CLIMATE  CHANGE
                          Preparing for
                          /^l"                      /^l                      at New England
                          Climate   Change
                                                                                          \-S
                                                                         Drinking Water Utilities
                         U.S.  EPA  |   CLIMATE CHANGE  OUTREACH  AT  EPA  NEW  ENGLAND
                     WATER    RESOURCES:   Future   changes  to
                   temperature and precipitation patterns will have a significant effect
               on the way we manage our water resources. Rased on  the Northeast
 Climate Impacts Assessment report from 2006, New England will experience the following
 over the next century: longer, hotter, drier summers; shorter, warmer winters; fewer rain
 events with more frequent and intense storms; and, rising sea level.
INTRO:
Climate change is already occurring and is expected to have a wide range of consequences on drinking water
treatment in New England. By considering the potential effects of climate change, we can make improvements
today to decrease our risks in the future. The following information is intended to assist New England drinking
water utilities in preparing to effectively anticipate and respond to the relevant issues that they can expect to
face in the coming century.
IMPACTS ON WATER UTILITIES:
Drinking water utilities should be aware of the following
impacts that climate change will have on their sector:
         Increased risk of drought
         Increased water demand
         Increased risk of flooding
         Declining quality of source waters
         Higher risk of inundation and storm
         damage for coastal facilities

WHAT  DRINKING WATER
UTILITIES CAN  DO:
Preparing for the  impacts of climate change begins by
first indentifying the particular risks  and concerns for
your utility (e.g., increased water demand, insufficient
treatment capacity for more polluted source waters,
heightened risk of flooding, etc.). You can find models
that work on small geographic scales (i.e., downscale
models)  at http://northeastclimatedata.org. Once this
is done,  there are certain cost-effective measures that
you can  take to  minimize those risks while providing
additional benefits to your utility.

You can  use opportunities such as periodic larger-scale
system  evaluations and the contemplation of planned
upgrades or new  construction to incorporate climate
change considerations into your facility design. Examples
include:  building additional  storage capacity,  installing
                                   protective devices or structures to stop flood waters,
                                   or elevating critical infrastructure components to levels
                                   above those at risk for flooding.

                                   Compiling an inventory of utility assets (i.e., any compo-
                                   nent with an independent physical and functional identity
                                   and age, such as pumps, motors, intakes, tanks, or mains)
                                   can help you determine the location, importance and
                                   condition of each asset. This knowledge will ultimately
                                   lead to an improved  response in emergency situations,
                                   more predictable maintenance and capital replacement
                                   budgets, and improved security of your system.

                                   Encouraging water efficiency can minimize or delay
                                   the need for system expansion and can reduce energy
                                   use, thereby saving  utilities money. It can also help
                                   reduce the overall water demand during peak demand
                                   and drought periods and works to conserve available
                                   water resources for long-term use.

                                   Climate change impacts can stress natural ecosystems
                                   and compromise their ability to provide valuable eco-
                                   system services, such as flood protection, clean water,
                                   and  water storage.  Managing ecosystem quality and
                                   sensitive areas in your watershed can protect water
                                   quality and minimize flood risks. Consider partner-
                                   ships with  local  conservation organizations or land
                                   trusts that may be able to assist in  the planning and
                                   financing of source water protection activities.
KEY CONTACT:

JACKIE LECLAIR
Manager
Municipal Assistance Unit
U.S. EPA New England
(617) 918-1549
leclair.jackie@epa.gov
GENERAL INFO:


EPA  NEW ENGLAND
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www.epa.gov/ne/


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            EPA-901-F-09-038
             November 2009

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