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Climate Change Adaptation Resource Center (ARC-X)

Strategies for Climate Change Adaptation

Grass growing on roof of downtown buildingExplore Adaptation Strategies

Select a tab below to view potential adaptation strategies for a particular area of interest or explore a list of all adaptation strategies. Learn more about adaptation strategies.

 
 

Air

Climate changes can make it more difficult for communities to maintain air quality that protect human health and the environment. The Adaptation Strategies below offer possible ways to address anticipated climate risks to outdoor and indoor air quality.

Water

Climate change can make it more difficult for communities to provide drinking water and wastewater services, protect water quality, and maintain healthy aquatic environments. The Adaptation Strategies below offer possible ways to address anticipated climate risks to water management.

Waste

Climate change can make it more difficult to properly manage hazardous and non-hazardous wastes. The pages below offer possible ways to address anticipated climate risks to contaminated site management and disaster debris management.

Public Health

Climate change can make it more difficult for communities to maintain public health. The pages below offer possible ways to address public health risks to air quality, water quality, extreme heat, and waste issues related from anticipated climate changes.

All Strategies

Theme Adaptation Strategy Adaptation Actions Case Study
Ecosystem Protection Preserve Habitat Retreat from, and abandonment of, coastal barriers  
Ecosystem Protection Preserve Habitat Purchase upland development rights or property rights  
Ecosystem Protection Preserve Habitat Expand the planning horizons of land use planning to incorporate longer climate predictions Maryland Analyzes Coastal Wetlands Susceptibility to Climate Change
Ecosystem Protection Preserve Habitat Adapt protections of important biogeochemical zones and critical habitats as the locations of these areas change with climate  
Ecosystem Protection Preserve Habitat Connect landscapes with corridors to enable migrations Southwest Florida Assesses Salt Marsh Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
Ecosystem Protection Preserve Habitat Design estuaries with dynamic boundaries and buffers  
Ecosystem Protection Preserve Habitat Replicate habitat types in multiple areas to spread risks associated with climate change Pennsylvania Protects Coldwater Fisheries and Water Quality from Climate Change
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Apply Green Infrastructure Strategies Use Bioretention to collect stormwater runoff
Bioretention is an adapted landscape feature that provides onsite storage and infiltration of collected stormwater runoff. Stormwater runoff is directed from surfaces to a shallow depression that allows runoff to pond prior to infiltration in an area that is planted with water-tolerant vegetation. As runoff accumulates, it will pond and slowly travel through a filter bed (pictured on the right) where it either infiltrates into the ground or is discharged via an underdrain. Small-scale bioretention areas are often referred to as rain gardens.
 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Apply Green Infrastructure Strategies Use Blue Roof to hold precipitation after a storm event and discharge it at a controlled rate
A blue roof is designed to hold up to eight inches of precipitation on its surface or in engineered trays. It is comparable to a vegetated roof without soil or vegetation. After a storm event, precipitation is stored on the roof and discharged at a controlled rate. Blue roofs greatly decrease the peak discharge of runoff and also allow water to evaporate into the air prior to being discharged.20 Precipitation discharge is controlled on a blue roof through a flow restriction device around a roof drain. The water can either be slowly released to a storm sewer system or to another GI practice such as a cistern or bioretention area.
 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Apply Green Infrastructure Strategies Use Permeable pavement to allow runoff to flow through and be temporarily stored prior to discharge
Permeable pavement includes both pavements and pavers with void space that allow runoff to flow through the pavement (pictured left). Once runoff flows through the pavement, it is temporarily stored in an underground stone base prior to infiltrating into the ground or discharging from an under drain. Permeable pavers are highly effective at removing heavy metals, oils, and grease in runoff. Permeable pavement also removes nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen. Soil and engineered media filter pollutants as the runoff infiltrates through the porous surface. The void spaces in permeable pavement surfaces and reservoir layers provide storage capacity for runoff. All permeable pavement systems reduce runoff peak volume.
 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Apply Green Infrastructure Strategies Use Underground storage systems to detain runoff in underground receptacles
Underground storage systems vary greatly in design. Underground storage systems detain runoff in underground receptacles that slowly release runoff. Often the underground receptacles are culverts, engineered stormwater detention vaults, or perforated pipes. One of the benefits of underground storage is that it does not take up additional surface area and can be implemented beneath roadways, parking lots, or athletic fields. Underground storage systems are typically designed to store large volumes of runoff and therefore can have a significant impact in reducing flooding and peak discharges.
 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Apply Green Infrastructure Strategies Use a stormwater tree trench to store and filter stormwater runoff
A stormwater tree trench is a row of trees that is connected by an underground infiltration structure. At the ground level, trees planted in a tree trench do not look different than any other planted tree. Underneath the sidewalk, the trees sit in a trench that is engineered with layers of gravel and soil that store and filter stormwater runoff. Stormwater tree trenches provide both water quality and runoff reduction benefits.
 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Apply Green Infrastructure Strategies Use a retention pond to manage stormwater
A retention pond is one of the earliest prototypes of GI, and is now considered a more traditional type of stormwater infrastructure because it has been integrated into gray infrastructure design. It is an engineered stormwater basin designed to store runoff and release it at a controlled rate while maintaining a level of ponded water. Pollutants and sediment loads are reduced as the runoff is retained in the basin. Retention ponds are a very common stormwater management practice and may be designed with sustainable elements to increase water quality and decrease peak discharges. Vegetated forebays may be added to increase sediment removal as well as provide habitat. Another enhancement to traditional stormwater retention ponds is the addition of an ironenhanced sand filter bench that removes dissolved substances such as phosphorus from runoff.
DC Utilizes Green Infrastructure to Manage Stormwater
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Apply Green Infrastructure Strategies Use extended detention wetlands to reduce flood risk and provide water quality and ecological benefits
Extended detention wetlands, such as the one shown in the figure on the right, may be designed as a flood mitigation strategy that also provides water quality and ecological benefits. Extended detention wetlands can require large land areas, but come with significant flood storage benefits. Extended detention wetlands can be created, restored (from previously filled wetlands), or enhanced existing wetlands. Wetlands typically store flood water during a storm and release it slowly, thereby reducing peak flows. An extended detention wetland allows water to remain in the wetland area for an extended period of time, which provides increased flood storage as well as water quality benefits.29 Extended detention wetlands are distinct from preservation of existing wetlands, but the two practices often are considered together as part of a watershed-based strategy.
 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Build Staff Capacity

Provide training for municipal staff on green infrastructure
Training can help to better equip staff to assess green infrastructure proposals. For example, EPA offers a Green Infrastructure Webcast Series. EPA and other federal agencies and nongovernmental organizations have formed the Green Infrastructure Collaborative, a network to help communities more easily implement green infrastructure.

