The Water Environment Federation (WEF), in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), announces a series of general awareness trainings on water sector interdependencies. The training is offered at no cost to eligible participants. However, participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements and costs. Executives, managers, and operators of water sector (water and wastewater) utilities, as well as representatives from other critical infrastructures, are the target audience of the training.
Safe drinking water and wastewater treatment and service is essential to the public health and economic vitality of any society. In the United States, drinking water and wastewater utilities, collectively known as the water sector, are charged with implementing programs to provide clean and safe water to their communities every day, regardless of external forces that may impede their efforts, including natural disasters or terrorist events.
To provide their essential services, water sector utilities do not operate independently. Rather, they are dependent upon other national critical infrastructures such as energy to operate their pumps, transportation to deliver chemicals to properly treat water, and information technology to help operators run their utilities. Additionally, many of the nation’s other critical infrastructures are dependent upon the water sector to provide clean and safe water for firefighting or irrigation for agriculture. In fact, the water sector is interdependent with every critical infrastructure. Therefore, it is clear that the denial of drinking water and wastewater utilities’ services—whether the result of a contamination incident, physical attack, or cyber attack—would have cascading effects, as many hospitals, schools, and commercial and industrial businesses would be forced to close. It is also clear that preparation for how to continually provide drinking water and wastewater services during and following an incident will reduce human and economic hardships.
The trainings are meant to address these issues. They will be held in:
Additional training sessions will be added shortly, and all sessions are coordinated with the state’s department of homeland security/emergency management agency. If you are interested in a course in your state that is not listed above, please email jsullivan [at] wef.org.