Additionally, severely burned watersheds can give rise to
flooding, increased peak flows, and debris flows. These various
effects may necessitate changes in water treatment operations
or significant new capital investments.
In an effort to promote a more complete understanding of
these effects, Water Research Foundation (WRF) in partnership
with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded
project #4482 “Effects of Wildfire on Drinking Water Utilities and
Effective Practices for Wildfire Risk Reduction and Mitigation” to
conduct ( 1) a comprehensive review of literature on wildfire risk
mitigation, effects of wildfire on watershed and water systems,
and post fire rehabilitation, ( 2) a survey of drinking water utili-
ties that experienced or are at risk of experiencing effects from
wildfire to gather information regarding drinking water systems’
wildfire risk reduction/mitigation and response activities, and ( 3)
a workshop to share information about the effects of wildfires on
Kenan Ozekin, Water Research Foundation and Chi Ho Sham, The Cadmus Group, Inc.
The increasing threat of catastrophic wildfires and their consequent impacts on water supplies is a growing concern for many water utilities. Wildfires could change the phys- ical and chemical characteristics of the soil and streams that may negatively impact he water quality by increasing turbidity, and metal and organic content of the water.
Effects of Wildfire
on Drinking Water