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Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems

Climate Change, Social Changes, Technological Development

Ed. by Inostroza, Luis / Fürst, Christine

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Online
ISSN
2300-3669
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Determining Canadian water utility preparedness for the impacts of climate change

Meagan Brettle / Peter Berry / Jaclyn Paterson / Gordon Yasvinski
Published Online: 2015-12-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cass-2015-0024

Abstract

General warming and extreme weather events associated with climate change are expected to negatively impact water utilities. Water utilities will need to adapt to continue providing safe drinking water and wastewater services. In 2012, the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) conducted a survey of 53 water utility officials to understand the expert perceptions of climate change risks and preparedness of Canadian utilities for current and future impacts. Results indicated that there is low awareness among water utility officials (30%) of thepossible impacts of climate change on water utilities, and more than half have not conducted climate change vulnerability assessments (65%) and do not have operational plans to address climate change impacts (56%). Officials from smaller utilities, which are considered to be more vulnerable to impacts, were of those less aware of these risks and reported taking fewer preparedness activities. Efforts to prepare water utilities for climate change impacts in Canada would benefit from education of utility officials about possible climate change risks, encouraging assessments of vulnerabilities, and increased training with new adaptation tools and resources.

Keywords: Adaptation; climate change; drinking and wastewater; water utilities; preparedness

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About the article

Received: 2015-06-24

Accepted: 2015-11-12

Published Online: 2015-12-17

Published in Print: 2015-01-01


Citation Information: Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems, Volume 2, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2300-3669, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cass-2015-0024.

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© 2015. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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