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Webinar: Stormy Weather - Climate Resiliency for Northwest Cities/Utilities July 19
Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 11:20 AM - 1:00 PM PST
Category: PNCWA Training & Events (not including Annual Conferences)

Stormy Weather - Climate Resiliency for Northwest Cities/Utilities

July 19, Sponsored by the PNCWA Sustainability Committee. The webinar is no cost for PNCWA members, PNCWA section members, and WEF-UPP organization employees, and $50 for nonmembers, 

.2 CEUs requested. 

This PNCWA webinar will cover how cities can respond to climate change. Click here for speaker bios and full topic abstracts (PDF)

1. Intro to Climate Change (20 mins)

  • How do you know what’s true? Reference the PNCWA Climate Change Position Paper
    Speaker:  Cynthia Bratz, P.E., Tetra Tech, Sustainability Committee Chair
    • This presentation will include a description of sources of information regarding climate change, including news releases and climate change assessment reports. It will include an analysis of science compared to beliefs and popular opinion. It will include a description of the PNCWA Climate Change Position Paper, which was prepared by the Sustainability Committee in 2015. Cyndy will introduce Matt Glazewski, who will present the primary portion of this section of the webinar.
  • State of the Science
    Speaker:  Matt Glazewski, Portland Community College
    • This presentation will describe current understanding on climate change from a science perspective, and will describe global and national climate assessment reports. It will discuss consensus among climate researchers and will focus on climate change impacts in the Pacific Northwest and projections to the year 2100 using current knowledge and modeling techniques.

2. How Does It Affect Us? (15 mins)
Speaker:  Alice Brawley-Chesworth, P.E., City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services 

    • We all know that climate change will impact more than just air temperature. We can expect impacts to the technical, biological, and social systems in our communities, so it will be important to think broadly when planning for the future. This talk will outline what we need to think about as water professionals when planning for climate change, and also outline some ways to determine which might be your community’s biggest challenges.

3. What Can We Do About It?  

  • What Causes a City to Act on Climate Change? (15 mins)
    Speaker:  Kavita Heyn, Portland Water Bureau
    • The Portland Water Bureau (PWB) provides drinking water to one-quarter of Oregonians. Participants will hear about how the utility has evolved in planning for climate change impacts to its drinking water system, and lessons learned that other water resource managers may want to consider for their own climate adaptation plans and processes.  The presentation will also highlight the challenges that water and wastewater utilities face to incorporate a range of climate futures in their infrastructure design standards and long term water system plans, and tools and resources that utilities can use to better prepare for multiple futures.
  • What PNW Cities and Utilities Are Doing to Prepare for Climate Change
    Speaker:  Lynn Stephens, P.E., Brown and Caldwell
    • Traditionally, water resource planning has relied on historical records of weather patterns and population growth in order to plan for future storm events and wastewater flows. Now, with an increase in extreme weather events and sea level rise, utilities are facing unpredictable climate-related risks to their infrastructure. This presentation will detail how utilities are planning and adapting to climate change issues within their systems in the Pacific Northwest. It will also highlight other studies and planning tools that can be leveraged if a utility would like to incorporate climate change into their utility planning processes.

  • Case Study – Gresham Wastewater Treatment Plant  (20 mins)
    Speaker:  Alan Johnston, City of Gresham, OR
    • The City of Gresham has implemented numerous sustainability features throughout the WWTP. These features include major items such as 800 kilowatts of biogas cogeneration that produces more electricity than the WWTP consumes, Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) recycling facilities and a 420 kw ground mount solar facility. The WWTP is also a GREAT (Gresham Resource Efficiency Assistance To) Business and implements recycling, energy conservation, green landscaping and low carbon purchasing practices. All these practices help to conserve natural resources, protect the local environment and help keep wastewater rates stable. This presentation will discuss those green policies and practices used at the WWTP and provide ideas to other facilities that may be considering improving their sustainability.

  • Integrating Resiliency into Infrastructure (20 mins)

    Speaker:  Nick McCullar, City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services

    • Resiliency is an extension of the concept of sustainability, providing a framework to plan not just for long term stability, but also for recovery from disruptions. Infrastructure resiliency is the ability of systems to continue providing services to the community during and after a disaster. The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services is working on a Resiliency Master Plan to help prepare the sewer system for climate change or a major earthquake. Comparing climate change resiliency and seismic resiliency illustrates the core features of resiliency, and highlights the unique features of climate change.

4. Why Should We Do Something About It? (15 mins)

  • What Are We in for the Long Haul? Modeling through 2099
  • Reducing GHG Emissions, Bulletproofing Infrastructure to Handle More Extreme Future Events
    Speaker:  Matt Glazewski, Portland Community College
    • This presentation will summarize the high point from each of the previous presentations, describe regional modeling efforts aimed at understanding climate change in the Northwest, and suggest prioritization methods to utilize in the areas of Greenhouse Gas Emissions reductions, and infrastructure preparedness.

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