Program, identifies the Key Features of an Active and Effective Protective Program (Key Features), and describes publicly available tools and resources available to the Water Sector in support of each of the Key Features.
Key Features of an Active and Effective Protective Program: Tools and Resources to Assist Utilities (PDF) (4 pp, 1MB) EPA 817-K-12-003

The following is a list of some of the tools and resources available:

Access Control Tools

Assessment Tools

  • Key Features Self-Assessment Measures(PDF) (1 pg, 49K)
    Measures of utility activities developed by the Water Sector, which roughly correspond with the activities described in the Key Features

  • EPA National Performance Measures Web page
    Provides information the full suite of national metrics for the Water Sector, which help gauge security progress at the national level. Individual utilities can also use these metrics to track individual progress.

  • EPA Vulnerability Assessments Web page
    Provides information on vulnerability assessments for the Water Sector, including guidance on completing assessments and available assessment tools.

  • Climate Resiliency Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT)
    CREAT is a CD-based risk assessment tool that allows users to: (1) understand regional and local projections of climate change impacts/threats; (2) use known information about their utility, such as utility assets, to assess potential consequences of such impacts; (3) assess the climate-related risks at their individual utilities; and (4) evaluate adaptation options to reduce risk.

Communication Tools

  • EPA Message Mapping Web page
    Provides information on message mapping, which is a science-based risk communication tool that can be used to quickly and concisely deliver the most pertinent information about an emergency . The Webpage includes a video and a report that deals specifically with effective communication for water security emergencies.

  • Emergency Communications with your Local Government and Community Exit EPA Disclaimer WERF Project 03-CTS-5SCO
    Toolkit to help the Water Sector communicate more effectively with the public and other agencies during a crisis event. The toolkit includes a communications preparedness guide to assist with emergency communications planning; decision-making guides and sample messages for three likely scenario events; and a software tool to help organize and maintain emergency communication information.

Contamination Detection Tools

  • Water Security Initiative
    The Water Security Initiative is an EPA program that addresses the risk of intentional contamination of drinking water distribution systems. EPA is implementing the initiative in three phases:
  1. Develop the conceptual design of a system for timely detection and appropriate response to drinking water contamination incidents to mitigate public health and economic impacts.
  2. Test and demonstrate contamination warning systems through pilots at drinking water utilities and municipalities and make refinements to the design as needed based upon pilot results.
  3. Develop practical guidance and outreach to promote voluntary national adoption of effective and sustainable drinking water contamination warning systems.
  • Water Laboratory Alliance (WLA)
    The EPA WLA provides the Water Sector with an integrated, nationwide network of laboratories. The WLA provides the capability to analyze water samples in the event of water supply contamination involving chemical, biological, or radiochemical (CBR) contaminants. The WLA focuses solely on water and is an integral part of the EPA's Environmental Response Laboratory Network (ERLN).

  • National Environmental Methods Index for Chemical, Biological and Radiological Methods (NEMI-CBR)
    Secure, on-line, Web-based database for locating, evaluating, comparing, and retrieving analytical methods for chemical, biological, and radiological-related contaminants that could pose a threat to public water supplies.

Emergency Response Tools

Funding & Partnership Tools

Funding Tools

  • EPA Water Security Grants and Funding Webpage
    Provides information on grants available to state and tribal water programs. While EPA does not provide direct grants to utilities, utilities can inform themselves of the grants available and contact their state water program to find out what funding opportunities are available.

Partnership Building Tools

  • Water and Wastewater Agency Response Networks (WARNs) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    National WARN Web page located on the American Water Works Association Web site. WARNs are intrastate mutual aid and assistance agreements for utilities to share resources, personnel and equipment in emergency situations. Links are provided to regional WARNs, WARN resources and FEMA situation reports.

  • Mutual Aid and Assistance Resources
    EPA Web page that provides information and guidance on WARNs and the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

  • Community-Based Water Resiliency (CBWR) Tool
    Enables water and wastewater utilities and their communities to self-assess the resiliency of their services, and provides tailored recommendations on tools and resources that would aid in enhancing preparedness and resiliency. The CBWR Toolbox contains all of the recommended resources in a central location.

  •  Water Sector Partnerships with the Food and Agriculture Sector (PDF) (2 pp, 686K, About PDF) This fact sheet provides an overview of the importance of partnerships between water utilities and the Food and Agriculture Sector. It provides information on how to develop such partnerships as well as resources to help increase utility and community resiliency.
    EPA 817-K-12-005, July 2012

  • Security Information Collaboratives: A Guide for Water Utilities, US EPA 2005 (PDF) (40 pp, 2MB)
    Provides suggestions on how to establish a successful security-information collaborative, which is a group of organizations and agencies formed to share information and address common issues regarding security.

Physical (Infrastructure) Security Tools


Threat Monitoring Tools

  • Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center (WaterISAC) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Subscription service developed to provide drinking water and wastewater systems with information about water system security and a secure Web-based environment for early warning of potential threats. Relying on information gathered from federal intelligence, law enforcement, public health, and environmental agencies, and from utility security incident reports, WaterISAC analysts produce and disseminate physical and cyber security information to the water sector.

  • Guarding Against Terrorist and Security Threats: Suggested Measures for Drinking Water and Wastewater Utilities,
    US EPA 2004 (PDF)
    (45 pp, 414K) (See Appendix A)
    Provides model guidelines for water utilities to increase security based on threat conditions described by the five-tiered Homeland Security Advisory System.

  • Infragard Exit EPA Disclaimer
    Information sharing and analysis effort serving the interests and combining the knowledge base of a wide range of members, including businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States. InfraGard is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the private sector.

  • State and Local Fusion Centers 
    Department of Homeland Security Web page describing state and local fusion centers. Many states and larger cities have created state and local fusion centers to share information and intelligence within their jurisdictions as well as with the federal government.

  • CDC Health Alert Network Web page 
    The CDC Health Alert Network provides information to state and local public health practitioners, clinicians, and public health laboratories, about urgent health events.

Jump to main content.