Community water is a key place Americans will personally experience climate change. A 2013 nationally representative survey found that 92% of Americans want their community water provider to be a leader in preparing their community for climate change, and that community water providers are highly trusted sources for climate information. These findings place water utility professionals on the front line of climate response. A 2016 follow-up survey asked approximately 250 water professionals if and where they are using climate projection and assessment information, what analytic techniques they use where climate information is an input, what are their primary climate information sources, and whether they have the education and support materials needed to gather, use, and share climate information in complex decision making across job responsibilities and with external audiences. Survey findings include that over half of respondents are using climate projection and assessment information today and almost a quarter more will be using it in the next 5 years; use occurs in a wide range of job responsibilities; over 70% of respondents want to be a leader/team player in applying or sharing climate information; and over half of respondents self-identify the need for additional educational, training, and support materials. The survey findings provide a data-based contribution to understanding the opportunities and needs of water professionals as they prepare their communities for changes in the climate and water.
Weather, Climate, and Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jan 13, 2018
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