Our collective choices today influence greatly our future tomorrow as we enter a time of placing more and more importance on how we utilize water. From washing our hands to aqua ducts moving millions of gallons of water per day our water utilities have their work cut out for them. At first the water utilities focused on risk identification and later their activities were concentrated on understanding climate change science itself, developing methods for down-scaling climate projections, and producing guidelines on possible climate change impacts of relevance to utilities.
Luckily, we are now moving into the era when water utilities are assessing risk identification and risk assessments themselves, e.g., the language of vulnerability assessment. This is an area of interest for me as the vulnerability assessment must include QUALITATIVE data from stakeholders and their uses of environmental and ecosystem services. Social Science is now becoming a wave of the future as the language of equating the costs of developing sustainable technologies emerge.
What are vulnerabilities within our water utilities today and how can we properly understand the thresholds for the identified vulnerable conditions?
This report’s lead author David G. Groves; the Co-director of RAND Water and Climate Resilience Center, shares with us the narrative that emerges from the accumulated experience of water utilities.