Georgetown Climate Center’s Workshop on Supporting State and Local Adaptation through Existing Federal Programs: Water Infrastructure

On Jan. 31, NACCHO staff attended the Supporting State and Local Adaptation through Existing Federal Programs: Water Infrastructure workshop hosted by Georgetown Climate Center (GCC). GCC is a nonpartisan organization that seeks to advance effective climate, energy, and transportation policies in the United States by supporting policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help communities adapt to climate change.

The GCC hosted a series of workshops with senior federal, state, and local officials and experts from non-governmental organizations and the academic community to discuss opportunities to leverage existing federal programs (regulatory, funding, technical assistance, and civil works) to support state and local adaptation. The objectives for this workshop were to:

  • Identify opportunities for and challenges to using federal program to support adaptation in the water sector; and
  • Develop recommendations for how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies can work with water utilities and other state and local stakeholders to incorporate climate change considerations into water infrastructure.

Various resources and tools were discussed that could be of use to local communities. These include:

  • Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT): EPA developed a software tool to assist drinking water and wastewater utility owners and operators in understanding potential climate change threats and in assessing the related risks at their individual utilities. CREAT provides users with access to the most recent national assessment of climate change impacts for use in considering how these changes will impact utility operations and missions. Version 2.0 is now available for download free of charge.
  • National Storm Water Calculator: EPA developed a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site anywhere in the United States (including Puerto Rico). Estimates are based on local soil conditions, land cover, and historic rainfall records. It is designed to be used by anyone interested in reducing runoff from a property, including site developers, landscape architects, urban planners, and homeowners.
  • Extreme Weather Events Fact Sheets: WERF and WaterRF, along with collaborating partners the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, EPA, Concurrent Technologies Corporation, and Noblis, developed a case study series based on workshops in six communities that have experienced extreme events, including floods, storms and derechos, sea level rise and storm surge, drought, and unseasonable frost.

Learn more about climate change and find related resources from NACCHO.

About Justin Snair

Justin serves as a Senior Program Analyst for Critical Infrastructure and Environmental Security at NACCHO. Prior to coming to NACCHO, Justin worked as an environmental health officer for a local heath department in Massachusetts. Twitter: @JustinSnair

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