Oct 03, 2008

EPA Climate Change Strategy to Help Manage Water Resources

Provides strategies and steps for managers to adapt water programs

To assist in responding to potential effects of climate change, a new strategy focuses on 40 specific actions for the national water program to take to respond to climate change. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) "National Water Program Strategy: Response to Climate Change" describes steps for managers to adapt their clean water, drinking water and ocean protection programs.

"Water is key to clean energy and climate change," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA's assistant administrator for water. "Our water and climate strategy charts a course for timely and practical action, connecting the dots, drops and watts for coordinated, sustainable results."

EPA water programs are already taking action related to climate change, including the WaterSense water efficiency program, green infrastructure for wet-weather management, Climate Ready Estuaries, and the proposed national rule for the injection of carbon dioxide underground.

The water strategy identifies specific response actions in five areas:
&#149 Mitigation of greenhouse gases;
&#149 Adaptation to climate change;
&#149 Research related to water and climate change;
&#149 Education on climate change; and
&#149 Water program management of climate change.

Potential impacts of climate change on water resources reviewed in the strategy include increases in certain water pollution problems, changes in availability of drinking water supplies and collective impacts on coastal areas. The strategy reflects input provided during a public comment period earlier this year.

The EPA has been working with other federal agencies to coordinate work on climate change and water. Recently, the EPA issued a joint memorandum with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense and Interior to describe cooperative efforts on climate change and water issues.

Information on the strategy is available at: www.epa.gov/water/climatechange.