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US EPA Info: New and important information about EPA resources related to AWIA Compliance data, Water Security, Preparedness and Response.

Check Out New and Updated Water Security Division Resources from 2020
New EPA Cybersecurity Best Practices for the Water Sector Webpage
WSD recently published the EPA Cybersecurity Best Practices for the Water Sector webpage. The new page contains cyber resilience resources available from EPA including the Water Sector Cybersecurity Brief for StatesCybersecurity Incident Action Checklist, Water Sector Cybersecurity Training and Response Exercises and Water Sector Cybersecurity Technical Assistance Program. The webpage also provides information on available DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Alerts, including for the recent SolarWinds incident.
Visit EPA Cybersecurity Best Practices
Find Updated Compliance Data for America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018
The America’s Water Infrastructure Act Section 2013 (AWIA) Compliance Data webpage has been updated with information on which community drinking water systems (CWSs) are covered by the risk and resilience assessment and emergency response plan certification requirements under Section 2013 of AWIA, as well as data on the CWSs that have complied with the law. CWSs, states, and water associations often ask EPA questions about who must comply with AWIA; this website update helps clarify which water systems must comply with the law.

 

Find AWIA Compliance Data Here
Learn About Past and Upcoming AWIA Workshops

During fall 2020, EPA sponsored a series of free, virtual workshops to help CWSs learn about AWIA risk and resilience assessment requirements. The workshops detailed the various free EPA compliance resources available to assist small and medium-sized CWSs prepare for their upcoming risk and resilience assessment certification deadline.

 

EPA is sponsoring another series of free, virtual workshops from January through March 2021 to help CWSs prepare for their upcoming risk and resilience assessment certification deadline.

 

Register Here
Respond to Disasters On the Go

The Water Utility Response On-The-Go (Response OTG) App consolidates and makes accessible from the field, information and tools that water utility operators and their response partners may need during an emergency.

 

The Response OTG App was recently updated to include local hazardous weather updates such as the current weather conditions; National Weather Service watches, warnings and advisories; and a detailed 36-hour forecast. The recent update also added customizable local contact lists. Other additions include:

·     “Quick Tips” for each section;

·     More detail for damage assessments; and

·     Incident Briefing Forms.

 

You can download Response OTG at the App Store or Google Play Store on your mobile device.

Conduct a Climate Risk Assessment

EPA’s Creating Resilient Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative provides drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities with the practical tools, training, and technical assistance needed to increase resilience to climate change. Under CRWU, EPA released an update to our Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT), which features a series of simple modules to conduct a climate change risk assessment at your utility.

 

CREAT has a user-friendly interface, includes climate change data projections, and provides monetized risk results. Updates to CREAT include:

1.  An option to assess regional economic consequences using data from EPA’s Water Health Economic Analysis Tool (WHEAT);

2.  A new process for selecting scenario data with addition of streamflow and coastal flooding projections;

3.  Revisions to screen language in the tool;

4.  Updated sea-level rise and value of a statistical life data; and

5.  Improved tutorials and help.

 

CREAT has import capacity and integrates with other tools such as CRWU’s Resilient Strategies Guide, as well as EPA’s Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool for those community water systems that are using it to comply with the risk and resilience assessment and emergency response plan certification requirements under Section 2013 of AWIA. You may also visit our Case Study and Information Exchange Map to view how utilities are using CREAT.

 

Visit CRWU
Is Your Utility Prepared for Water Contamination Emergencies?

If your utility is required to conduct a Risk and Resilience Assessments under AWIA one strategy for mitigating identified contamination threats is to implement a Water Quality Surveillance and Response System (WQ-SRS). WQ-SRS is an integrated system of monitoring techniques designed to provide early indicators of possible water contamination and a process for responding to contamination incidents. The good news is that many utilities already have the building blocks of a WQ-SRS.

 

To help assess your utility’s existing capabilities and identify potential enhancements to those capabilities, EPA developed the WQ-SRS Capabilities Assessment Tool. This on-line resource is an easy-to-use self-assessment that provides actionable recommendations for enhancing WQ-SRS capabilities.

Learn More and Access the Tool Here
Become an Advanced Water Contaminant Information Tool User
The Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) is a secure on-line database with comprehensive information about chemical, biological and radiochemical contaminants of concern for the Water Sector. It can be used to assist in planning for, and responding to, water utility contamination threats and incidents. In 2020, the Water Laboratory Alliance held beginner and advanced webinars for WCIT users and will continue these learning opportunities in the new year.

 

WCIT: Becoming an Advanced User: January 27, 2021 at 1:00-2:30PM EST

The next WCIT: Becoming an Advanced User webinar will be held on January 27, 2021 and is geared toward active WCIT account holders to help them become more familiar with the database, including recent and upcoming changes, little-known features, and case studies of how other organizations are using WCIT. The featured topic for this webinar is the “Advanced Search” functionality.  This webinar will be limited to 50 attendees to foster participation and interaction among participants.

 

Register Here
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