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Scaling and Application of Climate Projections for Stormwater and Wastewater Resilience Planning


Water Utility Climate Alliance

Pathways Climate Institute, in collaboration with the Water Utility Climate Alliance Stormwater and Wastewater Committee, led a project that addresses the fundamental gap between climate modeling in the research and academic space and the practical use of this information by planners, engineers, and decision makers. Closing this gap is critical, especially considering that utilities across the country are investing billions of dollars to upgrade aging infrastructure.

Pathways collaborated with the largest stormwater and wastewater utilities across the country, conducted a nationwide interview of practitioners, decision makers, project managers, utility staff, and their customers, and competed in-depth interviews to prepare utility-based case studies focused on best practices, research-based case studies that explore opportunities for collaborations between researchers and utilities that could support better decision making related to climate change and increasing future extreme precipitation.

The project identifies and summarizes best available methods and tools currently used by stormwater and wastewater utilities with respect to historic precipitation data and future precipitation projections; characterizes the major challenges with using future precipitation projections, presents case studies of best practices and utility-research organization collaborations, and documents all findings in an easy-to-read report.

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