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Risk and Resilience in the Water Sector

Posted By Michael Ellis on November 19, 2019


Are you in compliance with the America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA)? If you're an official in a community whose water system serves a population of more than 3,300 people, then the AWIA applies to you! 

Requirements for compliance include:
Community Water System (Population Served) Risk and Resilience Assessment (RRA) Due Date Emergency Response Plan (ERP) Due Date
greater than 100,000 March 31, 2020 September 30, 2020
50,000-100,000 December 31, 2020 June 30, 2021
3,300-49,999 June 30, 2021 December 30, 2021

Completed ERPs are required by the due dates listed above or within six months of completion of the RRA, whichever date comes first. Moving forward, each water utility also must update both its RRA and ERP every five years. Utilities not in compliance with the AWIA may be subject to a fine of $25,000 per day by the EPA.

What is a Risk and Resilience Assessment (RRA)? 

An RRA is a vulnerability assessment of your water utility and water system components, taking an “all-hazards approach” when completing the evaluation. This approach considers natural hazards and malevolent acts, and will help utilities determine where their water systems might be vulnerable to unauthorized access, potential threats and disaster situations.

What is an Emergency Response Plan (ERP)? 

An ERP is a plan that considers strategies, procedures, actions and/or resources to respond to issues identified in the RRA and enhances the resilience of the water system's physical security and cybersecurity. The results of the RRA then should guide the development or revision of the ERP.

What must the Certification Letter include? 

The letter - sent by the director or other officials within the utility to the EPA - certifies compliance with the AWIA requirements. The letter must include: the water system name and its public water system identification number; date the RRA and ERP were completed (i.e. certification date); and statement that utility officials have conducted the RRA and reviewed or revised the ERP.

Wessler can help! 

Wessler can help facilitate your water system’s completion of its RRA by assisting in identifying key considerations, including water system components that need to be assessed. Additionally, Wessler can help your water utility utilize its RRA to develop or revise its ERP and ensure your water utility maintains compliance with the AWIA.

For more information on the AWIA's requirements and technical assistance, contact our specialized Environmental Scientist Michael Ellis, C.F.M., at or 317-788-4551.

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