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Research 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

World Water Day: Building a Sustainable Future for Water
The White House and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced a number of initiatives that work toward building a sustainable water future for the United States.
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.
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.
Extreme Events And Water Management In The Lower Missouri River Basin
WERF Research Specialist Katy Lackey explores the challenges of water management in the midst of extreme weather events.

Products & Tools

Greenhouse Nitrogen Emissions from Wastewater Treatment Operations: Molecular Level through Whole Reactor Level Characterization – Phase II (U4R07b)
Provides insight into the mechanisms influencing N2O emissions and direction to ultimately create environmentally sustainable BNR operating strategies and configurations.
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.
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)