Saturday, May 15, 2010

A call for a water adaptation program in the US climate bill

Public The National Association of Clean Water (NACWA) calls on Senate leaders to add a "Blue Bank for Water System Mitigation and Adaptation" to comprehensive climate change legislation introduced by Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman.

We're disappointed to see that the ‘American Power Act' does not contain any relief for communities faced with the daunting challenges of managing their water resources in the face of climate change," said Ken Kirk, NACWA's Executive Director. "Climate change is all about water – either there will be too much where we don't want it or not enough where we do. And while it's certainly important to ensure our natural ecosystems adjust to the changing climate, telling communities they are on their own when it comes to ensuring adequate drinking water supplies and avoiding sewage in their streets and rivers is not going to cut it."

A study completed last year by NACWA and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) estimated that the climate adaptation costs faced by water and wastewater systems in the U.S. could approach $1 trillion through 2050.

"Recent floods in the Northeast that shut down local sewage treatment plants and forced people to not use area restrooms should have sent a loud message that global climate change is a public health issue of the first order. Any comprehensive climate change legislation must recognize that our local water and wastewater infrastructure will need help in adapting to the challenge. Communities are already facing severe financial burdens in meeting their water and wastewater treatment needs, let's not leave them alone to foot the climate change bill," Kirk added….

The Mississippi Flood of 1927 on Blanche Avenue in Mounds, Illinois on the Ohio River. The river stage at Cairo, Illinois, was 52.8 feet. From "The Floods of 1927 in the Mississippi Basin", Frankenfeld, H.C., 1927 Monthly Weather Review Supplement No. 29.

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