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Climate Change Strategy to Help Manage Water Resources

Release Date: 10/02/2008
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 / smith.roxanne@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. – Oct. 2, 2008) To assist in responding to potential effects of climate change, a new strategy focuses on 40 specific actions for the national water program to take to respond to climate change. EPA's "National Water Program Strategy: Response to Climate Change" describes steps for managers to adapt their clean water, drinking water, and ocean protection programs.

"Water is key to clean energy and climate change," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA's assistant administrator for water. "Our water and climate strategy charts a course for timely and practical action, connecting the dots, drops, and watts for coordinated, sustainable results."

EPA water programs are already taking action related to climate change including the WaterSense water efficiency program, green infrastructure for wet weather management, Climate Ready Estuaries, and the proposed national rule for the injection of carbon dioxide underground.

The water strategy identifies specific response actions in five areas:

    • Mitigation of greenhouse gases
    • Adaptation to climate change
    • Research related to water and climate change
    • Education on climate change
    • Water program management of climate change

Potential impacts of climate change on water resources reviewed in the strategy include increases in certain water pollution problems, changes in availability of drinking water supplies, and collective impacts on coastal areas. The strategy reflects input provided during a public comment period earlier this year.

EPA has been working with other federal agencies to coordinate work on climate change and water. Recently, EPA issued a joint memorandum with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, and Interior to describe cooperative efforts on climate change and water issues.

Information on the strategy: epa.gov/water/climatechange