 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Build Staff Capacity Publicize a list of "certified or qualified" green infrastructure contractors and engineers
Creating such a list can help connect experienced professionals with potential projects that could benefit from alternative design solutions. 
 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Build Staff Capacity Offer incentives for engineers or contractors to use green infrastructure designs, rather than relying on pipe-based systems.  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Build Staff Capacity

Consider using or developing a stormwater model ordinance for green infrastructure
This ordinance can help local jurisdictions incorporate climate change projections or green infrastructure incentives into local legislation. For example, the City of Seattle developed a citywide model ordinance for stormwater management using green infrastructure.

 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Build Staff Capacity Conduct pilot studies
Conduct pilot studies and publish the results and lessons learned to increase awareness and provide specific examples of how alternative stormwater management solutions perform. One specific need is additional examples that quantify infiltration rates in different areas to supplement existing knowledge.
DC Utilizes Green Infrastructure to Manage Stormwater
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Build Staff Capacity Hire new staff with green infrastructure design and implementation experience
This will help to complement existing staff knowledge and expertise. 
 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Cost and Benefits of Green Infrastructure Ensure existing case studies are readily available
Examples that cover a range of municipalities with different budgets and populations are helpful for local practitioners to find and consult studies that are similar to their own communities.
 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Cost and Benefits of Green Infrastructure Conduct research and collect data
(e.g., what a city spent on repairs and replacement of infrastructure following a storm; job and recreational losses due to damaged or destroyed infrastructure) to facilitate improved quantification of the costs and benefits of green infrastructure investments. Provide opportunities for information sharing that are specific to economic valuation. Webinars, workshops, and tools can be used to disseminate existing knowledge and answer questions.
 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Cost and Benefits of Green Infrastructure Consider long-term benefits of green infrastructure in economic analysis of stormwater management plans
Train local appraisers/commissioners to capture the full value of green infrastructure. Incorporate cobenefits into ROI calculations, such as ecosystem services and quality of life factors. 
 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Cost and Benefits of Green Infrastructure Identify opportunities to integrate green infrastructure into other projects
This can include projects where green infrastructure provides a co-benefit with little to no added cost (e.g., providing Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA]-compliant sidewalk access, adding a swale for pedestrian protection that also collects rainwater).
 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Cost and Benefits of Green Infrastructure Use cost planning scenarios that are based on real projects for the state or region
Develop templates that can be used to assess how different green infrastructure methods and projects can work in an area and include cost estimation guidance. 
 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Cost and Benefits of Green Infrastructure

Develop tools to assist with quantifying costs and benefits
Update or use existing tools including the EPA's National Stormwater Calculator, the Center for Neighborhood Technology's Green Values National Stormwater Management Calculator and The Value of Green Infrastructure guide. 

 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Cost and Benefits of Green Infrastructure Collaborate across departments to coordinate collection of data on the costs and benefits of green infrastructure. For example, work with the financial departments to establish an easy tracking and reporting protocol to collect data related to costs and savings of implemented green infrastructure projects. Improve documentation regarding project funding and actual costs. Build a database to inform future projects. Suggest funding organizations incorporate requirements for enhanced financial and impact tracking reporting in project selection.  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Cost and Benefits of Green Infrastructure Share existing information about how natural systems can be cost effective and efficient methods of stormwater control and flood mitigation Share information about the current status and the actual costs and values of projects that were implemented 10 or 20 years ago. Show how benefits and ROI have been realized through formats including videos or other readily accessible modes of communication.   
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Cost and Benefits of Green Infrastructure Present cost statistics in formats that can be shared with colleagues, elected officials, and the public. Develop communication materials that can be used in conversations with different audiences (e.g., use common terminology to help nontechnical stakeholders better understand the value of green infrastructure).  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Cost and Benefits of Green Infrastructure Incorporate cost and benefit information into tools (e.g., visualization tools) that can support project planning and assist in communications with multiple audiences Examples include such as the Connecticut Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (CT NEMO) Rain Garden App; provide information about the multiple ecosystem services provided by green infrastructure, such as the U.S. Forest Service's i-Tree tool that estimates ecosystem services from trees used for urban stormwater runoff control that also provide local cooling services.  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Stormwater Management Logistics Seek opportunities to incorporate climate change adaptation measures into existing plans Examples may include comprehensive plans or watershed-scale plans. Determine the level of plan that may be the best scale at which to address climate change.  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Stormwater Management Logistics

Assess whether green infrastructure could be included as a control measure in Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s). MS4s transport stormwater runoff that is often discharged into water bodies. Since 1999, even small MS4s within and outside urbanized areas have been required to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit coverage. Jurisdictions with MS4s can include green infrastructure as a control measure. EPA published a factsheet that discusses how green infrastructure can be integrated into stormwater permits and provides examples of communities that have done so.

DC Utilizes Green Infrastructure to Manage Stormwater
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Stormwater Management Logistics Consider offering incentives for green infrastructure to manage stormwater. Consider incentives such as fast-track permitting for projects that adhere to a more strict set of requirements (e.g., projects that manage 80% of runoff onsite or incorporate a green roof).   
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Stormwater Management Logistics Consider regulatory changes at the federal or state level to minimize variance regarding stormwater infrastructure guidance and regulations among communities.  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Stormwater Management Logistics Convene stakeholders from across the watershed to address barriers Bringing together relevant agencies, organizations, and individuals responsible for stormwater management decisions from across watersheds can help address barriers presented by different regulations, budget limitations, and expectations for growth. Representatives of water management, environmental, land use planning, public works, and transportation departments (among others) are important to include because each of these agencies plays a role in stormwater management.   
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Stormwater Management Logistics

Coordinate across federal, state, local, and tribal agencies Engage the full suite of agencies and departments, particularly at the federal level, that affect or could be affected by solutions to address changing climate conditions in stormwater management. Consider involving, for example, FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, Departments of Transportation, Parks and Recreation, and State Departments of Ecology or Natural Resources. Also encourage a "no wrong door policy" (i.e., that data and information is shared across web portals and resources are shared across agencies). Seven federal agencies have come together with nongovernmental organizations and private-sector entities to support the Green Infrastructure Collaborative, a network to help communities more easily implement green infrastructure.

