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Climate change is affecting the water sector by altering the water cycle and weather patterns. Extreme events such as droughts, heatwaves, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires are increasing in severity and frequency, posing critical risks to drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities. The Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA) advances climate change adaptation, planning, and decision-making to ensure that water utilities, and the communities they serve, can thrive in the face of these emerging challenges.

WUCA leverages collective utility experiences to develop leading practices in climate change adaptation and mitigation that are actionable, equitable, and serve as a model for others.

We collaborate, with each other and our partners, to enable water utilities to respond to climate change impacts on utility functions and operations to protect our water systems today and into the future.

Cover of guide says "Beyond Barrier to Implementation - A water sector perspective on sea level rise adaptation

Sea level rise adaptation report released

As the atmosphere warms due to climate change, there is a direct impact on the hydrologic cycle, thus creating unique challenges for the water sector. 

Developed by EcoAdapt and WUCA, Beyond Barriers to Implementation: A Water Sector Perspective on Sea Level Rise Adaptation provides tangible, replicable practices to help water utility staff and water resource managers advance adaptation efforts.

View the Report

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Stormwater and wastewater resilience planning report released

In partnership with the Pathways Climate Institute, WUCA recently released "Scaling and Application of Climate Projections to Stormwater and Wastewater Resilience Planning."

The report identifies best practices, lessons learned, and barriers associated with the use, scaling, and application of climate projections, with an emphasis on future extreme precipitation.

View the Report

The Portland Water Bureau’s lead climate expert Kavita Heyn stands in front of a sign

WUCA Chair Joins White House Climate Resilience Summit

WUCA Chair, and Portland Water Bureau's lead climate expert, Kavita Heyn recently participated in the first-ever White House Summit on Building Climate Resilient Communities, representing the climate resilience work of water agencies, including the Water Utility Climate Alliance.

The summit, announced by President Biden earlier this summer, will convene approximately 70 climate resilience practitioners from local, state, Tribal and other entities who are demonstrating leadership in their respective fields.

View the Press Release

Key messages from WUCA

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Warming is here and now. Climate adaptation planning is not just about the future. Water utilities are experiencing the effects of a changing climate on their water resources today.

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Know your system and explore its vulnerabilities. Assess your water system to identify vulnerabilities. Risks can only be reduced if they are identified.

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Plan for multiple futures. Predicting the future is not feasible but anticipating plausible warmer future climates is. Prepare to face a variety of scenarios.

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Capacity building and assessment are part of the adaptation equation. Developing the technical and managerial expertise to identify and assess climate risks to a system is as much a part of adaptation as the steps taken to implement risk reduction measures.