Meanwhile, climate change will affect water
demand. We have funded research into
anticipated water demands and use patterns
under a range of climate change scenarios.
Also, we are building a vulnerability
assessment tool to help utilities manage
risks associated with climate change.
Finally, because the earth is warming more
quickly than previously estimated, the
need for information is urgent. To this end,
in 2009 we launched a Web site devoted
exclusively to climate change and water:
Once a drinking water supplier anticipates
changes in water supply and demand,
managers may want to implement
reservoirs or underground storage, and we
are planning to fund a project to identify how
reservoir operations may need to be adjusted
in order to adapt to hydrologic changes
associated with climate change. For regions
that expect less water, we are researching how
utilities can best communicate with customers
and other stakeholders about conservation.
Finally, for coastal areas, we are helping
utilities integrate the potential of rising sea
levels into their capital improvement plans.
Water Quality Research
The Foundation has a wide body of research
on water treatment methods. Soon, we
will fund research to identify water quality
impacts of extreme weather-related events
on water quality. Potential impacts include
increased runoff and more turbidity, which
could severely challenge conventional water
For areas that expect more intense and
sporadic rainfall, we are researching water
storage options such as building new
At the same time, warmer weather might
elevate water temperatures in some regions.
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