Webinar Series: Using Climate Information in Water Utility Planning

Photo credit University of Washington

Tuesday, August 11,
9–10:30 a.m.

Learning How to Adapt to a Changing Climate: A Collection of Case Studies from Water Agencies Throughout the U.S.

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Tuesday, August 18
9–10:30 a.m.

Climate Adaptation in Public Works led by Fred Buckenmeyer, Director of Public Works, City of Anacortes

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Tuesday, August 25
9–10:30 a.m.

Throw Away Your Crystal Ball: A Stress Testing Approach to Infrastructure Planning Under Climate Change Uncertainty

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This three-part webinar series is designed to help small and medium water utilities plan and design for climate change. Based on the feedback we received in our survey and focus groups, we are focusing on case studies highlighting approaches and lessons learned from other utilities. We have asked each speaker to address the following questions in their talk:

  • What climate change information did you use?
  • How was this work funded?
  • What other factors – leadership, data availability, etc. – contributed to the success of this project?

We will follow each talk with breakout discussions on existing resources for climate planning in the water sector. Similar webinars and workshops will be offered across the nation as part of a larger effort to support utility resilience-building. This work is funded by the Water Research Foundation and is partnership between the Climate Impacts Group and the University of Minnesota.

To accompany these webinars, we put together a list of climate adaptation resources for Pacific Northwest water managers. Each website included in the document links to a variety of relevant resources including tools, case studies, guidance, and more.

We can certify attendance for CEU credits. 

Tuesday, Aug. 11: Learning How to Adapt to a Changing Climate: A Collection of Case Studies from Water Agencies Throughout the U.S.

Presenter: Julie Vano | Research Director, Aspen Global Change Institute

This webinar will highlight best practices for water utilities interested in incorporating climate change information into their planning and water management. To do so, it will  draw on real-world examples from utilities across the United States.

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Tuesday, Aug. 18: Climate Adaptation in Public Works

Presenter: Fred Buckenmeyer | Director, City of Anacortes – Public Works

In 2003, the City of Anacortes, WA, realized that climate change-driven changes in streamflow, sediment, and sea level rise threatened the city’s water treatment plant. By 2008, however, it was clear that moving the plant would be too costly for the city of 17,000. In this webinar, Fred Buckenmeyer, the Director of Public Works at the city of Anacortes, will share how Anacortes designed its new water treatment plant to account for these climate risks. The webinar will also address Anacortes’ recent analysis of its wastewater system, which the city conducted to ensure that it has capacity for current and future rain events.

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Tuesday, Aug. 25: Throw Away Your Crystal Ball: A Stress Testing Approach to Infrastructure Planning Under Climate Change Uncertainty

Presenter: Nishant Parulekar | Civil Engineer, City of Portland – Bureau of Environmental Services

Uncertainty and extreme scenarios can make using climate models a challenge. In this webinar, Nishant Parulekar of the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) will share how BES responded to this challenge by piloting a new technique to understand how its wastewater and stormwater systems would perform under a range of precipitation conditions. Nishant will describe how BES conducted a sensitivity analysis of its system to determine thresholds for impacts that the utility could then compare to climate projections.

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