Water Quality Impacts
of Extreme Weather-
Ben Stanford, Hazen and Sawyer, PC and Kenan Ozekin, Water Research Foundation
In light of recent weather-related disasters and our increased awareness of the vulnerabil- ity of water supply infrastructure, many water utilities and industry support entities are struggling with the issue of how best to prepare for the broad range of possible climate change impacts, and are searching for new approaches to respond to an uncertain future.
Extreme weather-related events are of primary concern to
drinking water utilities since they could affect supply availability and quality, treatability, and infrastructure integrity/function,
which may in turn affect water service reliability and complexity,
drinking water quality, regulatory compliance, consumer perception, and overall costs.
Water utility infrastructure and operations procedures are
generally designed to enable utilities to reduce the risks from
typical, region-specific, weather events to an acceptable level,
but a thorough understanding of the potential risks from atypical,
extreme weather, combinations of extreme weather events, and
unexpected trends in weather patterns is necessary for proper
planning for the future. Therefore, Water Research Foundation
funded project #4324, “Water Quality Impacts of Extreme
Weather-Related Events,” to gain a deeper understanding of the
implications of recurrent extreme events on water supply systems
so that proper planning and management of available resources
can be accomplished to limit current and future vulnerabilities.