Standard Guide for Climate Resiliency in Water Resources
1.1 Overview—Water resources in North America and other areas are subject to various impacts from chronic weather patterns, as well as more frequent extreme weather events. These include drought, flooding, changes in stream patterns, increased or decreased run-off, and changes in water quality. Water resources include both man-made and natural reservoirs, rivers, streams, groundwater, and storage ponds. The infrastructure for water supply, wastewater treatment, fire-fighting and agricultural uses are also subject to chronic weather patterns and more frequent extreme weather related events. This guide will provide an explanation of techniques users may employ to build resiliency and a planning outline for municipalities, states and private industry in order to ensure safe, future, effective availability of water resources.
1.2 Purpose—The purpose of this guide is to provide a series of options that organizations may implement to prepare for the environmental impacts and risks from changing environmental conditions, chronic weather patterns, natural or man-made disasters, and extreme weather events. This guide also encourages consistent management of risks from natural disasters to water resources. The guide presents practices and recommendations based on regions and planning horizons that provide institutional and engineering actions to reduce the physical and financial vulnerabilities attributable to changing environmental conditions. It presents available technologies, institutional controls, and engineering controls that can be implemented by individuals and organizations seeking to increase their adaptive and resiliency capacity.
1.2.1 The guide also provides some high-level options for the planning, selection, implementation, and review of strategies in order to ensure that the approach continues to be environmentally responsible, in the best interest of the public, reasonable, and cost effective. This guide can be used to analyze the effectiveness of a community’s strategy.
1.2.2 This guide ties into the ASTM E50 standards series related to environmental risk assessment and management.
1.2.3 The guide does not provide risk assessment, per se, but may help set priorities for a climate resiliency program.
1.3 Safety—This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Adaptation and resiliency measures, however, may be consistent with, and complementary to, safety measures.
1.4 Objectives—The objectives of this guide are to determine the conditions of the community, facility, and property with regard to risks of natural disaster events to water resources and actions that can be taken to manage those risks.
1.4.1 The guide presents information on planning and strategies to respond to extreme natural events such as drought, flood, storms and sea level rise upon water resources.
1.4.2 The guide encourages users to set priorities based upon the relevant region in the United States. For each region, the guide identifies key climate vulnerabilities that would require planning and preparation based on that particular scenario. These could be extrapolated to other regions if there are similar conditions.
1.4.3 The guide encourages the user to develop long term solutions for future risks.
1.5 Limitations of this Guide—Given the different types of organizations that may wish to use this Guide, as well as variations in state and local regulations, it is not possible to address all the relevant circumstances that might apply to a particular facility. This guide uses generalized language and examples for the user. If it is not clear to the user how to apply standards to their specific circumstances, users should seek assistance from qualified professionals. Risks may vary depending on the entity evaluating the risk. This guide does not take a position on the causes or science of extreme weather, natural disasters, or changing environmental conditions.
1.6 The guide uses references and information on the control, management and reduction of impacts from many cited sources.
1.7 Several national and international agencies served as sources of information on existing and anticipated levels and management of climate risks including: the Australian Ministry of Environment; the Federal Emergency Management Agency; the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration; the Securities and Exchange Commission; the US Army Corps of Engineers; the US Department of Agriculture; the US Department of Energy; the US Environmental Protection Agency; and the US Department of Defense.
1.8 This guide recommends reference to current regulatory information about risks culled from various state agencies, such as departments of environmental protection and water resources boards.
1.9 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.10 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.