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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

Optimizing the Structure and Scale of Urban Water Infrastructure: Integrating Distributed Systems
The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread is delighted to share their newest convening report, Optimizing the Structure and Scale of Urban Water Infrastructure: Integrating Distributed Systems, which emerged from their March convening that explored the growing interest in distributed water infrastructure as an alternative or complement to traditional, centralized systems. Between changing weather patterns, new expectations for lowering greenhouse gas emissions, a desire to restore ecosystems, and a need for solutions that are flexible and resilient, there are many drivers of this new interest in innovative approaches.
Energy and Water: The Vital Link for a Sustainable Future - SIWI
Stockholm International Water Institute 's 2014 World Water Week is coming up at the end of this month. This year's theme is 'Energy and Water.' Check out the newly released World Water Week report Energy and Water: The Vital Link for a Sustainable Future. It discusses key challenges and opportunities for collaboration between the two sectors.
Natural Resources Defense Council Highlights State Revolving Funds as Climate Resiliency Opportunity
NRDC’s new issue paper “Using State Revolving Funds to Build Climate-Resilient Communities” explains how the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds can better support and incorporate measures to make communities more resilient to climate change risks.
Natural Resources Defense Council Report Promotes Urban Water Conservation as a Clean Water Act Compliance Strategy
NRDC’s new issue brief “Waste Less, Pollute Less” explains how urban water conservation can help address water quality and water supply needs at the same time, while holding down costs for ratepayers.
Austin Plans to Keep Its Cool - Sustainable City Network
This article focuses on how the city of Austin, Texas prepares to tackle climate change through strategic planning, sustainability and innovative practices.
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Products & Tools

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)
Toolbox for Water Utility Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emission Management
The Toolbox, a jointly funded report by the Global Water Research Coalition, the Water Research Foundation, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, is now available for download. It evaluates and compares process models, impact assessment methods, and performance indicators used by water utilities in North America, Europe, South Africa, and Australia to assess their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
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