Is Your Water Utility Prepared to Meet The EPA’s Risk and Resilience Assessment Deadline?

At a Glance

Water utilities in the US are responsible for accomplishing a Risk and Resilience Assessment and Certification in compliance with Section 2013(a) and 2013(b) of the American Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (AWIA), under the following deadlines:

  • December 31, 2020 if serving 50,000 to 99,999 people
  • June 30, 2021 if serving 3,301 to 49,999 people

The AWIA requires that the assessment include:

  1. The risk to the system from malevolent acts and natural hazards;
  2. The resilience of the pipes and constructed conveyances, physical barriers, source water, water collection and intake, pretreatment, treatment, storage and distribution facilities, electronic, computer, or other automated systems (including the security of such systems) which are utilized by the system;
  3. The monitoring practices of the system;
  4. The financial resilience of the system;
  5. The use, storage, or handling of various chemicals by the system; and
  6. The operation and maintenance of the system.

The assessment may include an evaluation of capital and operational needs for risk and resilience management for the system. 

Assessing risk from a malevolent act to a water system asset requires estimating three parameters:

  1. Threat likelihood: the annual probability that a perpetrator will attempt to carry out the malevolent act against the facility;
  2. Vulnerability: the probability that the malevolent act will have an adverse impact on the facility; and
  3. Consequences: the public health and economic consequences resulting from the impact of the malevolent act on the facility, where Risk = Consequences x Vulnerability x Threat Likelihood.

GZA utilizes its own GIS tools and those provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the National Weather Service, the American Water Works Association, and others to assure that your risk and resilience assessments and emergency response plans that meet the specific requirements outlined under AWIA Section 2013.  

The assessment will also provide additional criteria for updating of the utility’s Emergency Response Plan and recertification of the emergency response plan is required by EPA within 6 months of Risk and Resilience Assessment Certification.

Useful resources:

Contact Thomas C. Sexton, PE, RAM-W , at 781-278-4826 for more information, or learn more about GZA’s Water Resources services

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