Building Resilience through Training: Water Utility Decision Support

Building Resilience through Training: Water Utility Decision Support

Organizer: 
Steve Fries
USEPA
Time Slot: 
Concurrent Sessions 7
Session Type: 
Training
Abstract: 

The decisions that identify and support effective adaptation strategies for water utilities require an appreciation and understanding of the available climate science and uncertainty inherent in this information. This training session is based on workshops being provided by the Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA), in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Creating Resilient Water Utilities (CRWU) and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to highlight important strategies for applying climate science and embracing this uncertainty. Each section, detailed below, will include a technical presentation, a case study from the sector, and an opportunity for discussion where participants will be asked to document takeaways from the session. By learning about specific techniques and experiences from water sector professionals who have applied them, participants will gain the perspective of how complicated concepts fit into their real-world decisions.

Proposed agenda
Session Introduction (10 minutes)
1: Lessons in uncertainty and applied climate science (40 minutes)
* Technical: Climate science, modeling, downscaling, and uncertainty
* Case study: Example of a bottom-up assessment from WUCA member or another utility
2: Embracing uncertainty and moving forward with decisions (40 minutes)
* Technical: Planning for deep uncertainty
* Case study: Example of robust or scenario-based decision making from WUCA member
3: Practical tools for addressing uncertainty (40 minutes)
* Technical: Introduction to EPA’s CREAT
* Case study: Example from WUCA member that has used CREAT
Conclusion, participant takeaways, and notes on communications challenges (10 minutes)

Co-organizers:

Kavita Heyn, Portland Water Bureau
Laurna Kaatz, Denver Water
Rob Lempert, RAND Corporation
Joel Smith, Abt Associates
Julie Vano, UCAR