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Knowledge Area: Climate Change

Our Objective

WERF will evaluate the likely effects of climate change on wastewater services, and will assess processes and technologies to cost-effectively mitigate and adapt to the potential impacts.

Latest News

AWRA Webinar - Climate Change Adaptation: Wastewater Infrastructure Challenges - March 16, 2016
WERF Research Specialist Katy Lackey will be a featured speaker for one of AWRA's upcoming webinars on climate change adaptation.
Opportunity to Participate from our Research Partners at Water Research Foundation
The Water Research Foundation (WRF), with the American Water Works Association (AWWA), is inviting water and wastewater systems sector professionals to participate in a new a research project entitled “Innovative Preparedness and Response Practices to Support Water System Resilience."
EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center Launches New Website
EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center has a revamped website that communities can reference for financing drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.
WERF Research Specialist Katy Lackey will present at AWRA’s 2015 Summer Specialty Conference: Climate Change Adaptation on Tuesday, June 16th in New Orleans
Katy will present “Extreme Climate/Weather Events: Lessons Learned from Water and Wastewater Utilities” during Session 8: Extreme Events at 10:30am.
U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit Now Available
Visit the toolkit for information on climate change as it relates to municipal water supply, flooding, drought, ecosystems, and the interaction between water, energy, and land systems. The toolkit provides a guide to useful tools, data visualization on the Climate Explorer, and short videos on how water utilities and resource managers are building resilience throughout the country.

Products & Tools

Evaluation of Performance and Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Plants Achieving Low Phosphorus Effluents (NUTR1R06v)
Evaluates how to balance WRRF operational performance and GHG emissions with the reliability of achieving low effluent TP concentrations.
Water/Wastewater Utilities and Extreme Climate and Weather Events: Case Studies on Community Response, Lessons Learned, Adaptation, and Planning Needs for the Future (CC7C11)
Discusses how water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities – and other local water resource managers – make decisions in response to recent extreme climate/weather events.
The Treatment & Recovery Facility of the Future - Fact Sheet
In a world of limited resources, increasingly severe weather, and a more complex network of entities managing water; treatment facilities must reposition themselves and take on new roles. They need to be able to incorporate the new assets and technologies and continue to evolve in order to address changing needs and future challenges. This fact sheet describes WERF’s efforts to help facilities meet those needs.
OWSO11C10a, Reframing the Economics of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Projects: Fact Sheet
This fact sheet addresses the financial metrics that can be used to overcome the economic barriers to combined heat and power (CHP) projects. It provides a breakdown of payback period, net present value, benefit cost ratio, internal rate of return, and equivalent uniform annual net value and how they apply to CHP project analysis. Also considers the time value of money, risk analysis, and long-term sustainability. Published by WERF. 8 pages. Printed fact sheet and online PDF. (2012)
OWSO11C10, Barriers to Biogas Use for Renewable Energy
Not all wastewater treatment plants with anaerobic digestion beneficially use their biogas beyond process heating. Knowing this, there must be actual or perceived barriers to broader use of biogas to produce combined heat and power (CHP). This study documented these barriers so that actions can be taken to reduce or remove the barriers that promote energy recovery using proven technology – anaerobic digestion with combined heat and power generation. Includes case studies and biogas factsheet and other materials. Published by WERF. 156 pages. Online PDF. (2012)