 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Stormwater Management Logistics Coordinate regional policies to minimize the impact on individual communities. While development may be deterred when individual communities change local standards independently, potentially negative impacts could be avoided if surrounding municipalities agree to adopt similar policies.  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Stormwater Management Logistics Develop a methodology and schedule for maintenance that includes details about who is responsible for maintenance and new protocols. Establish this protocol early in the project planning phase to avoid future confusion or mismanagement. For example, Washington, DC's Stormwater Management Guidebook (CWP, 2013), provides for a stormwater retention credit program for certification. To be eligible for certification, a best management practice must, among other criteria, provide a contract or agreement for ongoing maintenance and pass ongoing maintenance inspections.  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Stormwater Management Logistics Find ways that the state or county can provide incentives for regions to develop watershed-scale plans.  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Stormwater Management Logistics Incorporate green infrastructure and LID into existing plans, such as watershed implementation plans (WIPs). DC Utilizes Green Infrastructure to Manage Stormwater
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Stormwater Management Logistics Look for opportunities to develop a regional or watershed-scale plan for stormwater management. This may be more cost effective than developing individual plans.   
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Stormwater Management Logistics Provide individual homeowners and businesses with information about how to correctly maintain green infrastructure design elements (e.g., rain gardens, vegetated swales, and other installations). This may also entail offering financial incentives in places where individual homeowners are responsible for installation and maintenance, to help individuals pay for the maintenance of this public good.   
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Stormwater Management Logistics Request modifications to reporting requirements Request modifications (e.g., MS4, others) so that schedules are complimentary to efforts and the same/complimentary goals are being targeted for different projects. Also seek schedule variances for some reporting requirements (e.g., MS4, others), as needed, within a given community.   
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Consider Stormwater Management Logistics Use pilot projects or those with minimal barriers to explore collaboration among agencies. DC Utilizes Green Infrastructure to Manage Stormwater
Water Utility Protection Construct new infrastructure Relocate facilities to higher elevations
Relocating utility infrastructure, such as treatment plants and pump stations, to higher elevations would reduce risks from coastal flooding and exposure as a result of coastal erosion or wetland loss.
Smart Growth Along the Riverfront Helps Manage Stormwater in Iowa City, Iowa
Water Utility Protection Construct new infrastructure Build flood barriers to protect infrastructure
Flood barriers to protect critical infrastructure include levees, dikes and seawalls. A related strategy is flood proofing, which involves elevating critical equipment or placing it within waterproof containers or foundation systems.

Blue Plains Wastewater Facility in Washington DC Reinforces Facility Against Floods,

Anacortes, Washington Rebuilds Water Treatment Plant for Climate Change

Water Utility Protection Construct new infrastructure Build infrastructure needed for aquifer storage and recovery
Increasing the amount of groundwater storage available promotes recharge when surface water flows are in excess of demand, thus increasing climate resilience for seasonal or extended periods of drought, and taking advantage of seasonal variations in surface water runoff. Depending on whether natural or artificial aquifer recharge is employed, the required infrastructure may include percolation basins and injection wells.
 
Ecosystem Protection Maintain Water Quality & Availability Prevent or limit groundwater extraction from shallow aquifers  
Ecosystem Protection Maintain Water Quality & Availability Create water markets – transferring land and water from agricultural to community use  
Ecosystem Protection Maintain Water Quality & Availability Establish or broaden "use containment areas" to allocate and cap water withdrawal  
Water Utility Protection Construct new infrastructure Diversify options for water supply and expand current sources
Diversifying sources helps to reduce the risk that water supply will fall below water demand. Examples of diversified source water portfolios include using a varying mix of surface water and groundwater, employing desalination when the need arises and establishing water trading with other utilities in times of water shortages or service disruption.

Tampa Bay Diversifies Water Sources to Reduce Climate Risk

Water Utility Protection Construct new infrastructure Increase water storage capacity
Increased drought can reduce the safe yield of reservoirs. To reduce this risk, increases in available storage can be made. Methods for accomplishing this may include raising a dam, practicing aquifer storage and recovery, removing accumulated sediment in reservoirs or lowering water intake elevation.
Fredericktown, Missouri Prepares for Climate Change Drought Risk
Water Utility Protection Construct new infrastructure Install low-head dam for saltwater wedge and freshwater pool separation
Rising sea levels, combined with reductions in freshwater runoff due to drought, will cause the salt water-freshwater boundary to move further upstream in tidal estuaries. Upstream shifts of this boundary can reduce the water quality of surface water resources. Installation of low-head dams across tidal estuaries can prevent this upstream movement.
 
Water Utility Protection Construct new infrastructure Plan and establish alternative or on-site power supply
Water utilities are one of the major consumers of electricity in the United States. With future electricity demand forecasted to grow, localized energy shortages may occur. The development of "off-grid" sources can be a good hedging strategy for electricity shortfalls. Moreover, redundant power supply can provide resiliency for situations in which natural disasters cause power outages. On-site sources can include solar, wind, inline microturbines and biogas (i.e., methane from wastewater treatment). New and back-up electrical equipment should be located above potential flood levels.
 
