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Climate Resiliency

Recent storms, including Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and Tropical Storms Irene and Lee in 2011, demonstrate that the city’s water and wastewater system has vulnerabilities to extreme weather that must be addressed. To prepare for the future, DEP began implementing climate change resiliency measures early, in 2008 with the Climate Change Program Assessment and Action Plan. Prior to Sandy, DEP was already in the process of performing a detailed climate change study for representative wastewater treatment plants, pumping stations, and drainage areas to determine the potential likelihood and severity of various risks, including storm surge. After Sandy, DEP expanded that study to include all wastewater infrastructure across the city to systematically determine risks and resiliency measures to help prevent future disruptions.

NYC Wastewater Resiliency Plan
With climate change, the vulnerability of wastewater treatment plants and pumping stations likely will increase. Accordingly, DEP has undertaken a detailed facility risk assessment and adaptation study to identify which wastewater infrastructure may be most at risk of flooding during extreme weather events, and to recommend adaptation strategies to address these risks.
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One New York City: One Water
Sustainable Water Management for New York City’s People and Environment
Climate change will affect water resources in New York City from the upstate watershed to New York Harbor. It will demand an innovative response by the City’s water managers, planners, and regulators to meet stringent water quality standard requirements under the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act while advancing the City’s sustainability and resiliency objectives. As the largest municipal water utility in the United States, in a city with 520 miles of at-risk coastline and approximately 2,000 square miles of watershed protecting drinking water, DEP must find new ways to maximize its investments by incorporating the latest climate science, affordability, population and water demand projections, tightening regulations, and associated uncertainty.

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Cloudburst Planning
In 2016, DEP initiated the first phase of a “Cloudburst Study” to assess risks, prioritize response, develop neighborhood-based solutions, and assign costs and benefits for managing cloudbursts.
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Water-Energy Nexus
The Water-Energy Nexus is a study that quantifies the impact of our watershed protection, green infrastructure, water demand management and conservation, and wetland restoration programs on DEP’s overall GHG portfolio.
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Climate Change Integrated Modeling Project
In December 2008 DEP initiated the Climate Change Integrated Modeling Project (CCIMP) to evaluate potential impacts on New York City’s water supply system using downscaled climate change projections coupled with DEP’s watershed and reservoir modeling tools. This report, which documents the first phase of the ongoing CCIMP, describes climate impacts and associated uncertainties related to water quality and water supply storage and operations.
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Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency
On June 11, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced “A Stronger, More Resilient New York”, a comprehensive plan that contains actionable recommendations both for rebuilding the communities impacted by Sandy and increasing the resilience of infrastructure and buildings citywide.
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Climate Change Assessment and Action Plan
In May 2008, DEP released its first comprehensive report detailing the extensive work the Department has undertaken to better understand and plan for the potential impacts of climate change on the city's water and sewer systems.
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More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600