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EPA's Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT)

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Climate change will impact the water sector and is important to consider in all aspects of drinking water and wastewater utility operations and planning. The challenge of climate change partially stems from the evolving nature of climate science and the uncertainty inherent in climate projections. Despite this uncertainty, the slow turnover time of water utility infrastructure and the severity of climate change impacts require that climate considerations be more fully integrated into long-term utility planning and investments. In response to this need, the EPA has developed a risk assessment tool, the Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) for incorporating climate science into long-term utility planning. As a risk assessment tool, CREAT offers users both top-down and a bottom-up frameworks for (1) considering climate science projections (2) identifying vulnerable assets, (3) analyzing the effectiveness of adaptation measures, and (4) preparing reports for long-term planning. The tool has been piloted at major water utilities and is now available for free download on the EPA's Climate Ready Water Utilities website. Through an upgrade to the tool, the EPA plans to provide an energy efficiency module, enhanced scenario based planning, extreme events analysis, and other resources for developing climate readiness for water and wastewater utilities.
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Keywords: Climate change; EPA; adaptation; long-term planning; risk assessment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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