New Guide Addresses Climate Change and Infrastructure

Report summarizes likely changes in various extreme meteorological and hydrological events and assesses vulnerabilities of infrastructure

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor
October 25, 2021

Resilience — the ability of an organization to prepare for, respond to and return to normal operations after an emergency — is becoming a higher priority by the day. From pandemics and cyber attacks to wildfires and hurricanes, there seems to be no end to the potential threats that facility managers in healthcare organizations need to address. Now managers have another resource at their disposal in these efforts.

The American Society of Civil Engineers recently issued, Impacts of Future Weather and Climate Extremes on United States Infrastructure: Assessing and Prioritizing Adaptation Actions. The report summarizes likely changes in various extreme meteorological and hydrological events and assesses the vulnerabilities of infrastructure within critical sectors and their collective interdependencies.

The report identifies five critical infrastructure sectors: energy; transportation; drinking water and wastewater; water storage and flood protection; and navigation. Each sector is reviewed with respect to the potential impacts of climate change pertinent to that sector, current sector fragility or resilience to such impacts, adaptation readiness, and dependency on or contribution to other sectors. A proposed step-by-step prioritization process is included along with examples of case-specific prioritization frameworks used by other organizations.

Policy makers, managers and engineers involved in infrastructure planning and design, from the federal level to local stakeholders, will find this book a helpful guide in accommodating projected future weather and climate extremes for their locale.

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