Water groups seek help from Congress to address climate impacts

drought-little.jpgThe most serious impacts of global warming involve water and the hydrological cycle:

  • Sea level rise and storm surges
  • Droughts and desertification
  • Deluges and Flooding
  • Loss of snowpack and inland glaciers

That’s why “The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and a coalition of national water organizations called on Congress to recognize the severe impacts that global climate change will likely have on water resources in the United States.” The groups noted that climate change is already begun to effect water resources around the country. The letter to Congress (here) calls for a number of measures including

Mitigation and adaptation strategies focused specifically on impacts of climate change on water quality and quantity, stormwater and flood control management and wastewater treatment. Examples of areas where research is needed include methods to increase water conservation; energy efficiency management techniques that help water utilities reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions; the development of alternative water sources such as reuse, recycling, and desalination; and multiple benefit quantification analysis of such practices as urban tree cover and green roofs to both control stormwater runoff and help cities adapt to the consequences of climate change.

Obviously, every group will be seeking help from the federal government to deal with climate change — especially given the trillions of dollars of that the auctioning of the greenhouse gasemissions permits will yield (see here for a list of who gets what in the Liebermann-Warner Bill). But water is more important than most, if not most important of all. The letter ends:

We call upon our nation’s leaders to consider water resources as a key element in upcoming climate change legislation and to provide the necessary support and leadership to ensure that the nation’s water utilities have the tools and resources necessary to address the climate change challenge.

[It should be noted that my wife works for WEF on legislative issues, but that in (almost) no way influenced my writing this post.]

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One Response to Water groups seek help from Congress to address climate impacts

  1. civil behavior says:

    Here in Southeast Florida we are experiencing very hot, dry consitions and record highs already in May that normally occur in later summer.

    The city of West Palm Beach last year pumped untreated water on the well fields and then used that mix for our water supply. Not long thereafter we had a boil water order placed on the supply for at least a week to two with free chlorine being pumped into the system for months. The city of course had no idea that the treatment would cause a flurry of bursting copper pipes throughout the city as the chlorine ate up the corrosion inside the pipes resulting in thousands of dollars of loss to city homeowners.

    At the same time we had been under mandatory once a week watering restrictions and the first of this year we were rewarded for our conservation efforts by getting a 35% rate increase placed on water and stormwater usage. Revenues from taxes went down due to less usage and god forbid the city do with less.

    To beat all we are now going to be paying even more in further rate increases for replacing a water treatment plant and infrastructure since the City mother (mayor) has been stealing the utilities surplus (about 4million year) and slipping it into the general fund. So $20 million that could have been used toward upgrades has now been blown on who knows what. to top it off she has built her own non green taj mahal in the center of town with absolutely no specifications for clean energy use. WHen you have friends like this in government, who needs enemies.

    All of this is just an illustration of how bad it is going to get when one of the most precious resources we have is mismanaged and allowed to be abused by those who don’t know any better.

    35 years ago I decided not to have children because I thought water might be an issue for children growing up. Guess I wasn’t far off.