Ecosystem Protection Maintain and Restore Wetlands Allow coastal wetlands to migrate inland (e.g., through setbacks, density restrictions, land purchases Maryland Analyzes Coastal Wetlands Susceptibility to Climate Change
Ecosystem Protection Maintain and Restore Wetlands Promote wetland accretion by introducing sediment  
Ecosystem Protection Maintain and Restore Wetlands Prohibit hard shore protection  
Ecosystem Protection Maintain and Restore Wetlands Remove hard protection or other barriers to tidal and riverine flow (e.g., riverine and tidal dike removals)  
Ecosystem Protection Maintain and Restore Wetlands Incorporate wetland protection into infrastructure planning (e.g., transportation planning, sewer utilities)  
Ecosystem Protection Maintain and Restore Wetlands Preserve and restore the structural complexity and biodiversity of vegetation in tidal marshes, seagrass meadows, and mangroves Southwest Florida Assesses Salt Marsh Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
Ecosystem Protection Maintain and Restore Wetlands Identify and protect ecologically significant ("critical") areas such as nursery grounds, spawning grounds, and areas of high species diversity San Juan Bay Estuary Program Assesses Vulnerability and Targets Adaptation Measures
Ecosystem Protection Maintain and Restore Wetlands Establish rolling easements  
Ecosystem Protection Maintain and Restore Wetlands Maintain Sediment Transport  
Ecosystem Protection Maintain and Restore Wetlands Trap or add sand through beach nourishment – the addition of sand to a shoreline to enhance or create a beach area  
Ecosystem Protection Maintain and Restore Wetlands Trap sand through construction of groins – a barrier type structure that traps sand by interrupting longshore transport  
Ecosystem Protection Maintain and Restore Wetlands Create a regional sediment management (RSM) plan  
Ecosystem Protection Maintain and Restore Wetlands Develop adaptive stormwater management practices (e.g., promoting natural buffers, adequate culvert sizing) Barre City, Vermont Accounts for Climate Change within a Brownfield Redevelopment Plan
Ecosystem Protection Maintain Water Quality & Availability Plug drainage canals  
Water Utility Protection Increase System Efficiency Finance and facilitate systems to recycle water
Recycling greywater frees up more finished water for other uses, expanding supply and decreasing the need to discharge into receiving waters. Receiving water quality limitations may increase due to more frequent droughts. Therefore, to limit wastewater discharges, use of reclaimed water in homes and businesses should be encouraged.
 
Ecosystem Protection Maintain Water Quality & Availability Design new coastal drainage system  
Ecosystem Protection Maintain Water Quality & Availability Incorporate sea level rise into planning for new infrastructure (e.g., sewage systems) Southeast Florida Compact Analyzes Sea Level Rise Risk
Ecosystem Protection Maintain Water Quality & Availability Develop adaptive stormwater management practices (e.g., remove impervious surface, replace undersized culverts)  
Water Utility Protection Increase System Efficiency Improve energy efficiency and optimization of operations
Water utilities are one of the major consumers of electricity in the United States. With future electricity demand forecasted to grow, localized energy shortages may be experienced. Energy efficiency measures will save in energy costs and make utilities less vulnerable to electricity shortfalls due to high demand or service disruptions from natural disasters.
 
Water Utility Protection Increase System Efficiency Practice conjunctive use
Conjunctive use involves the coordinated, optimal use of both surface water and groundwater, both intra- and inter-annually. Aquifer storage and recovery is a form of conjunctive use. For example, a utility may store some fraction of surface water flows in aquifers during wet years and withdraw this water during dry years when the river flow is low. Depending on whether natural or artificial aquifer recharge is employed, the required infrastructure may include percolation basins and injection wells.
Tampa Bay Diversifies Water Sources to Reduce Climate Risk
Ecosystem Protection Maintain Water Quality & Availability Integrate climate change scenarios into water supply system Southeast Florida Compact Analyzes Sea Level Rise Risk
Ecosystem Protection Maintain Water Quality & Availability Manage water demand (through water reuse, recycling, rainwater harvesting, desalination, etc.)  
Water Utility Protection Model Climate Risk Conduct extreme precipitation events analyses
An increase in the magnitude or frequency of extreme events can severely challenge water utility systems that were not designed to withstand intense events. Extreme event analyses or modeling can help develop a better understanding of the risks and consequences associated with these types of events.
Camden, New Jersey Uses Green Infrastructure to Manage Stormwater
Water Utility Protection Model Climate Risk Conduct sea-level rise and storm surge modeling
Modeling sea-level rise and storm surge dynamics will better inform the placement and protection of critical infrastructure. Generic models have been developed to consider subsidence, global sea-level rise and storm surge effects on inundation, including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) SLOSH (Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes) Model and The Nature Conservancy's Coastal Resilience Tool, amongst others.
Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts Assesses Climate Vulnerability
Water Utility Protection Model Climate Risk Develop models to understand potential water quality changes
In many areas, increased water temperatures will cause eutrophication and excess algal growth, which will reduce drinking water quality. The quality of drinking water sources may also be compromised by increased sediment or nutrient inputs due to extreme storm events. These impacts may be addressed with targeted watershed management plans.
Southern Nevada Water Authority Assesses Vulnerability To Climate Change
Water Utility Protection Model Climate Risk Model and monitor groundwater conditions
Understanding and modeling groundwater conditions will inform aquifer management and projected water quantity and quality changes. Monitoring data for aquifer water level, changes in chemistry and detection of saltwater intrusion can be incorporated into models to predict future supply. Climate change may lead to diminished groundwater recharge in some areas because of reduced precipitation and decreased runoff.
Tampa Bay Diversifies Water Sources to Reduce Climate Risk
Water Utility Protection Model Climate Risk Model and reduce inflow/infiltration in the sewer system
More extreme storm events will increase the amount of wet weather infiltration and inflow into sanitary and combined sewers. Sewer models can estimate the impact of those increased wet weather flows on wastewater collection system and treatment plant capacity and operations. Potential system modifications to reduce those impacts include infiltration reduction measures, additional collection system capacity, offline storage or additional peak wet weather treatment capacity.
 
Water Utility Protection Model Climate Risk Use hydrologic models to project runoff and future water supply
In order to understand how climate change may impact future water supply and water quality, hydrologic models, coupled with projections from climate models, must be developed. It is important to work towards an understanding of how both the mean and temporal (seasonal) distribution of surface water flows may change. Groundwater recharge, snowpack and the timing of snowmelt are critical areas that may be severely impacted by climate change and should be incorporated into the analysis.

