The long-term goal of this research is to drive water utilities to become more resilient enterprises. A principal motivation is the need to maintain stakeholder confidence in utilities’ capacity to manage the substantive challenges they face (in the short-, mid- and long-term). In support of that overall aim, this project: (1) Helps establish a common definition for “resilient infrastructure” in the context of the water utility sector in the United States; (2) Identified existing resources, ongoing efforts, best practices, and potential partner agencies or organizations addressing infrastructure resilience in the water sector, in the United States and internationally; (3) Identified and prioritized a set of targeted research needs and objectives that, if addressed, will underpin the development of pragmatic tools and guidance for water utilities.
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Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) provides stepwise planning guidance for water resources planners, managers, and engineers to implement robust water management as promoted by the AGWA network — particularly for water managers working in the developing world. CRIDA is specifically designed to support the implementation of effective decisions under conditions of deep uncertainty. The scope is for practitioners working on site specific problem solving, such as water shortages and drought at a specific geographical locations in developing and highly vulnerable regions of the world.
Vanita Suneja of WaterAid reports on what is being done to prevent South Asia running out of underground water, and five key challenges to create a robust groundwater management regime.
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Deep uncertainty acknowledges a dynamic system where inputs — such as rainfall or economic growth or regulations — are changing or unknown. Deep uncertainty methods are not yet widespread among water utilities, but the ideas are gaining ground. Scenario planning allows utilities to ask questions that, in the past, would have been viewed as unusual.
This Climate Lens is a requirement of the Investing in Canada bilateral agreements signed between Infrastructure Canada and the provinces and territories. The assessment tool will require stakeholders to report on how proposed projects contributes to or reduce carbon pollution, and to consider climate change risks in the location, design, and planned operation of projects.