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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

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.
2015 AWRA Summer Specialty Conference on Climate Change Adaptation - Call for Abstracts
The 2015 AWRA Specialty Conference on Climate Change Adaptation will take place on June 15-17 in New Orleans, LA. The deadline to submit abstracts is February 13, 2015.
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.
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.
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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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