Southern Nevada Water Authority Assesses Vulnerability To Climate Change

Water Utility Protection Modify Land Use Acquire and manage ecosystems
Intact natural ecosystems have many benefits for utilities: reducing sediment and nutrient inputs into source water bodies, regulating runoff and streamflow, buffering against flooding and reducing storm surge impacts and inundation on the coasts (e.g., mangroves, saltwater marshes, wetlands). Utilities can also work with regional floodplain managers and appropriate stakeholders to explore non-structural flood management techniques in the watershed. Protecting, acquiring and managing ecosystems in buffer zones along rivers, lakes, reservoirs and coasts can be cost-effective measures for flood control and water quality management.
 
Water Utility Protection Modify Land Use Implement green infrastructure on site and in municipalities
Green infrastructure can help reduce runoff and stormwater flows that may otherwise exceed system capacity. Examples of green infrastructure include: bio-retention areas (rain gardens), low impact development methods, green roofs, swales (depressions to capture water) and the use of vegetation or pervious materials instead of impervious surfaces.

Camden, New Jersey Uses Green Infrastructure to Manage Stormwater,

DC Utilizes Green Infrastructure to Manage Stormwater

Water Utility Protection Modify Land Use Implement watershed management
Watershed management includes a range of policy and technical measures. These generally focus on preserving or restoring vegetated land cover in a watershed and managing stormwater runoff. These changes help mimic natural watershed hydrology, increasing groundwater recharge, reducing runoff and improving the quality of runoff.
 
Water Utility Protection Modify Land Use Integrate flood management and modeling into land use planning
It is critical that future water utility infrastructure be planned and built in consideration of future flood risks. Infrastructure can be built in areas that do not have a high risk of future flooding. Alternately, appropriate flood management plans can be implemented that involve 'soft' adaptation measures such as conserving natural ecosystems or 'hard' measures such as dikes and flood walls.
Smart Growth Along the Riverfront Helps Manage Stormwater in Iowa City, Iowa
Water Utility Protection Modify Land Use Study response of nearby wetlands to storm surge events
Coastal wetlands act as buffers to storm surge. Protecting and understanding the ability of existing wetlands to provide protection for coastal infrastructure in the future is important considering projected sea-level rise and possible changes in storm severity.
 
Water Utility Protection Modify Land Use Update fire models and practice fire management plans
Fire frequency and severity may change in the future, therefore it is important to develop, practice and regularly update management plans to reduce fire risk. Controlled burns, thinning and weed and invasive plant control help to reduce risk in wildfire-prone areas.
 
Water Utility Protection Modify Water Demand Encourage and support practices to reduce water use at local power plants
The electricity sector withdraws the greatest amount of water in the United States, compared with other sectors. Any efforts to reduce water usage by utilities (e.g., closed-loop water circulation systems or dry cooling for the turbines) will increase available water supply. For example, utilities may provide reclaimed water to electric utilities for electricity generation.
 
Water Utility Protection Modify Water Demand Model and reduce agricultural and irrigation water demand
Agriculture represents the second largest user of water in the United States in terms of withdrawals. In order to forecast and plan for future water supply needs, agricultural (irrigation) demand must be projected, particularly in drought-prone areas. For example, to reduce agricultural water demand, utilities can work with farmers to adopt advanced micro-irrigation technology (e.g., drip irrigation).
 
Water Utility Protection Modify Water Demand Model future regional electricity demand
The electricity sector represents the largest user of water in the United States in terms of withdrawals. In order to forecast future water supply needs, changes in electricity demand related to climate change must be projected.
 
Water Utility Protection Modify Water Demand Practice water conservation and demand management
An effective and low-cost method of meeting increased water supply needs is to implement water conservation programs that will cut down on waste and inefficiencies. Public outreach is an essential component of any water conservation program. Outreach communications typically include: basic information on household water usage, the best time of day to undertake water-intensive activities and information on and access to water efficient household appliances such as low-flow toilets, showerheads and front-loading washers. Education and outreach can also be targeted to different sectors (i.e., commercial, institutional, industrial, public sectors). Effective conservation programs in the community include those that provide rebates or help install water meters, water-conserving appliances, toilets and rainwater harvesting tanks.
 
Water Utility Protection Monitor Operational Capabilities Conduct stress testing on wastewater treatment biological systems to assess tolerance to heat
Increased surface water temperature may require changes to wastewater treatment systems, as microbial species used may react differently in warmer environments. Stress testing involves subjecting biological systems or bench-top simulations of systems to elevated temperatures and monitoring the impacts on treatment processes.
 
Water Utility Protection Monitor Operational Capabilities Manage reservoir water quality
Changes in precipitation and runoff timing, coupled with higher temperatures due to climate change, may lead to diminished reservoir water quality. Reservoir water quality can be maintained or improved by a combination of watershed management, to reduce pollutant runoff and promote groundwater recharge and reservoir management methods, such as lake aeration.
 
Water Utility Protection Monitor Operational Capabilities Monitor and inspect the integrity of existing infrastructure
Monitoring is a critical component of establishing a measure of current conditions, detecting deterioration in physical assets and evaluating when the necessary adjustments need to be made to prolong infrastructure lifespan.
 
Water Utility Protection Monitor Operational Capabilities Monitor current weather conditions
A better understanding of weather conditions provides a utility with the ability to recognize possible changes in climate change and then identify the subsequent need to alter current operations to ensure resilient supply and services. Observations of precipitation, temperature and storm events are particularly important for improving models of projected water quality and quantity.
 
Water Utility Protection Monitor Operational Capabilities Monitor flood events and drivers
Understanding and modeling the conditions that result in flooding is an important part of projecting how climate change may drive change in future flood occurrence. Monitoring data for sea level, precipitation, temperature and runoff can be incorporated into flood models to improve predictions. Current flood magnitude and frequency of storm events represents a baseline for considering potential future flood conditions.
 
Water Utility Protection Monitor Operational Capabilities Monitor surface water conditions
Understanding surface water conditions and the factors that alter quantity and quality is an important part of projecting how climate change may impact water resources. Monitoring data for discharge, snowmelt, reservoir or stream level, upstream runoff, streamflow, in-stream temperature and overall water quality can be incorporated into models of projected supply or receiving water quality.
Southern Nevada Water Authority Assesses Vulnerability To Climate Change
Water Utility Protection Monitor Operational Capabilities Monitor vegetation changes in watersheds
Changes in vegetation alter the runoff that enters surface water bodies and the risk of wildfire to facilities within the watershed. Monitoring vegetation changes can be conducted by ground cover surveys, aerial photography or by relying on the research from local conservation groups and universities.
 
