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Water Quality Focus Area US EPA Global Change Research Program. BOSC Program Review September 26-28, 2005. Why Water Quality?. Research Gap Emphasis of Water Sector Report is supply, management

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water quality focus area us epa global change research program

Water Quality Focus AreaUS EPA Global Change Research Program

BOSC Program Review

September 26-28, 2005

why water quality
Why Water Quality?
  • Research Gap
    • Emphasis of Water Sector Report is supply, management
    • “Key climatic variables, particularly precipitation and temperature, have a relationship to drinking-waterborne disease . . .” Health Sector Report, U.S. National Assessment
why water quality1
Why Water Quality?
  • Supports EPA’s Mission
    • Safe Drinking Water Act
    • Clean Water Act
  • Opportunity to Contribute to CCSP
    • Most agencies focus on water quantity
      • NOAA
      • USGS
      • NASA
      • DOE
    • EPA has the lead for water quality and decision support in the CCSP water cycle working group
climate change and water quality

Climate & Climate Variability

*

*

*

*

*

Land Use Choices

Water Quality

Climate Change and Water Quality
  • Climate Change will influence watershed hydrology
    • Pollutant and pathogen loading
    • Streamflow and receiving water quality
  • As climate changes, will we still be able to provide clean, safe water?
  • Water Quality Long Term Goal:
  • “Decision makers will use scientific information and decision tools to protect water quality by adapting to global change.”
how we select our projects
How We Select Our Projects

Research Landscape

Criteria

  • Fits EPA Mission
  • Costly, long term, irreversible decisions
    • Infrastructure decisions
    • Major rules
    • Alternative adaptation options
  • Sensitive to Climate Variability
  • Opportunities to inform decisions
  • Information needs of stakeholders
      • Other GCRP Focus Areas
      • EPA offices (OW, Regions, Smart Growth),
      • Municipal Water Departments
      • US Green Building Council
planning and projects

DW

WW

Adaptation

Planning and Projects

Stakeholder Input

Strategic

Planning

Drinking Water (2005)

  • SDWAA Violations
  • Microbial Pathogens
  • Coastal Water Systems (Sea Level Rise)

Long-term

Goal

Insights

Insights

New Research and Assessment Needs

APG Milestones

2006

2000

2005

2009

  • Waste Water (2006)
  • Combined Sewer Systems
  • Wastewater Treatment
  • Future Directions (2009)
  • Demand Projections
  • Soft Infrastructure
  • Non-point Source Pollution
  • Riparian Buffers

See the Water Overview Poster

drinking water

DW

WW

Adaptation

Strategic

Planning

Drinking Water

New Research and Assessment Needs

  • Assessed two possible effects of climate change on drinking water infrastructure:
    • Effectiveness of treatment systems as source water quality changes
    • Vulnerability of drinking water intakes to Sea level rise and saltwater intrusion (surface waters or ground water)
  • Expected Outcomes:
    • Investigations to date suggest that climate change will not affect the ability of communities to provide safe drinking water, provided we maintain infrastructure and protect source water quality.

For more information, please see the Drinking Water Poster

wastewater

DW

WW

Adaptation

Strategic

Planning

Wastewater

New Research and Assessment Needs

  • Decreases in lowflow streamflow may alter the effects of wastewater treatment plant discharges on receiving waters.
    • Assessed possible need for Biochemical Oxygen Demand removal at Publicly Owned Treatment Works under two scenarios:
  • Changes in precipitation will also affect the demands placed on combined sewer systems.
    • Assessed whether CSO Control Plans based on historical weather patterns will be effective as climate changes
  • Expected Outcomes:
    • Partnerships with wastewater managers provide them with information and tools consider how to respond to possible climate change

For more information, please see the Wastewater Poster

future directions

DW

WW

Adaptation

Strategic

Planning

Future Directions

New Research and Assessment Needs

Non-point sources of pollution are important considerations for source and receiving water quality

Upcoming projects addressing non-point source pollution:

  • Estuarine pollutant loading as climate and land use change
  • Adaptation options to address urban runoff
  • Tools to assess the effectiveness of management options

For more information, please see the Future Direction Poster

water quality posters
Water Quality Posters
  • Overview
  • Drinking Water
  • Wastewater
  • Future Directions
water quality team
Water Quality Team
  • Britta Bierwagen
  • John Furlow
  • Chris Impellitteri
  • Tom Johnson
  • John Thomas