Resilience & Climate Adaptation

Resilience reflects the ability to maintain a successful operation in the short run by successfully responding to extreme events, and over a longer time horizon by adapting to change. A sustainable utility is a resilient utility, as defined from a triple-bottom-line perspective. Resilience includes many approaches and strategies to ensure a utility can both fulfill its mission in the present and meet its future commitments.

A sustainable, resilient utility demonstrates:

  • financial strength and stability;
  • ability to adapt to climate change and other environmental effects as well as deploy mitigation strategies;
  • commitment to equipping and responding to the needs of its workforce, and;
  • communication with customers, stakeholders and partnerships within its community.

In today’s political and fiscal climate, the sustainability of water systems, as related to jobs, business, the economy, the environment and climate, now requires a more dedicated commitment to meaningful research, legislation and regulatory action.

Adapting to climate change is a particularly important issue for maintaining water system resilience, and AMWA has consistently raised awareness on Capitol Hill about water utility challenges in the face of a changing climate. AMWA also advocates for actionable information and science to support utility decision-making.

AMWA regularly communicates with members about climate-related policies, initiatives and adaptation strategies to support resilient, sustainability utilities.

Recent Letters and Reports


Letter to EPA in support of the WaterSense program
April 25, 2017

Letter to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requesting an extension to the comment period for the rule governing reservoir projects for domestic, municipal and industrial water supply. 


Comment letter to FEMA on Regulations and Guidance to Implement the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and Executive Order 13690, October 21, 2016

Energy and Water Sector Challenges and Opportunities briefing paper for Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, September 7, 2016

Energy and Water Sector Collaboration briefing paper for Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, September 7, 2016

Comment letter to EPA on its draft report: Evaluating Urban Resilience to Climate Change, A Multi-Sector Approach, July 21, 2016

Comment letter to Federal Water Resources and Climate Change Workgroup on Draft Report, Looking Forward: Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resorces in a Changing Climate
July 7, 2016

Letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on integrated planning provision in WRDA legislation
May 10, 2016

Letter to Senate appropriators in support of funding for the Regional Climate Data and Information program
March 2, 2016

Letter supporting investment in water reuse as a drought response mechanism
January 6, 2016


Letter in support of H.R. 3720, the "Water Advanced Technologies for Efficient Resource Use Act"
December 7, 2015

Letter to Senate Appropriations Committee in support of funding for the Regional Climate Data and Information program
July 7, 2015

AMWA Comments on Request for Input to Sustaining the National Climate Assessment
June 15, 2015

AMWA Comments on the Draft USGCRP Climate Health Assessment
June 8, 2015

AMWA Comments to FEMA on the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard
May 6, 2015

AMWA Comments to CEQ on Revised Draft Guidance for Consideration of GHG Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in NEPA Reviews
March, 2015

Letter to Sen. Ben Cardin in support of S. 741, the "Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Act"
March 18, 2015

Letter to Rep. Lois Capps in support of H.R. 1278, the "Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Act"
March 5, 2015


AMWA Comments on EPA's Proposed Carbon Power Plan
December 1, 2014

Letter to CEQ transmitting a copy of AMWA's Recommendations to the State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience
September 23, 2014

Letter in support of Sen. Tom Udall's "Smart Water Resource Management Conservation and Efficiency Act"
July 11, 2014

AMWA/NACWA Water Resilience Summit Summary and Next Steps
July 10, 2014

AMWA Comments on Draft Office of Water Climate Change Adaptation Plan
January 2, 2014

AMWA Comments on Draft FY2014-2018 Strategic Plan
January 2, 2014


Letter to Sen. Ben Cardin in support of S. 1508, the "Water Infastructure Resiliency and Sustainability Act of 2013"
September 18, 2013

Letter to Sen. Tom Udall in support of an amendment to establish a smart water resource management pilot program
September 10, 2013

Additional Resources

Confronting Climate Change: An Early Analysis of Water and Wastewater Adaptation Costs
October 2009