Water Utility Protection Plan for Climate Change Adopt insurance mechanisms and other financial instruments
Adequate insurance can insulate utilities from financial losses due to extreme weather events, helping to maintain financial sustainability of utility operations.
 
Water Utility Protection Plan for Climate Change Conduct climate change impacts and adaptation training
An important step in developing an adaptation program is educating staff on climate change. Staff should have a basic understanding of the projected range of changes in temperature and precipitation, the increase in the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events for their region and how these changes may affect the utility's assets and operations. Preparedness from this training can improve utility management under current climate conditions as well.
Southern Nevada Water Authority Assesses Vulnerability To Climate Change
Water Utility Protection Plan for Climate Change Develop coastal restoration plans
Coastal restoration plans may protect water utility infrastructure from damaging storm surge by increasing protective habitat of coastal ecosystems such as mangroves and wetlands. Restoration plans should consider the impacts of sea-level rise and development on future ecosystem distribution. Successful strategies may also consider rolling easements and other measures identified by EPA's Climate Ready Estuaries program.
 
Water Utility Protection Plan for Climate Change Develop emergency response plans
Emergency response plans (ERPs) outline activities and procedures for utilities to follow in case of an incident, from preparation to recovery. Some of the extreme events considered in ERPs may change in their frequency or magnitude due to changes in climate, which may require making changes to these plans to capture a wider range of possible events.
 
Water Utility Protection Plan for Climate Change Develop energy management plans for key facilities
Energy management plans identify the most critical systems in a facility, provide backup power sources for those systems and evaluate options to reduce power consumption by upgrading to more efficient equipment. Utilities may develop plans to produce energy, reduce use and work toward net-zero goals.
 
Water Utility Protection Plan for Climate Change Establish mutual aid agreements with neighboring utilities
Beyond the establishment of water trading in times of water shortages or service disruptions, these agreements involve the sharing of personnel and resources in times of emergency (e.g., natural disasters).
 
Water Utility Protection Plan for Climate Change Identify and protect vulnerable facilities
Operational measures to isolate and protect the most vulnerable systems or assets at a utility should be considered. For example, critical pump stations would include those serving a large population and those located in a flood zone. Protection of these assets would then be prioritized based on the likelihood of flood damage and the consequence of service disruption.
Anacortes, Washington Rebuilds Water Treatment Plant for Climate Change
Water Utility Protection Plan for Climate Change Integrate climate-related risks into capital improvement plans
Plans to build or expand infrastructure should consider the vulnerability of the proposed locations to inland flooding, sea-level rise, storm surge and other impacts associated with climate change.

Anacortes, Washington Rebuilds Water Treatment Plant for Climate Change

Smart Growth Along the Riverfront Helps Manage Stormwater in Iowa City, Iowa

Blue Plains Wastewater Facility in Washington DC Reinforces Facility Against Floods

DC Utilizes Green Infrastructure to Manage Stormwater

Water Utility Protection Plan for Climate Change Participate in community planning and regional collaborations
Effective adaptation planning requires the cooperation and involvement of the community. Water utilities will benefit by engaging in climate change planning efforts with local and regional governments, electric utilities and other local organizations.
 
