(October 17, 2017) - The Water Sector Coordinating Council (WSCC) held its quarterly meeting on October 11, focusing on the impacts to utilities of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The WSCC oversees utility partnership with federal agencies on the security and emergency preparedness of drinking water and wastewater utilities. NACWA representative to the WSCC, Karen Pallansch, CEO of Alexandria Renew Enterprises, participated in the meeting.
The WSCC was provided with updates on the damage caused by the hurricanes to utilities and how the sector responded. The state Water/Wastewater Agency Response Networks (WARNs) and Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) provide the framework for utilities to help one another in emergency situations, and they allowed an organized response to utility needs in Texas, Georgia, and Florida. The situation in Puerto Rico has been much more difficult due to geography and the devastation to electrical and transportation infrastructure. The WSCC will be working with water sector associations and federal partners to analyze the response to these disasters and determine what improvements can be made in the preparation of utilities and in the recovery efforts.