Our region faces significant water infrastructure challenges. The 2012 Clean Water Needs Survey identified more than $18 billion in water infrastructure investment needed in New England. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave New England states no better than a C- grade for the status of their infrastructure investments, noting the mounting costs of deferred maintenance (2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure). New England has dozens of impaired waterways that require billions of dollars of investments to improve nutrients (phosphorus, nitrogen), bacteria, or sediment levels in our waterways. Compounding these stressors will be the impacts of climate change, and nowhere are these challenges greater than in underserved and disadvantaged communities that lack the capacity to access much-needed infrastructure funds.
New England Water Infrastructure Network (NEWIN)
Translating Climate Uncertainty to Climate Risk in Support of Water Resource Infrastructure Adaptation Decisions
Water utilities with facilities in shore-adjacent locations are particularly vulnerable to disruptions due to flooding exacerbated by sea level rise. Damages to such facilities not only destroy property but risk causing severe disruptions to local economies. Decisions about how and when to take adaptation measures must be taken in an environment of profound uncertainty about the future extent and timing of climate change and sea level rise. The potentially high costs of adaptation make it essential that utilities have the means to choose the most economically suitable strategies despite the myriad uncertainties.
This NOAA-sponsored project is led by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Center for the Blue Economy in collaboration with the New England EFC and will conclude in 2023; This project will conclude in 2023; An example of the project process and outcomes is Options for Sea Level Rise Adaptation on West Cliff Drive | Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) Trainings and Technical Assistance
The EFCN creates lasting change one community at a time–starting with clean, safe water and how to pay for it. Our cutting-edge resources, hands-on training, and free professional services support thriving communities and protect critical environmental resources. Our team of experts provides training across all 50 states and territories to help communities, water systems, and wastewater systems achieve their technical, managerial, and financial goals. We offer a wide range of in-person and virtual training opportunities on topics ranging from asset management to assessing climate and hazard vulnerability. Check out a training near you, or view one of our most popular pre-recorded webinars.
The Environmental Finance Center Network has been leading the way in finance solutions for environmental infrastructure and improvement since 1992
Smart Management for Small Water Systems
The New England Environmental Finance Center has been contributing to the EFCN Smart Management for Small Water Systems program since 2013. Our area of expertise includes training and technical assistance on Climate Resilience and adaptation training and technical assistance, including the use of EPA’s Climate Resilience and Evaluation Tool (CREAT) tool and webinars, workshops, and tools for protecting drinking water sources.
Climate Resilience and Evaluation Tool (CREAT) tool Methodology Guide
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the Climate Resilience Evaluation and
Resiliency Means Business – Part 1: A Broad Approach to Safety and Robust Service Reliability
Resiliency is a popular term in the news today, from individual wellness to the fate of the planet. What does it mean for water utilities? This is a brief overview of the concept, practices, and regulations around resilience as it is relevant to water and wastewater utilities. Resilience and emergency planning are closely related. But most important is this message: resiliency is an ongoing process, not a crisis plan on a shelf. It can strengthen every aspect of your utility. Resiliency means business. This overview, written by Jack Kartez, Senior Advisor/Emeritus Director, New England Environmental Finance Center, starts you on the path to system resilience.
Find these and other resources on the Resource page.