The Water Sector Coordinating Council (WSCC), which oversees utility partnership with federal agencies on matters related to security and emergency preparedness, held its quarterly meeting in Washington, DC on May 2-3. NACWA’s two representatives to the WSCC – Patty Cleveland, Assistant Regional Manager with the Trinity River Authority, Texas, and Chair of the WSCC, and Karen Pallansch, CEO of Alexandria Renew Enterprises – both participated in the meeting. The WSCC focused on cross-sector dependencies, and in particular how electrical sector problems can impact the water sector. The Council and the water sector associations will be working on this issue in the future, potentially developing recommendations for how drinking water and wastewater utilities can be better prepared for power outages.
The Water Sector Government Coordinating Council (WGCC) joined the WSCC on May 3. The WGCC includes representatives from EPA, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and state regulatory agencies. The WGCC provided information to the WSCC about ongoing projects to improve the security and resiliency of local drinking water and wastewater systems. During the joint meeting, both Councils approved the updated Roadmap to a Secure & Resilient Water Sector. This document serves as a guide for work that can be performed by government agencies and the water sector associations to improve the security of drinking water and wastewater utilities. The updated Roadmap will soon be released publicly, and will be shared with the NACWA Security & Emergency Preparedness Committee in an upcoming web meeting.