EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) and Climate Ready Estuaries (CRE) initiatives are working to coordinate their efforts and support climate change risk assessment and adaptation planning. This report details a recent exercise that provided an opportunity for these parties to collaborate on assessment and planning with respect to potential climate change impacts on utility infrastructure and natural resources.
Changing climate conditions, along with land-use and other ecological changes, are affecting the health, vitality, and resilience of Chinook salmon populations in watersheds throughout Puget Sound. Restoration and protection projects are designed to address the most critical factors affecting salmon populations. However, with climate change, these factors may change: the medium- and long-term success of the projects and expected benefits to salmon may be compromised and/or current investments may not achieve expected results.
The Midwest and the Mississippi Alluvial Valley currently contribute the greatest nutrient load to the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone. Modifying the design or shifting the location of conservation practices can provide benefits for wildlife, water quality, energy and agriculture, making program dollars go farther and appeal to more land managers.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, states, and tribes are conducting a series of surveys of the nation's aquatic resources. Often referred to as probability-based surveys, these studies provide nationally consistent and scientifically-defensible assessments of our nation’s waters and can be used to track changes in condition over time. Each survey uses standardized field and lab methods and is designed to yield unbiased estimates of the condition of the whole water resource being studied.
The USGS Flood Inundation Mapper is an online flood mapping tool. Once a community develops a flood inundation map library through a collaborative effort with USGS, inundation maps are uploaded to the web-based mapper for broader viewing and access. Users can select a specific location and explore several different data sets, including current stream conditions, the estimated extent of historic flood events, and theoretical flooding scenarios.
The Federal Support Toolbox is an online portal that connects and provides resources for individuals interested in or working on water resources issues in the United States and abroad. The toolbox is a useful resource for all phases of adaptation, as well as for visitors from different sectors. This toolbox facilitates both education and collaboration among the water resources community.
The Creating Resilient Water Utilities (formerly the Climate Ready Water Utilities [CRWU]) Toolbox is an online compendium of climate-related information useful for water sector practitioners. Resources are categorized into one of the following groups: publications and reports; case studies; workshops; and adaptation strategies. Users can also browse region-specific resources through an interactive map, or query specific resources according to different types of water resources, climate change impacts, and/or responses.
The USGS Coastal Change Hazards Portal allows users to explore and interact with data, models, and tools related to three primary coastal hazard categories: severe storms, shoreline change, and sea level rise. The portal hosts an on online visualization tool for all three hazard categories, and users can download all source data, publications, and relevant resources for external use. In addition, users can group data and resources from different hazard areas to explore synergistic interactions of different coastal hazards.