Water Utility Protection Plan for Climate Change Update drought contingency plans
Drought leads to severe pressures on water supply. Drought contingency plans would include the use of alternate water supplies and the adoption of water use restrictions for households, businesses and other water users. These plans should be updated regularly to remain consistent with current operations and assets.
Fredericktown, Missouri Prepares for Climate Change Drought Risk
Ecosystem Protection Preserve Coastal Land and Development Land exchange programs – owners exchange property in the floodplain for county-owned land outside of the floodplain  
Ecosystem Protection Preserve Coastal Land and Development Integrate coastal management into land use planning Maryland Analyzes Coastal Wetlands Susceptibility to Climate Change
Ecosystem Protection Preserve Coastal Land and Development Create permitting rules that constrain locations for landfills, hazardous waste dumps, mine tailings, and toxic chemical facilities  
Ecosystem Protection Preserve Coastal Land and Development Manage realignment and deliberately realign engineering structures affecting rivers, estuaries, and coastlines  
Ecosystem Protection Preserve Coastal Land and Development Land acquisition program – purchase coastal land that is damaged or prone to damage and use it for conservation  
Ecosystem Protection Preserve Coastal Land and Development Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) – using an integrated approach to achieve sustainability  
Ecosystem Protection Preserve Coastal Land and Development Incorporate consideration of climate change impacts into planning for new infrastructure (e.g., homes, businesses)  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Provide Public Awareness and Coordination Create opportunities for staff to exchange experiences and ideas for programs (e.g., interdepartmental meetings, workshops, webinars, online forums). Ensure that senior management is on-board and that the administrative and fiscal mechanisms of the city enable interdepartmental collaboration.  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Provide Public Awareness and Coordination Engage in existing peer-to-peer networks These networks connect communities at varying stages of implementation and include the GLAA-C, Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP), and the Great Lakes Saint Lawrence Cities Initiative.   
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Provide Public Awareness and Coordination Take advantage of existing resources that promote information sharing. EPA, as well as NOAA and other federal agencies provide tools, guides, and case studies of green infrastructure projects conducted with a large number of communities across the country.  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Provide Public Awareness and Coordination Build awareness and knowledge via climate change and stormwater management curriculum On-the-job training and continuing education opportunities, which can help to increase the climate literacy of existing staff and ensure timely application of research designed to address decision-maker needs. Also, use educational projects in schools or at community centers as opportunities to disseminate climate change information to the public.   
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Provide Public Awareness and Coordination Adopt more stringent policies Adopt more stringent policies such as stormwater fees and requirements for developers to manage water onsite to the maximum extent feasible. Similarly, require developers to make decisions informed by future climate, and local governments to incorporate climate change into decision-making processes.   
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Provide Public Awareness and Coordination Developers can demonstrate attractive, cost-effective, marketable solutions If the market offers innovative stormwater solutions or climate resilient developments that are attractive and effective, the public will more likely favor these best available options. A developer-driven solution may be most effective in an area that is rapidly changing. For instance, the recently developed Celebrate Senior Center in Fredericksburg, Virginia, is using 65 bioretention areas and 15 water quality swales to treat 43 acres of manicured landscape. Stafford County anticipates that this project will demonstrate that green infrastructure solutions can offer amenities that increase the value of the landscape while managing stormwater onsite.  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Provide Public Awareness and Coordination Showcase green infrastructure climate adaptation projects Use redevelopment projects as onsite demonstrations of ways to adapt to climate change using LID, green streets, or environmental site design. Such demonstrations will make these approaches highly visible to the public, politicians, decision makers, and project partners. Camden, New Jersey Uses Green Infrastructure to Manage Stormwater
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Provide Public Awareness and Coordination Collaborate with community groups Collaboration through activities such as tree planting or installing rain gardens can be an effective adaptation measure. In all work with individuals and community groups, be sensitive to hot button topics that may distract from the purpose of the conversation and the issues that the work intends to address. For example, if climate change is a highly political issue, it may be useful to steer the conversation towards observed and projected changes for specific endpoints of concern (e.g., changes in 25-year storm event or the intensity of brief downpours) or green infrastructure's cobenefits to a community's livability and economic vitality. Focusing on issues of vulnerability and future weather changes can help to move discussions forward and avoid some of the potential barriers that arise when using the term "climate change".  
Water Utility Protection Repair and Retrofit Facilities Implement policies and procedures for post-flood and/or post-fire repairs
Post-disaster policies should minimize service disruption due to damaged infrastructure. These contingency plans should be incorporated into other planning efforts and updated regularly to remain consistent with any changes in utility services or assets.
Iowa City, Iowa Closes Vulnerable Wastewater Facility
Water Utility Protection Repair and Retrofit Facilities Implement saltwater intrusion barriers and aquifer recharge
As sea level rises, saltwater may intrude into coastal aquifers, resulting in substantially higher treatment costs. The injection of fresh water into aquifers can help to act as a barrier, while intrusion recharges groundwater resources.
Tampa Bay Diversifies Water Sources to Reduce Climate Risk
Water Utility Protection Repair and Retrofit Facilities Improve pumps for backflow prevention
Sea-level rise and coastal storm surge can cause wastewater outlets to backflow. To prevent this, stronger pumps may be necessary.
Southeast Florida Compact Analyzes Sea Level Rise Risk
Water Utility Protection Repair and Retrofit Facilities Increase capacity for wastewater and stormwater collection and treatment
Precipitation variability will increase in many areas. Even in areas where precipitation and runoff may decrease on average, the distribution of rainfall patterns (i.e., intensity and duration) can change in ways that impact water infrastructure. In particular, more extreme storms may overwhelm combined wastewater and stormwater systems.
Iowa City, Iowa Closes Vulnerable Wastewater Facility
Water Utility Protection Repair and Retrofit Facilities Increase treatment capabilities
Existing water treatment systems may be inadequate to process water of significantly reduced quality. Significant improvement to existing treatment processes or implementation of additional treatment technologies may be necessary to ensure that quality of water supply (or effluent) continues to meet standards as climate change impacts source or receiving water quality.
Southern Nevada Water Authority Assesses Vulnerability To Climate Change
Water Utility Protection Repair and Retrofit Facilities Install effluent cooling systems
Higher surface temperatures may make meeting water quality standards and temperature criteria more difficult. Therefore, to reduce the temperature of treated wastewater discharges, additional effluent cooling systems may be needed.
 
Water Utility Protection Repair and Retrofit Facilities Retrofit intakes to accommodate lower flow or water levels
In areas where streamflow declines due to climate change, water levels may fall below intakes for water treatment plants.
 
Ecosystem Protection Use "Hard" Shoreline Maintenance Fortify dikes  
Ecosystem Protection Use "Hard" Shoreline Maintenance Harden shorelines with bulkheads – anchored, vertical barriers constructed at the shoreline to block erosion  
Ecosystem Protection Use "Hard" Shoreline Maintenance Harden shorelines with seawalls  
Ecosystem Protection Use "Hard" Shoreline Maintenance Harden shorelines with revetments that armor the slope face of the shoreline  
Ecosystem Protection Use "Hard" Shoreline Maintenance Harden shorelines with breakwaters – structures placed offshore to reduce wave action  
Ecosystem Protection Use "Hard" Shoreline Maintenance Headland control – reinforce or accentuate an existing geomorphic feature or create an artificial headland (e.g., Geotextile tubes)  
Ecosystem Protection Use "Soft" Shoreline Maintenance Replace shoreline armoring with living shorelines – through beach nourishment, planting vegetation, etc San Juan Bay Estuary Program Assesses Vulnerability and Targets Adaptation Measures
Ecosystem Protection Use "Soft" Shoreline Maintenance Remove shoreline hardening structures such as bulkheads, dikes, and other engineered structures to allow for shoreline migration  
Ecosystem Protection Use "Soft" Shoreline Maintenance Plant SAV (such as sea grasses) to stabilize sediment and reduce erosion San Juan Bay Estuary Program Assesses Vulnerability and Targets Adaptation Measures
Ecosystem Protection Use "Soft" Shoreline Maintenance Create marsh by planting the appropriate species – typically grasses, sedges, or rushes – in the existing substrate  
Ecosystem Protection Use "Soft" Shoreline Maintenance Create dunes along backshore of beach; includes planting dune grasses and sand fencing to induce settling of wind-blown sands  
Ecosystem Protection Use "Soft" Shoreline Maintenance Use natural breakwaters of oysters (or install other natural breakwaters) to dissipate wave action and protect shorelines  
Ecosystem Protection Use "Soft" Shoreline Maintenance Install rock sills and other artificial breakwaters in front of tidal marshes along energetic estuarine shores  
Ecosystem Protection Use "Soft" Shoreline Maintenance Restrict or prohibit development in erosion zones  
Ecosystem Protection Use "Soft" Shoreline Maintenance Redefine riverine flood hazard zones to match projected expansion of flooding frequency and extent  
Ecosystem Protection Use "Soft" Shoreline Maintenance Increase shoreline setbacks  
Ecosystem Protection Use "Soft" Shoreline Maintenance Composite systems – incorporate elements of two or more methods (e.g., breakwater, sand fill, and planting vegetation)  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Use Climate & Land Use Data Address the likely need to facilitate a change in thinking to enable action in the face of uncertainties that have not been traditionally considered in decision making but now should be. There will likely never be a tool to predict storm events with precision. Communities will need to develop new ways of thinking and planning, such as analyzing decisions by their robustness over a range of potential changes, employing risk management techniques, using principles that maximize minimum losses or minimize maximum losses, and other approaches for decision making under uncertainty.  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Use Climate & Land Use Data

Assemble existing data sets with information such as historic land use, planned development, topography, and location of floodplains. They are often sufficient to support a near-term conversation about how stormwater management may need to change to accommodate changes in climate. Land use has a tremendous effect on climate change impacts on stormwater management; managers can incorporate land use change maps into planning discussions. EPA's Integrated Climate and Land Use Scenarios (ICLUS) project can serve as a resource. Consider updates to data management practices to facilitate use of the best and most recent data.

