July 21st, 2023 NJIB
Climate change poses significant challenges to drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater (water sector) utilities in fulfilling their public and environmental health missions. EPA's Creating Resilient Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative provides the water sector and its stakeholders with practical tools, training, and technical assistance needed to increase their resilience to climate change.
I am reaching out to offer to you or your partners the opportunity to work with CRWU and its contractors to conduct a guided water utility climate change risk assessment, details below. If you are a water utility, you can reach out to Aliza Furneaux on the CRWU team (Furneaux.firstname.lastname@example.org) to request technical assistance for your system. If you know of any individual utilities, or multiple utilities in a geographic region, that will benefit from this assistance, let us know to help connect them with CRWU.
Responses would be appreciated no later than August 15, 2023. Please share this message with anyone else that may be interested in, and benefit from, this process. Do not hesitate to contact CRWU (Furneaux.email@example.com) if you have any questions.
This technical assistance opportunity will promote a clear understanding of climate change and help to identify potential long-term adaptation options for decision-making related to implementation and infrastructure financing. Using our Resilient Strategies Guide (RSG) and Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT), participating utilities can begin the process of assessing their risk from climate change.
Recognizing the constraints of utility staff availability, EPA provides a targeted and efficient assistance process with substantial facilitation and technical support throughout. The process will take two to four months, depending on the tools used (RSG or CREAT), frequency of meetings, and availability of utility staff and local partners. Utilities are typically asked to designate a lead staff member to serve as a point-of-contact and spend around 35 to 40 hours participating in webinars and hosting an in-person site visit. EPA provides engineering and scientific support, tailored to the focus of the risk assessment. Depending on your utility's capacity, the process can benefit from an additional 5 to 15 hours of expert staff time to support collecting data and providing feedback on meeting notes and the final report. Some relevant staff members may include hydrology modelers, engineers, and treatment plant managers.
To see how CRWU has assisted other water sector utilities across the nation, visit CRWU's Adaptation Case Studies Map. For example, Trenton Water Works in New Jersey recently conducted a climate risk assessment with technical assistance from CRWU. Their focus was flooding impacts at their water filtration plant. Trenton used CREAT to explore four adaptation strategies: 1) fortify the existing plant and treatment process; 2) relocate the plant; 3) build redundant treatment capacity with an additional plant; and 4) augment capacity with a new smaller auxiliary plant. Results from Trenton Water Works' CREAT assessment was instrumental in helping them obtain technical assistance from FEMA's Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program to further assess the benefits of relocating their plant. To view Trenton's and other utility stories click on the Case Studies Map link above.
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For more information, contact the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank at (609) 219-8600.Clean Water Project 2023 Drinking Water Project EPA
3131 Princeton Pike, Building 4 Suite 216
Lawrenceville NJ, 08648 T. 609 219 8600