Developing Robust Strategies for Climate Change and Other Risks

Developing Robust Strategies for Climate Change and Other Risks: A Water Utility Framework

David G. Groves
Jordan R. Fischbach
Nidhi Kalra
Edmundo Molina-Perez
David Yates
David Purkey
Amanda Fencl
Vishal K. Mehta
Ben Wright
Grantley Pyke
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 142
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt14bs4mg
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  • Book Info
    Developing Robust Strategies for Climate Change and Other Risks
    Book Description:

    RAND researchers and collaborators present a comprehensive approach for water utilities to assess climate risks to their systems and evaluate adaptation strategies. The approach, based on Robust Decision Making, is demonstrated through pilot studies with two water utilities: Colorado Springs Utilities and New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8917-5
    Subjects: Political Science, Physics, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. LIST OF TABLES
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. LIST OF FIGURES
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. FOREWORD
    (pp. xv-xvi)
    Denise L. Kruger and Robert C. Renner

    The Water Research Foundation (WRF) is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the development and implementation of scientifically sound research designed to help drinking water utilities respond to regulatory requirements and address high-priority concerns. WRF’s research agenda is developed through a process of consultation with WRF subscribers and other drinking water professionals. WRF’s Board of Trustees and other professional volunteers help prioritize and select research projects for funding based upon current and future industry needs, applicability, and past work. WRF sponsors research projects through the Focus Area, Emerging Opportunities, and Tailored Collaboration programs, as well as various joint research efforts with...

  6. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  7. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
    (pp. xix-xxiv)
  8. CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION AND MOTIVATION
    (pp. 1-4)

    Water agencies have always faced uncertainty when planning for the future. Traditional planning methods are based on the assumption ofhydrologic stationarity—that future hydrologic conditions will be statistically similar to those recorded in the recent historical record (beginning typically sometime in the early 1900s). Scientific evidence is mounting, however, that future climate and hydrologic conditions will be significantly different from those in the past due to the continued accumulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, and the associated changes in climate (Bates et al. 2008; Milly et al. 2008; IPCC 2007). The timing, magnitude, spatial patterns, and dynamic...

  9. CHAPTER 2: THE ROBUST DECISION MAKING FRAMEWORK
    (pp. 5-16)

    This study presents an analytic, objective framework to support long-term climate risk management. Specifically, it helps (1) define climate and other uncertain factors that may play an important role in the future performance of a water utility’s management system; (2) identify uncertain factors to which the utility is most vulnerable; and (3) compare the tradeoffs among robust strategies—those that reduce vulnerability and manage future risks over a wide-range of plausible assumptions about the future.⁷ Long-term climate risk management strategies should seekrobustrather thanoptimalstrategies, as our ability to predict future water management conditions is severely limited—particularly...

  10. CHAPTER 3: COLORADO SPRINGS UTILITIES—CLIMATE RISK ASSESSMENT IN AN INTEGRATED WATER RESOURCE PLAN
    (pp. 17-34)

    CSU is a community owned water provider serving about 380,000 customers, located along the Front Range Corridor of the Rocky Mountains. The City of Colorado Springs is somewhat typical of other large cities in the western United States, which long ago outpaced the ability of local water supplies to meet demand and turned toward importing distant water supplies into its service area. This involved the development of water supplies across the Continental Divide on the Western Slope of the Rockies and their conveyance to the Eastern Slope drainages flowing towards Colorado Springs—a distance of over 100 miles. Importation required...

  11. CHAPTER 4: CLIMATE VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT AND RISK MANAGEMENT FOR THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
    (pp. 35-52)

    New York City (NYC) has developed an ambitious program, called PlaNYC, to ensure the long-term sustainability of the City’s natural and built environment in the face of population growth, aging infrastructure, and climate change (CoNY 2011). Climate change adaptation is a core objective of DEP’s strategic and capital planning efforts. DEP is engaged in three major strategic efforts: developing new sources and conveyance to allow extended repair of a leaking aqueduct that supplies 60 percent of the NYC water supply; evaluating the impacts of population growth and sea-level rise on sewer/wastewater systems; and identifying potential impacts of climate change on...

  12. CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS
    (pp. 53-58)

    This report described many challenges that climate change poses for water utilities engaged in long-term planning. It proposed a framework for conducting climate vulnerability assessments and developing climate risk management strategies based on RDM. Lastly, it presented two pilot studies in which this framework was applied.

    This study purposefully applied the framework in two very different planning contexts. As a result, each application focused on different aspects of the planning framework. The CSU application used the RDM framework to directly inform the beginning stages of its ongoing planning process. Specifically, CSU used the XLRM Matrix to organize numerous workshops and...

  13. APPENDIX A: COLORADO SPRINGS UTILITIES PILOT STUDY SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL
    (pp. 59-68)
  14. APPENDIX B: NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION PILOT STUDY SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL
    (pp. 69-80)
  15. APPENDIX C: CASE STUDIES OF UTILITY VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENTS
    (pp. 81-108)
  16. GLOSSARY OF SELECT TERMS
    (pp. 109-110)
  17. REFERENCES
    (pp. 111-116)
  18. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. 117-118)