EPA Tool Helps Utilities Prepare for Climate Change

Updated version projects future scenarios, such as the intensity of a 100-year storm.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released an updated version of its Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT). It’s designed for water utilities to help them design adaptation plans based on the types of threats confronting their communities.

“Water utilities operate on the front lines of climate change and face the challenges of increased drought, flooding and sea level rise. EPA is working to strengthen America’s communities by providing climate preparedness tools like CREAT that local leaders can use to make smart decisions,” says Joel Beauvais, deputy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water.

In the updated version, CREAT presents information in a series of intuitive modules, provides climate change projection data, and presents monetized risk results. CREAT’s climate projection map illustrates future climate scenarios including precipitation intensity for a 100-year storm or the number of days per year with temperatures above 100 degrees F. With this information, utility owners and operators can better prepare for the impacts of climate change, says Beauvais.

CREAT was built and updated in consultation with drinking water and wastewater utilities, water sector associations, climate science and risk assessment experts, and multiple federal partners. The tool has been used by a number of communities in their adaptation planning efforts. These videos show how CREAT has helped utilities in Camden, New Jersey, and Faribault, Minnesota.

To access CREAT or to learn more about water sector climate readiness, visit EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities initiative.


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