According to a report by Gregg, Reynier and Hilberg, The State of Climate Adaptation in Water Resources Management; Southeastern United States and U.S. Caribbean, the Southeastern United States and U.S. Caribbean are highly vulnerable to a variety
of climatic factors and extreme weather events. The weather events include heavy downpours, floods, and droughts, all of which can influence water resources in this region. Newport News Waterworks was one of 18 utilities in the southeastern United States to participate in the climate change study.
The Waterworks Department has been involved in a number of impacts studies, capital improvement projects, and water conservation outreach efforts to help improve its activities in light of a changing climate. For example, the report highlights a conservation program that Waterworks started in the 1980s, which has enjoyed extremely high success in reducing regional water use.
Over the last 30 years, the southeast has been affected by more billion-dollar weather-related disasters than any other region, with coastal states experiencing more hurricanes, and inland states experiencing ice storms and tornadoes. The final report provides case studies, tools, and useful information on climate change adaptation in the Southeastern United States and U.S. Caribbean for both novice and experienced practitioners within or beyond the region’s borders to apply to their own work. Waterworks is recognized for increasing and improving public awareness, education and outreach efforts by the distribution of their newsletter and their neighborhood rain barrel workshops.
Readers can learn about different types of adaptation strategies that have been pursued locally, find real-world examples of how others in similar disciplines or regions are incorporating climate change into their work, and locate the people and tools needed to help move their adaptation efforts forward.