 
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Use Climate & Land Use Data Communicate the overlap of "short-term" infrastructure lifetimes with longer term climate changes. If better understood, it may motivate local planners to consider climate change when making infrastructure decisions. Minnehaha, MN Creek Watershed District Assesses Stormwater Management Climate Vulnerability
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Use Climate & Land Use Data Consider how current design standards are formulated a starting point to the discussion Rather than starting a conversation with a discussion of climate change projections, understand the current design standard for stormwater management. Then, engage decision makers to seek agreement on a threshold (e.g., the community will prepare for X storm) that is informed by historic data and reflects the risk tolerance of the community (e.g., what level of damage or disruption the community can tolerate at different costs). This also entails understanding the current design standard and whether performance can be enhanced for projects in the region.   
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Use Climate & Land Use Data Demonstrate the use of dynamical downscaling on research projects at the site scale. Decision makers can use local resources for climate change data from researchers at organizations within the area, such as universities, state meteorological agencies, and other organizations that may be involved in downscaling of climate change scenarios.  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Use Climate & Land Use Data Develop a "wish-list" of data that should be collected to improve understanding of climate changes Stormwater managers and geographic information system (GIS) staff can begin to collect this needed local data (e.g., establish and maintain more local weather gauges and monitoring stations). Partners in the community or neighboring jurisdictions may also be interested in pooling resources to develop or improve data sets.  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Use Climate & Land Use Data Develop regional scenarios These scenarios (complete with uncertainty bounds) can be used by communities across a region, minimizing the need for individual communities to spend limited resources to determine which climate model results are appropriate to their planning needs (see SFWMD, 2011 for example of regional climate and sea level rise scenarios produced for south Florida counties and municipalities by the South Florida Water Management District).  Southeast Florida Compact Analyzes Sea Level Rise Risk
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Use Climate & Land Use Data Expand staff expertise in GIS or other data management processes (via training, new hires, or sharing of staff across the county or a group of municipalities).   
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Use Climate & Land Use Data Mine existing data sources to ensure that decisions are based on the best available data. Local decision makers are often working with old data. Simply updating storm standards to match current precipitation patterns can result in a marked improvement. Accurate historical climate information can help serve as a bridge to discussions regarding future climate projections (which are less certain and may be less readily received by skeptical planners and decision makers).   
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Use Climate & Land Use Data Routinely re-evaluate accuracy of land use maps Re-evaluating accuracy of land use maps, especially in areas experiencing rapid development, can ensure the best available data about the extent and location of impervious surfaces is used.   
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Use Climate & Land Use Data Seek partnerships that can contribute to the field of knowledge. For example, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been helping communities better understand hydrologic modeling (U.S. ACE, 2015) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) helps with preparedness planning for extreme events (FEMA, 2015). Communities can work with universities to make sure that research is applicable to local needs. Such partnerships can be fruitful when there are several crucial players working with the data to identify solutions (check local university websites for potential resources and partnering opportunities).  
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Use Climate & Land Use Data Use land use build-out models to understand the maximum allowable use This can include projections of the amount and location of development that may occur in a specified area as permitted by current land development ordinances. This information will inform stormwater managers regarding projected increases in impervious surfaces and the associated stormwater management needs. Southern Nevada Water Authority Assesses Vulnerability To Climate Change
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Use Climate & Land Use Data Use land use build-out models to understand the maximum likely development in a region. This can help stormwater managers consider the potential needs associated with projected increases in impervious surfaces. Example resources include EPA's Integrated Climate and Land Use Scenarios (ICLUS) project and EPA's Impervious Surface Growth Model (ISGM).

Southern Nevada Water Authority Assesses Vulnerability To Climate Change

Stormwater Management and Water Quality Use Climate & Land Use Data

Use resources to show historical and future trend lines To understand future climate changes, techniques that use historic data, such as analogue events or other sensitivity and threshold information in the historic record, can be used as illustrations (e.g., see the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report Climate Change 2001: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, Section 3.5. EPA's SWC and SWMM-CAT provide regional downscaled climate projections. EPA is also developing a web application for visualizing and downloading climate model output .

Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts Assesses Climate Vulnerability
Stormwater Management and Water Quality Use Climate & Land Use Data Use scenarios to develop a set of possible futures, rather than seeking consensus on a particular projection. In addressing future precipitation changes in stormwater management, decision makers may need assistance determining which climate change scenarios to evaluate, where to get appropriate climate data, and assessing whether the climate projections coincide with locally driven concerns.  

About Adaptation Strategies

The adaptation strategies provided on this site are intended to inform and assist communities in identifying potential alternatives. They are illustrative and are presented to help communities consider possible ways to address anticipated current and future threats resulting from the changing climate. In particular, it is important to note:

  • The strategies presented are NOT a comprehensive or exhaustive list of resiliency or adaptation actions that may be relevant.
  • None of the provided alternatives are likely to be appropriate in all circumstances; the appropriateness of each alternative should be considered in the local context for which it is being considered.
  • The potential strategies are largely drawn from EPA and other federal resources. Before adopting any particular strategy, it should be considered in the context provided by the primary source document from which it originated. Source document(s) are indicated.
  • The presented strategies should not be relied on exclusively in conducting risk assessments, developing response plans, or making adaptation decisions.
  • This information is not a substitute for the professional advice of an environmental or climate change professional or attorney.

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