What Will It Cost? U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Updates Tool to Quantify Utility-level Costs and Public Health and Local Economic Effects of Adverse Events.
Improving the security and resilience of U.S. drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure is vital to ensuring the provision of clean and safe water. Disruption of operations during and following natural disaster or man-made adverse events can cause severe public health, environmental, and economic impacts. To support water-sector efforts to strengthen resiliency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has collaborated with its water-sector partners to update the Water Health and Economic Analysis Tool (WHEAT). WHEAT is designed to assist water-sector owners and operators in quantifying the utility-level costs, public health impacts, and local economic impacts of an adverse event. It is cause-neutral, meaning it estimates the impacts due to a user-specified disruption in utility services, regardless of the initial cause of the disruption.