The Global View

Water firms unite to fight climate change

water3.jpgWow. You know corporate attitudes have shifted when the big businesses like water companies admit that climate change may have messed with their supplies a bit. It’s like your parents admitting to still having sex: you knew the risk was there, but you never thought they’d actually say it. Eight of those water supplying companies in the US have come together to make an alliance “united by the fact that climate change poses a major long-term challenge to delivering high-quality drinking water”. Shizzle.

The group, called Water Utility Climate Alliance or WUCA, will work to “improve research into the impacts of climate change on water utilities, develop strategies for adapting to climate change and implement tactics to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions”.

Denver Water, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Portland Water Bureau, San Diego County Water Authority, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Seattle Public Utilities and the Southern Nevada Water Authority have all signed up to WUCA and have created a plan to tackle all that’s going on climate change-wise:

The WUCA identified several key research needs that would improve the drinking water industry’s ability to develop strategies to cope with potential impacts of climate change. The WUCA is urging the CCSP, as well as all researchers and scientists in the climate-change field, to:
— Reduce the uncertainty in climate change projections by improving and
refining global climate models and applying them at the regional or
local level;
— Enhance the collection, maintenance and accessibility of information,
making the data more useful for decision-making purposes;
— Ensure that water providers worldwide have access to consistent climate
data;
— Develop decision-support tools for planning, decision-making and
policy-making that can accommodate deep uncertainty and the potential
for abrupt climate changes; and
— Coordinate international research efforts, particularly with those
countries that are already experiencing the effects of climate change,
such as Australia.