Communities in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin (ACF) in Georgia, including Gwinnett County and the city of Atlanta, faced four consecutive extreme weather events: drought of 2007-08, floods of September and winter 2009, and drought of 2011-12. A newly released case study explores the wide-reaching impacts of these events, which cost taxpayers millions of dollars in damaged infrastructure, homes, and businesses and threatened water supply for ecological, agricultural, energy, and urban water users.
The 2-page document is one of the outcomes of a collaboration between Federal and NGO partners (NOAA's Sectoral Application Research Program, EPA, the Water Environment Research Foundation, the Water Research Federation, Concurrent Technologies Corporation, and NOBLIS). These groups are working together to convene a series of workshops in communities that have experienced extreme events (i.e., drought, flood, sea level rise, freezing weather, and cascading impacts from multiple events). They have conducted case study workshops in the Russian River Basin, CA; Gwinnett County (ACF), GA; Tidewater, VA and have planned workshops in Washington, D.C. (December 17th), the Missouri River Basin (February 19 – 20) and Texas (TBD).
The objectives of the workshops are to better understand how water utilities had planned for, and responded to, these events, and to learn how they are preparing for future events. An additional goal was to gather information on how they use forecasts and what kind of information they would like to have for planning. The case study summarizes these findings and also includes lessons learned, a list of useful tools and resources cited by stakeholders who participated in the workshop, and an 'information needs' section that will help inform NOAA's climate data and information services.
Download the case study.
Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.
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